Jennifer Hudson is on the bubble for an Emmy nomination for Best Drama Guest Actress for her role as a gospel-inspired musical therapist in FOX’s “Empire.” She ranks eighth with 33/1 odds based on the combined predictions of our Experts, Editors, Users, and Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who racked up the best scores among the thousands predicting last year’s Emmy nominations), but that’s not where every group ranks her. Our Editors place her among the top six contenders with 16/1 odds. Will she make the cut? It would be foolish to count her out given her track record.
Viewers were shocked during the third season of “American Idol” in 2004 when Hudson finished in seventh place, but she got the last laugh. Two years after her “Idol” ouster, she made her feature film debut in “Dreamgirls” and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Two years after that, she released her self-titled debut album and won a Grammy for Best R&B Album. Halfway to EGOT, and she wasn’t even 30 yet.
This isn’t Hudson’s first foray into television – she had a guest stint in NBC’s Broadway-themed “Smash” and was featured in Lifetime’s “Call Me Crazy” anthology film – but “Empire” has become a juggernaut like no other. It earned a Critics’ Choice nomination for Best Drama and a TCA bid for Program of the Year, and it’s also a likely nominee for Best Drama at the Emmys according to our racetrack odds.
In addition, it’s always wise to take into account the power of seeing an Oscar-winner on the Emmy ballot, especially in the wide-open guest-acting races, where voters can often be swayed by pedigree and name recognition.
None of our Editors are currently predicting a win for Hudson, but three out of seven are betting on a nomination: Matt Noble, Tom O’Neil and Paul Sheehan. O’Neil and Sheehan are also the only Experts predicting a nod for Hudson.
Should we pay attention to their premonition? Quite possibly. Consider that O’Neil had the highest score among Experts predicting last year’s Emmy nominations (76%), while Sheehan tied the top score among ALL users predicting last year’s winners (66%).
If Hudson is nominated, she’ll still have her work cut out for her against her prospective field of rivals. The current frontrunner in the contest is defending champ Allison Janney for her role in “Masters of Sex.” Between “Masters,” “Mom” and “The West Wing,” Janney has won six Emmys and only ever lost twice when nominated.
Of the four groups making predictions at Gold Derby, the Top 24 Users did the best forecasting last year’s Emmy nominations (78.55%) compared to the Editors (77.68%), All Users (74.78%) and the Experts (74.64%).
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Below, use our drag-and-drop menu to predict whether Hudson will be nominated or even win Best Drama Guest Actors, and also make sure to watch our recent video chat with the award-wiinner.