‘Smash’ Star Downplays ‘Idol’ Connection with Co-Star Jennifer Hudson

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SMASH — “On Broadway” (Season 2, Episode 1) —  (l-r) Jennifer Hudson as Veronica Moore, Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright

*The fading impact of “American Idol” among the public is one thing, but among the people it boosted to stardom? That’s saying a lot.

Despite the waning popularity of the show, it still manages to turn out bona fide superstars whether they took first place or not. Season one champ Kelly Clarkson just set a Billboard Singles record this week. Last season’s winner Phillip Phillips just reached No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart. Fantasia made a splash in Broadway’s “The Color Purple” and was the subject of a Lifetime Original Movie. Did we mention Carrie Underwood?

Even non-winners Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Adam Lambert, and “Smash” co-stars Katharine McPhee and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson are household names.

Where are the winners of “The Voice?” “The X Factor?”

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This week, Hudson suggested that “American Idol” has already seen its best days, and maybe it’s time to put the show out of its misery. J-Hud isn’t the only former contestant who has moved on from the show’s one-time luster.

Speaking to McPhee earlier this month following her “Smash” Season 2 TCA panel in Pasadena, the actress said she hadn’t even thought of the fact that two “Idol” alums are starring in a primetime drama.

“I think people love to hang onto the ‘American Idol’ title, particularly the media,” she told EURweb. “It’s not something that I go up to [Hudson] and say like, ‘Hey, how was your experience on “American Idol?”’ I’m sure if she was sitting here we’d both say we’re really incredibly grateful for the platform that it gave us, but it did what it was supposed to do, which was give us that platform to move on to things that we ultimately really dreamed of doing. And that’s what’s been so fantastic.

“Maybe I would’ve been on [‘Smash’] without ‘Idol,’ maybe I wouldn’t of, you know. But I know it was an amazing platform. So no, we didn’t talk about it. She was incredibly wonderful to have on set and incredibly professional and wonderful to just listen to sing these amazing songs. But no, no dig on ‘Idol,’ but that just wasn’t something that came up in conversation.”

Jennifer Hudson in New York City getting ready to film scenes for “Smash” season 2.

Below, McPhee says asking for comment on her “A.I.” connection with Hudson is like asking someone to talk about a girl who went to your high school, but was in a different grade.

  

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