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Circle of Strife

Elton John says ''Idol'' voting is ''racist.'' He's appalled that Jennifer was voted off, and that the African-American divas have been the low vote-getters

Better late than never. A week after the shocking ouster of Jennifer Hudson from ''American Idol,'' Elton John has added his voice to the chorus of those mystified by her lack of support among the show's voting viewers. Reuters reports that John, who appeared briefly on an ''Idol'' episode earlier this month, told a press conference on Tuesday that he found the voters' abandonment of Hudson and the other African-American divas (Fantasia Barrino and La Toya London) to the bottom three ''incredibly racist.''

John appeared earlier this month on the episode that featured the contestants performing his hits, an episode whose highlight was Hudson's rendition of ''Circle of Life.'' Speaking on Tuesday at New York's Radio City Music Hall, where he'll perform a concert backed by an orchestra of student musicians from New York's Juilliard School and England's Royal Academy of Music, John said: ''The three people I was really impressed with, and they just happened to be black, young female singers, and they all seem to be landing in the bottom three. They have great voices. The fact that they're constantly in the bottom three -- and I don't want to set myself up here -- but I find it incredibly racist.''

John apparently did not comment on voter support for George Huff, the African-American contestant who was not in danger of elimination last week, or on Ruben Studdard's victory in the contest last year. Maybe John could remedy the situation by getting Hudson a record contract himself; we hear he has a bit of clout in the industry.

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Originally posted Apr 27, 2004