Jennifer Hudson’s childhood dream came to life during the Halloween special of the latest episode of the Jennifer Hudson Show. As she explained to the audience, one of the most pivotal films she watched growing up – particularly around age 12 – was both Sister Act films starring Whoopi Goldberg, who she channeled in her festival costume as Sister Mary Clarence. She credited the franchise with fueling her desire to be on stage performing songs, so it was only fitting she delivered a choir-backed medley of songs from across both films.
“That’s the power of an icon like Whoopi Goldberg,” Hudson said. “It helped me create my dreams. One, I wanted to be in the movie. And if nothing else, I would go to school and be like, maybe I could sit at my desk and sing a song like that. Or, maybe somebody will hand me the microphone so I can get up and sing like that. You think, you know, maybe I could be in a musical one day and sing a song. That would have been a dream for me to be able to do that.”
She added: “So when I think back to that movie, I just think about how it really made me feel. She had us feeling like we was back in church or something. Don’t you think? That’s what it felt like. I think so. And then it was like I could imagine just being there – being in the choir, being a part of the competition.”
Launching straight into “I Will Follow Him” and “My God (My Guy),” it’s clear that Hudson had been preparing for this moment for years. When she and the choir reach “Oh Happy Day” and “Joyful, Joyful,” the crowd was up and moving like the studio set had been transformed into a true Black church. By the end of the latter tune, Hudson was hoisted into the air while confetti rained down around her in a grand finale to a nearly 30-year-old dream.