Power Outage in Chicago May Have Caused Jennifer Hudson's American Idol Loss

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There was a small controversy the night Jennifer Hudson was eliminated from the third season of American Idol, where she finished as the seventh place finalist to the surprise of audiences.

"The phones weren't working in her home state, in Chicago," Stern speculated aloud Wednesday morning on The Howard Stern Show. "That could have contributed to her losing that week, because she was very popular."

On the show on April 21, 2004, Hudson sang a show-stopping rendition of Barry Manilow's WEEKEND IN NEW ENGLAND, which received rave reviews from then judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

"There was a storm [in Chicago], and no one could vote," Hudson confirmed on the show.

A power outage in Chicago due to storms and tornadoes in the area left fans and supporters unable to call in and vote in for their hometown favorite, but Hudson wasn't too upset.

"I felt like I was going home," Hudson said. "I cried for a few minutes, but I was like, 'I still have my voice, and I just have to keep going.'"

Hudson has since gone on to win an Academy Award for her singing and performance in the movie Dreamgirls, and a Grammy for her first studio album. Hudson's new album, JHUD, was released Tuesday, September 23.

Wanna read more on this? Check these out: Lionel Richie Joins As A Judge In New American Idol Series (more); Jennifer Hudson Releases 'He Ain't Goin' Nowhere' Featuring Iggy Azalea Produced By Pharrell (more).