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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
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On Jennifer Hudson:
Addressing questions about former contestant Jennifer Hudson's upcoming interview in Essence magazine, the Grammy Award-winning music producer told TODAY host Meredith Vieira that Hudson knew what she was getting into when she signed up for season four.

"You've been abused, misled and brainwashed to believe whatever they want you to think,” Hudson was quoted by Essence as saying in an interview for its March issue.

"I don't know about that. I heard recently that she said she was misquoted," said Jackson, who shares the Idol judging duties with singer Paula Abdul and music producer Simon Cowell.

“She knew what the show was,” Jackson said of Hudson, who just won a Golden Globe for “DreamGirls” and is considered an Oscar favorite. “Jennifer Hudson would not be where she is today without ‘American Idol.’”

On American Idol and the "mean factor":
“Simon Cowell has always been Simon Cowell. People talk about the fact it is so much meaner this season. I think they need to go back and watch,” Jackson said. “I think people have selective memory, [or] they don't know what this show is about.”

“You've always been mean,” Vieira quipped.

“Simon's always been Simon. It's not going to change,” Jackson said.