photo: Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesJennifer Hudson is one of the most successful entertainers to ever emerge from "American Idol," but apparently even she isn't feeling "Idol's" drastically retooled 12th season, which premiered last week to mixed reviews and relatively low ratings. While the Season 3 alum, who placed seventh in the competition back in 2004, didn't exactly call for "Idol's" cancellation during a recent interview...well, she practically did.
Speaking to Celebuzz this week at an L.A. junket to promote her new movie, The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete, J.Hud said the talent show that kickstarted her career "should allow itself to go out on top...and gracefully."
Stated Jennifer: "Everything has its time. 'American Idol' has changed the face of television. So, not everyone can say that. And it's always been a phenomenon. I'm proud to have come from 'American Idol,' so I just say, 'Go out on top.'"
Jennifer's comments, which suggest that "Idol" should Seacrest-out permanently after Season 12, have ignited Interweb speculation about the series' supposedly imminent cancellation. But we must remember that reports of "Idol's" death have been greatly exaggerated for years. Case in point: Pundits, and probably more than a few "Idol" alums, once believed that the departures of original judges Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell meant certain doom for the show--especially following the very disappointing Season 9, Simon's troubled final "Idol" season. However, "Idol" managed to not only survive but thrive in Seasons 10 and 11, and those seasons even yielded two platinum-selling champions. (And even Season 9's top two finalists, LeeDeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, managed to recently secure new record deals.) With only two episodes of Season 12 having aired so far, and the steady ratings for last Thursday's second episode comparable to those for last season's second episode, it is way too soon for anyone to make predictions of the show's demise yet again.
Still, if Season 12 isn't able to consistently pull in robust ratings numbers with new judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj at the helm--or if Season 12's eventual winner doesn't generate robust Soundscan and Billboard numbers later on--then perhaps the honchos at Fox, 19 Entertainment, and Interscope Records should reconsider what J.Hud had to say this week.
Jennifer Hudson returns to the small screen February 5 on NBC's "Smash"--ironically starring alongside another woman who owes her entire showbiz career to "American Idol," Season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee.
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