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By EW Staff
March 03, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST
Jennifer Hudson: Ray Mickshaw/Fox

Underrated ”American Idol” contestants: Jennifer Hudson

FINISHING POSITION Seventh place (season 3)

GREATEST HIT We can’t settle on just one: Two of her last Idol numbers, ”Circle of Life” and ”Weekend in New England,” showcased Hudson’s ferocious commitment and her powerhouse pipes.

WHY WE’RE BITTER In season 3’s three-way showdown of soulful divas (the finalists also included LaToya London and eventual winner Fantasia Barrino), it was the premature ouster of the rapidly improving Hudson — before the excruciating John Stevens and the middling Jasmine Trias — that left audiences shocked. The fact that the plus-size beauty has just landed a lead role in the big-screen adaptation of Dreamgirls, opposite Beyoncé and Jamie Foxx, proves what we’ve known all along: J. Hud wuz robbed!

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