Jennifer Hudson on New American Idol Judges: “I’m happy that Mariah is there because she’s a singer” (VIDEO)

This morning on Live with Kelly and Michael, Oscar winner and American Idol alum, Jennifer Hudson dished about her latest role on the NBC musical drama Smash, and also weighed in on what she thinks of the new Idol judges’ panel.

Finally having a chance to sit down and watch one episode, Jennifer said, “It’s taken a bit to get used to the new judges.” She added, “I come from American Idol so I’m used to Simon, Paula and Randy…it’s kind of awkward for me to see it with new judges.”

When co-host, Kelly Ripa, asked Jennifer how she thinks she would respond, as a contestant, to the way the new judges critique, the singer exclaimed, “You’re asking me hard questions!”

“I’m happy that Mariah is there because she’s a singer,” Jennifer said, “So she knows what to expect, how to judge, even the position the kids are in when they’re auditioning.”

…and Jennifer left it at that.

Watch Jennifer Hudson talk about American Idol below:

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  • gigglesmo3

    and Keith is ……… eye candy? Mr Nicole Kidman?

  • Goodvibes27

    The misconception is you have to be a singer to judge singing. I disagree with that. In Idol history, a few singers have made awful judges, and some non-singers have made excellent judges.

  • Sassycatz

    Jennifer Hudson comes from American Idol and is used to those fantastic, well-known balladeers, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and autotuned dancer, Paula Abdul. LOL! Yes, indeedy. How would Jennifer Hudson respond to the judging of Mariah Carey and Keith Urban, who *are* actual singers. (That’s rhetorical.)

  • Lynn Di Resto

    Simon was the best judge on idol. They need him back and the ratings will go back up.

  • bridgette12

    It’s just Jennifer giving her honest opinion. She’s a artist who appreciates the fact that a singer of Mariah status is on the panel. Just because she didn’t mention Keith’s name, doesn’t mean she don’t respect what he do also.

  • ladymctech

    Sadly, good things come to an end. And even if Simon were to completely flop on XFactor and come back to Idol, if it were still around, I don’t think you would get the same Simon back. And the chemistry between him and whoever else may be much different, much less appealing.

  • elliegrll

    Simon can’t even get people to watch the X Factor.  I don’t think that things are that simple.  Let’s not forget that the ratings were better in season 10 than they were in season 9, when Simon was on the show.

  • Liteasy

    So are Nicki and Keith singers!!

  • Jake W.

    I agree. We can’t fault what was never said. She could think that the other judges are cool as well, but maybe she feels closer to Mariah. And this is coming from someone who hates Mariah with a passion. I’m going to be open minded about what JHud thinks when it comes to the others.

  • bridgette12

    I agree, I just think she feels closer to Mariah and is probably more knowledgeable about her music than either Nikki or Keith’s music. Plus, Mariah has been around a lot longer than those two, she’s one of the top selling female artist of all time and she’s won a lot of Grammys.

  • ST7

    Mariah is “the singer” but shes not giving music advice.  The one who really has been is Keith – He talks about tone and melody and octaves , notes etc. For me (and others according to the articles Ive read) think Nicki has been hands down the breakout star of the show. Articles compare her to Simon but I disagree.  She hasnt been  mean for the sake of being mean.  Shes given good advice but also is very flirty and playful (mariah should be jealous ‘cuz she’s seeming as boring as Randy)…I LOVED LOVED last night when she told the Glee guy to stop the pity party…Shes write- at some point stop using that as a crutch even though Nigel has been exploiting it from day 1 and probably always will.  But you dont need to have cancer or lost your job or been a teen mom to be a singing icon.  The live shows will be what to see.  Too bad Idol spent all that money and now its got fewer viewers than shows like NCIS or Big Bang.  14mill while in these days is stil very good – its a huge drop.   We shall see

  • ST7

    well shes representative then of over 300 million other americans.  If you have a full time job and are touring, acting, being a mom, traveling, working nights, Idol is not a priority.  Plus while she appeared on Idol and yes she was seen on Idol and that gave her a HUMONGOUS break – She didnt win or was runner up or third – she was SEVENTH…so not that surprised …Its not like a Carrie or Kelly

  • Li Wright

    I don’t think Jennifer has time to watch the show.  She’s just giving an opinion, not a slight toward anybody.

  • MyDailyComment

    Keith Urban is not a singer that I have ever heard on the radio nor would I know what type of station it would play on.  I totally understand Jennifer not referring to him as a singer.

    The only song of his I ever heard was his duet with Kris Allen.

  • ST7

    Just think if Simon wouldve gotten Nicki an maybe another strong woman – who sings – like Pink – or I still would die if they got Cher.
    Right now, My ideal judging panel…Id get Simon off the table and send him to the UK that needs him.  I dont think hes as popular any more -Hes also not th same SImon that was on Idol.  I find him boring and predictable on air – and fake as hell.  we’ve heard all his insults and making fun of contestants who cant sing…plus hes a producer of the show and makes decisions (like the disastrous rankings) so its all just fishy..>but someone like Cher/RickyMartin (who ended up in Australia Voice???) and Pink would be great- youd also tap all ages and demographics.  I know young people dont know Cher and she doesnt need the money so I dont know if she still wants to be relevant as a singer and release another album.  But again a grammy and oscar winner with credibility (i wish wed have shows like sonny & cher again)…And Ricky also has been a TV actor, a boy band member (so he could coach groups), a soap star, a Broadway star, and yes a grammy award winning artists who knows about performing live as his live Grammy performance made him an overnight superstar…and hes performed in huge stadiums too.  He brings you the Latinos and the gays.  Pink just seems shed speak her mind…You dont need someone mean (voice proved th at)- you need someone who tells the truth and really tries to help these kids, give them advice based on the judges experience and career, and try to give them what they need to become a star.
    ps – wheres jessica sanchez music…pia faded away and so did so many other really great female singers..(melinda had a super voice too but doing videos for isnt really what she probably was going after)…less we forget Melanie Amaro – You have to get music out there soon – and you need great writers and producers to make this a big hit.

  • elliegrll

    I never said that she or anyone else had to watch the show.   But, if your description fits her, then she really can’t say who is a good judge or not, since she doesn’t watch the show.

  • quickjessie

     I must disagree somewhat about Cher.  While I’ve been begging this show to hire her since before Ellen, your argument that the kids might not know her is so very wrong, lol. 

    Cher would instantly change the entire viewership of AI.  The Gayz! The dance club crew.  Kathy Griffin!  Omg, talk about buzz.  AI would be awash in it.  Let’s not forget Cher is the only singer in history to have a top ten hit in 4 consecutive decades and it would not surprise me to see her shoot for 5.  She’s a diva who’s got it all – musical chops, a HUGE following still, wit, sarcasm, and she knows literally every facet of the business.

    Stupid show.  I think she’d take the job in a heartbeat and they’re too dumb to ask her.

  • IdolyEverAfter

    I’m not a country fan, but the guy is a country superstar. Keith Urban has had many #1 radio hits and awards.

    These are his #1 singles on the radio:
    “But for the Grace of God” (2001)
    “Somebody Like You” (2002)
    “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” (2003)
    “You’ll Think of Me” (2004)
    “Days Go By” (2004)
    “Making Memories of Us” (2005)
    “Better Life” (2005)
    “You Look Good in My Shirt” (2008)
    “Start a Band” (with Brad Paisley) (2009)
    “Sweet Thing” (2009)
    “Only You Can Love Me This Way” (2009)
    “Without You” (2011)
    “Long Hot Summer” (2011)
    “You Gonna Fly” (2012)
    He’s won huge awards, including multiple grammys, and CMA entertainer of the year.  As someone in the music business, I’m surprised Jennifer Hudson didn’t know that.  Many people in the business seem to know and appreciate other genres.   I doubt she really put much thought into her comment.  I like Jennifer, but I never thought of her as the sharpest tool in the shed.

  • bridgette12

    Not everybody knows everybody in the music business. There’s a lot of singers out there in a many genres and just because she don’t acknowledge his existence, don’t mean something is wrong with her. When Carrie Underwood was saying how wonderful it was that Keith was on the judges panel, I don’t remember anyone complaining that she didn’t ackowledge Mariah or Nikki.   

  • IdolyEverAfter

    That wasn’t the point of my response to a comment that Keith Urban wasn’t on any radio stations that person listened to.  I have never in my life listened to country radio, but I knew he was a big star with lots of number 1 hits.  I’m sure Carrie was commenting on Keith because she was asked about a fellow country star.  The difference with Jennifer is people are inferring that she was somehow dissing the others as not singers.  I think that’s just reading too much into what she said.   My guess she really hasn’t watched much, and it was a question out of left field.  If she said it was different with other judges, what about the past 2 years?  I just think she’s a very busy woman, who has had a lot of tragedy, and now she’s a mother, and she hasn’t had time to follow Idol.  That said, I don’t think there are any disputes that Mariah is a great singer!

  • Kariann Hart

    Cher would have been my choice from the moment Simon left (so glad he did leave)! reported that on Thursday, January 20th, CHER once again had a song hit the #1 spot on the Billboard charts, making her the only artist to have ever had a #1 song in six consecutive decades.  WOW!!

    It angers me that she’s not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

  • Incipit

    Eh. These interviewers keep asking Jennifer “hard questions” about Idol – we’re gonna keep getting awkward answers, I think.

    She pretty much said, she is qualified to speak about being on Idol’s Third Season – and we know a lot has changed since 2004, it’s practically a different show.  She’s also on record as not watching much (if any) of the show – and why should she? Any opinion Jennifer offers needs to be framed in that context, IMO. 

    I think that if the “she’s a singer” remark is directed at anyone, it would be a shot at the make-up of the judging panel from her own season – which had no singers who knew “how to judge” vocals, or anyone who understood “the position the kids are in when they’re auditioning.” That’s how I read it. 

    After all, the last time Jennifer answered an Idol question, we got the romantic notion that FOX and TPTB ought to ditch their Cash Cow, (like that’s gonna happen) so they could go out at the top of their game – although if she means viewers, the top of their game was actually Season 5. I don’t think she means ad revenue, or even considered it – which is still at the top, and more to the point. (top/point – see what I did there? Heh.)

    It’s just an off the cuff opinion, from a source that hasn’t even kept current with Idol…and NBD, IMO. Of Course.

  • lufausljc

    I totally agree. Mariah is distinguished as being one of the best singers, yet I don’t agree with something that Jennifer said. She said that because Mariah is a singer, she will know “how” to judge. Sorry, but Mariah doesn’t know how to judge. Nicki and Keith are the ones that actually have something constructive to say. I, like many people, thought that having Nicki as a judge was a mistake for various reasons, but I am glad she proved me wrong. I love Keith’s sarcasm and I have seen that he cares about the contestants.

  • bridgette12

    As people are always saying about Jennifer, she’s no longer in the Idol bubble and she don’t think in terms of what will or will not offend Idol fans. Looks like she was happy that they had a great singer on the panel and really didn’t care enough about the other two to mention them at all. Don’t see a problem with that, because neither Nikki or Keith are affected by what she sayl.  

  • Francisco Rapalo

    She didn’t need Idol to shine, she is famouse becouse HER TALENT! I suscribe to all that she said.

  • Sassycatz

    She didn’t need Idol to shine, she is famouse becouse HER TALENT!

    Well, that’s totally false on its foundations. The very way she got public attention and the chance to do everything else she’s done was to be on Idol, just as it is for all the other contestants. She doesn’t need Idol anymore, but that’s the luck of the draw.

  • elliegrll

    She never would have gotten an audition for DreamGirls if she didn’t appear on AI.  Jennifer truly was that contestant, whose background story just consisted of singing at home and in the choir.

  • Francisco Rapalo

    No, you are wrong! She auditioned to ‘Dreamgirls’ like a nobody… Idol don’t give her fame…

  • Alexandre Oliveira

    lol this is getting sooooooo old

  • b_james

    She knows that Simon, Paula, and Randy weren’t singers, right?

  • Sassycatz

    No, you are wrong! She auditioned to ‘Dreamgirls’ like a nobody… Idol don’t give her fame…

    You think she would’ve been given a chance to audition without being on Idol first? (In fact, I *think* Fantasia was considered for the role too, and oddly enough, they both were on Idol! Coincidence?)

  • irockhard

    What I heard is that the producers of Dreamgirls called Debra Byrd and the other Idol vocal coaches for recommendations. Debra recommended both Jennifer and Fantasia, they both auditioned and Jennifer got the role.

  • tomr

    So far I think the judges are a nice blend.  Although I can’t stand Nicki’s speaking voice or music, I do appreciate her willingness to speak up with a position.  Mariah needs to be careful not to follow in the footsteps of JLO and be too guarded in her critiques because it might affect her career.  Keith, so far, has been GREAT!  Randy is Randy,,,if you listen carefully, he is almost always right when someone is terrible.  His constructive criticism is very limited.  The live shows will be the indicator of just how good they can “judge.”  How they present themselves cannot be manipulated by editting.

  • mmb

    pretty sure Jennifer herself has stated that her Idol connections got her the Dreamgirls audition (or maybe one of the vocal coaches said it…)….

  • Aaron

    I agree. Steven Tyler is an amazing singer/performer, but what a lousy judge he is! 

  • WD79

    And he won all that Grammys in Best Male Vocal Performance too. Not a lot of ‘singers’ can claim they’ve won Grammys or CMAs or ACMs in that category. :)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    According to this 2007 interview that Rodnet Ho did with Debra Byrd, you are correct:

    She remains buds with many of the past contestants including Kelly Clarkson, who appears on the DVD, Kimberly Caldwell (also on the DVD), George Huff, Kellie Pickler, Justin Guarini, Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson. (In fact, Byrd takes credit for recommending Jennifer to play Effie for the film version of “Dreamgirls.” She said they called her first to ask about Frenchie Davis or Fantasia. “The casting person had no idea who Jennifer was,” she recalled.”She was not on their radar.”)

  • ladymctech

    I’d love to see Mariah and Randy go and be replaced by some combination of Cher, Harry Connick Jr., and Gene Simmons.