American Idol Diva Fantasia Barrino Is Out of the Hospital and Working Again

You know what's funny about primetime pop pageant American Idol? (Nope, not ex-panelist Ellen Degeneres.) It's that the biggest star to ever shoot out of that black hole was a loser named Jennifer Hudson. Of course, there's an argument to be made for Season One winner, Kelly Clarkson. And if you're a deranged Claymaniac (or whatever they call those people), you might think Clay Aiken is Idol's ultimate offspring.

In any case, most of the show's alumni, winners or not, achieve nothing more than momentary, lukewarm success. And Season Three champ Fantasia Barrino, even with a Platinum debut album and a few R&B hits to her name, hasn't exactly trumped the trend.

Her career has been slipping slowly but steadily for a few years. So much so, when Barrino overdosed on aspirin and sleep meds this past summer, the tabloid vultures immediately called it a publicity stunt. She denied the accusation, telling VH1: "I wanted it to be over with -- all of it, all of that shit."

Now Fantasia's out of the hospital, seemingly stable, and working again. So far, she's survived. But let's just hope the Idol curse doesn't come back for her.

With Eric Benet. Sunday, November 14. James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $47.50 to $75, plus fees. Visit

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S. Pajot