Four Minnesotans, including a sister of blues prodigy Jonny Lang, advanced out of last year's auditions for the current season of "American Idol."
The Fox show's website says that Jesse Langseth is among the competitors on the eighth season of the talent search show. Various "spoiler" websites list her and another Minnesota woman as among the final 36 competing to be America's next "Idol." The other two, apparently, have not been so lucky.
Langseth, 26, auditioned last year in Kansas City, said Doug Carlson, a friend of the family and a former next-door neighbor to Lang and his father in Orono.
"She's not out there broadcasting that she's in Jonny Lang's family," said Carlson, who is best friends with the singing siblings' father.
Lang, 28, broke in big in 1997 as a teenager from North Dakota, shaking up the music scene with his guitar licks and bluesy grit.
Carlson said that while Langseth is not quite the guitar player that Lang is, "she can really rock 'n' roll -- a tremendous vocalist" and has performed at "virtually every outpost" in the Twin Cities, including the Cabooze and Bunkers.
Carlson didn't know what song Langseth performed at her audition, adding that the family is under strict orders from the show not to disclose anything. Her audition was not aired on the Kansas City segment of "American Idol," which was broadcast in mid-January.
In a video on the show's website, Langseth said she was surprised that she advanced out of the audition. "When they finally cast that vote that I could go, I was freaking out," she said. "It was great."
The other Minnesotan believed to be still in the hunt is Casey Carlson, 20, of Eden Prairie. Carlson, a University of Minnesota student, also auditioned in Kansas City. Her performance of Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" was telecast.
Two other Twin Citians, according to the show's website, also won positive votes from the judges in their auditions. However, the spoiler websites don't include their names as remaining in the running. They are Nathaniel Asake, who auditioned in New York, and Bryan Peterson, who auditioned in Phoenix.
Those who moved on from the auditions performed later in Hollywood as the elimination process continued. "American Idol" officially reveals its final three dozen starting next week.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482