American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez brought down the house during her duet with Jennifer Holliday on last night's season finale that saw singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips crowned champion.
Just who is Jennifer Holliday, the woman who shared the stage with the 16-year-old singing sensation Jessica Sanchez?
For those younger American Idol fans out there, Holliday was in Dreamgirls. No, not the movie starring former Idol contestant and finalist Jennifer Hudson, but the original Broadway production that inspired the film version.
Jennifer Holliday, 61, shared some similarities with Hudson, who won an Oscar for her Dreamgirls performance.
Both Holliday and Hudson had struggles with their weight, but both stars overcame the battle of the bulge.
Twenty years ago when I was in 'Dreamgirls,' I was always a joke because I was huge, Holliday recalled, according to IMDB. I went out once to a birthday gathering for me, and the New York Post wrote that I had broken the chair because I was so big. Well, I didn't break the chair; it was just really wobbly. But the humiliation was terrible. Even after I lost weight, I was still the same person.
Jennifer Holliday had gastric bypass surgery to shed the excess weight, while Hudson lost 56 pounds on Weight Watchers.
Holliday was one of Broadways biggest stars in the 1980s. Her portrayal of Effie Melody White on the Great White Way earned her a Tony Award for Best Actress in 1982. Hudson had the same role in the movie version
That wasn't the only accolades Holliday has received in her career. She earned a Drama Desk Award nod in 1981 and even won a Grammy for And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going from Dreamgirls.
Jessica Sanchez, the 16-year-old from Chula Vista, Calif., lost out to Phillips in the Idol finale last night, but if her duet with Jennifer Holliday is any indication, she'll have a bright future ahead in the music industry.
In an interview with MTV News, Sanchez said she was happy for Phillips, the singer-songwriter from Leesburg, Ga., and spoke about her future.
Right now, I don't know what to expect. I've been in the Idol bubble, and now it's popped, and I don't know what's going to happen, Jessica Sanchez said. I don't know what's going to be thrown at me, but I'm excited to find out.