jenniferhudson.jpgAfter months of searching, the producers of Dreamgirls have finally found their Effie White. Though Beyonce has been cast in the Diana Ross stand-in role in Bill Condon's feature version of the Broadway show for, like, ever, up until this week there was no firm word on who might flank her as the Dreamettes. Now word is spreading that Condon and co-producer David Geffen have decided on American Idol season three finalist Jennifer Hudson for the role of White. Hudson is a relative newcomer to the discussion; ironically, the name most often bandied about as a candidate for the Effie role was the gal who beat Hudson on AI, Fantasia Barrino. As Lloyd Grove reports, Fantasia was at one point considered a lock for a role in the film; Denzel Washington reportedly directed her screen test, and even offered to do a cameo if she was cast. Speaking to the Daily News, Hudson confirms that even she was surprised to edge out Barrino. "I was sure Fantasia got it," she said. "But they said they wanted me. They said I was born for this." We'll find out soon enough – rehearsals are rumored to begin in a couple of weeks.