By Michael Slezak
Updated October 09, 2006 at 02:00 PM EDT

Remember back in 2004, when Jennifer Hudson got booted from Season 3 of American Idol — before John Stevens, Jasmine Trias, and Diana DeGarmo? I certainly do. In fact, despite my long-term commitment to regular brushing and flossing, if I concentrate hard enough, I can still detect just the slightest taste of bile left over from the incident. It goes without saying, then, that I was elated when I came across a post on Gold Derby discussing Hudson’s latest career quandary: Although Jennifer Holliday won a Tony for best actress back in 1982 for the role of Effie in Broadway’s Dreamgirls, Hudson (pictured, in character as Effie) is reportedly focusing her energies on landing a supporting nod for the same role in the upcoming Oscar race. Frankly, I don’t care in which category her name gets bandied about; just the fact that it’s being used in the same sentence as ”Oscar” is justice enough. Hmmm. Just like that, my mouth tastes all minty fresh!

Of course, Hudson’s not alone in her category conundrum. Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil posted another intriguing article about awards-season strategy last week, where he noted that, despite getting less screen time than Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep is aiming for the big prize, not a supporting bid, come Oscar time. Which, when you get past mere number of minutes, makes sense: At the end of the day, Prada was a Meryl Streep film, and its dramatic dip in energy any time she left the screen tells the real story. Also grappling with the lead-or-supporting dilemma, says O’Neil: Hollywoodland‘s Ben Affleck, The Last King of Scotland‘s Forest Whitaker, Babel‘s Brad Pitt, The Departed‘s Jack Nicholson, and Stranger Than Fiction‘s Emma Thompson. Don’t feel too bad, though. There are far worse pickles a thespian could find him or herself in, no?