Paula Abdul and Fantasia Barrino Reunite Almost 20 Years After ‘Idol’ – Hollywood Life

Paula Abdul & Fantasia Barrino Reunite Almost 20 Years After ‘American Idol’: Watch

The singer and actress got emotional as she hugged the former 'American Idol' judge seeing her all these years after she competed on the singing show.

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Paula Abdul and Fantasia Barrino reunited at the premiere of The Color Purple on Wednesday, December 6. The former American Idol judge, 61, hugged the season 3 contestant, 39, as they ran into each other at the event. Seeing Paula, Fantasia got very emotional and started tearing up in a fan-captured video of the wonderful full-circle moment.

When Fantasia competed on American Idol, it was during the 2004 season. After a short laugh and hug, The Color Purple star’s eyes began welling up as she talked to Paula. “Wait, you’ve gotta stay with me. I’m grown up now,” she told the former judge.

Since her season of Idol was 19 years ago, she was just 20 years old at the time. She also won that season, beating  Jennifer Hudson, who has since gone on to become a very successful singer and actress in her own right. In one of the videos that a fan shared, they posted it alongside a clip of Paula praising Fantasia back on the show. “Fantasia, you are a triple threat. You’re going to be seen in movies. You’re going to be seen all over television, and you’re going to be filling stadiums,” she said at the time.

After winning Idol, Fantasia went on to release her platinum-selling debut Free Yourself. She also played the role of Celie Johnson in The Color Purple’s Broadway adaptation. The mother of three reprised the role for the new musical film, marking her movie debut.


While Fantasia has had so much success since she won Idol, she’s also had her fair share of hard times over the years. In 2010, she had an accidental overdose of aspirin and sleep medication. Back in November, she opened up about the experience and how it shifted her perspective in an interview with Variety“I left that hospital and said, ‘I’ll never do that again, because I have purpose,'” she said. “I’m going to speak into every young person’s life and tell them, ‘Don’t you dare give up.’”