Jennifer Hudson is Voted Off of 'American Idol' Season Three
Hudson struggled to gain popularity in the early stages of Idol's live shows, receiving the second-lowest number of votes in two of the first three shows.
However, after a change in song choices, she soon became a favorite to win, receiving the highest number of votes in the "Top 9" after her performance of Elton John's "Circle of Life," on April 6, 2004. Among Hudson's worthy performances on the show was her rendition of Whitney Houston's, "I Have Nothing". Judge Simon Cowell commented that Hudson, "finally proved why she was among the 'Top 12,'" and referred to the performance a week later as, "sensational." During the "Top 7" show, Hudson performed Barry Manilow's, "Weekend in New England," which garnered praise from all three judges. Jackson called the song Hudson's best performance to date; and Simon Cowell noted that Hudson's presence made the third season a, "Battle of the Divas," referencing other powerful vocalists Fantasia Barrino and LaToya London. Despite this praise, Hudson was eliminated during this week, which some blamed in part on a power outage in Hudson's hometown of Chicago due to storms and tornadoes in the area. This also led to controversy since the "Battling Divas" were all in the Bottom 3. On April 21, 2004, Hudson became the sixth of the 12 finalists to be voted off the show, finishing the competition in seventh place.