Jennifer Hudson attends the 28th annual SAG Awards on February 27, 2022. "Masked Singer" winner Amber Riley stopped by her eponymous daytime talk show this week. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Fresh from her win as Harp on The Masked Singer, Amber Riley joined Jennifer Hudson on her daytime talk show to share her experience. Riley said despite all her years in show business, winning has helped increase her confidence.
"It was such an amazing moment, I had so much fun doing that show," she told Hudson. "It came to a head and just exploded. I don't even have words. To win is above more than I could have ever thought of."
During the former Glee star's run on The Masked Singer, judge Ken Jeong insisted it was Jennifer Hudson behind the mask. Riley says she was flattered by the comparison.
"If I'm going to be compared to somebody...," Riley said, "if you're going to hear me sing and say, Jennifer Hudson, that's so validating and flattering. I was beaming underneath that mask."
The vocalists bonded as both have played Effie, the singer who is displaced both personally and professionally by her bandmate Deena in Dreamgirls. Hudson won an Oscar for the film version in 2007, while Riley won an Olivier in 2017 for playing the character onstage in London's West End.
Hudson was there to see Riley reprise the role.
"How amazing is it that you were actually in the U.K. when I did that," Riley said. "Like that's crazy!"
Hudson responded, "I said 'I've got to go see Amber do this' and it was amazing."
Riley continued, "I'm sure that you became very close to that character, as I became very close to that character," Riley said of Effie. "I really knew her and having her story be this amazing gift, and not being able to go out in the front. And I felt that. Doing things like Masked Singer and doing things like Dancing with the Stars, I get to triumph for those stories. I get to be the winner for those stories. It's just full circle for me."
On the show, Hudson presented Riley with the Golden Mask trophy for the very first time.
Then, they hid behind Christmas trees on the set and traded lines of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," Effie's signature song from Dreamgirls to see if the audience could tell them apart. Then they emerged to sing it together.
Riley produced and appears in the documentary The Black Beauty Effect released on Comcast Xfinity and XUMO last month, and Hudson's next film role is in Breathe with Common, Milla Jovovich, Sam Worthington and Quvenzhanè Wallis. Her daytime show was recently made available to stream on Roku Channel.