Jennifer Hudson may not have won American Idol, but she is arguably one of the most successful contestants to ever appear on the show.

She'd love to make an appearance during Idol's upcoming final season.

"I hope to return!" she told me last week at the opening of her Broadway debut, The Color Purple, adding, "I hope to be a part of the Idol finale, the final show. I'm kind of sad to see it go because it's been a part of our homes. Each of us in America, you know what I mean? So, it's going to be sad to see it go but I hope to be a part of the farewell."

Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe was among the bold-faced names that attended The Color Purple opening.

Jennifer Hudson, Coachella

Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella

"Some of the Idol family was in the audience tonight," JHud said. "Nigel was there. I was like, 'Oh my God, there's so many people that helped build my career sitting in this audience tonight,' which was kind of creepy and overwhelming, but I was like, 'Ahh—I don't want to look at the audience.'"

Ryan Seacrest revealed to E! News last month that all of the show's former judges, including Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and event Simon Cowell will return at some point during the Fox series' last hurrah. "We will have the former judges back," he said. "The plan is to have all of them back. They've all considered it and I think are enthusiastic about coming back and saluting the show." 

Carrie Underwood also told me last month that she's hoping to make an appearance. "I'm sure I will at some point," she said. "I definitely would like to be there for the finale. There's always a lot to work out. I'll be in the middle of touring, so we'll see."

American Idol returns to Fox for a 15th and final season on Jan. 6.

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