Names to follow on 'Idol' with area ties

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 27, 2011 - 6:32 PM
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Steve Beguhn

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Repeat "American Idol" contestant Matt Sato of Maplewood has earned his "Golden Ticket" to Hollywood during auditions in Milwaukee that were the focus of the reality show's episode Wednesday night.

However, Sato's winning appearance before judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson was not among those aired on Fox TV, Channel 9. Soto, 20, sang "Flying without Wings," by season 2 "Idol" winner Ruben Studdard, and "Ain't No Sunshine," by Bill Withers.

Sato, who graduated from North St. Paul High School, also made it to Hollywood in 2007 on "Idol" out of Twin Cities auditions, but was cut in the group rounds.

Wednesday's viewers did get to see the judges affirm the talents of accountant Steve Beguhn, who lived in Bloomington for about three years until moving to the Milwaukee area in September. The Rice Lake native advanced by singing a slice of "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" by the Script.

On the season debut a week earlier, 2003 Hudson High School grad Caleb Hawley nabbed his Golden Ticket with Ray Charles' "Hallelujah, I Love Her So." Hawley, 25, has lived in New York for the past four years.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Beguhn, in a brief exchange with the judges before he performed, joked about his name -- pronounced "big-goon" -- and took a ribbing for his rather less-than-thrilling career choice. He's done some small-town theater work, performing in musicals and was a member of the MadHatters, an acclaimed a capella group, while attending the University of Wisconsin. More recently, he has been singing at weddings and funerals.

PAUL WALSH

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