Minnesotan Jesse Langseth out of Idol finals, but she could return
Jesse Langseth's run on "American Idol" could be over.
The former Fargoan, single mom and potential next big pop music thang did not receive enough votes to advance to the finals of Fox's uber-popular singing competition/reality show.
Rather, she smiled while being ushered off the stage and to a seat Thursday night as Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert moved on to "Idol's" finals after receiving the most phone calls and texts from "Idol" viewers.
The end marks a run that saw Jonny Lang's kid sister slide through the Hollywood round with little fanfare, some minor tabloid drama and a voice that sounds more suited to organic environments like smoky bars than the auto-tuned, overwrought world of melodramatic pop music.
While Langseth's dismissal from the stage Thursday night signaled an end, she's not entirely out of the running to be the next American Idol. There's a small chance she could return during "Idol's" wild card round. Judge Simon Cowell said they'll be bringing back selected singers who might have selected bad songs during their group auditions. Langseth would fall in that category.
Her decision to sing Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" and its limited five-note range Wednesday night was still the topic of discussion Thursday night. Early in the episode, host Ryan Seacrest even singled out Langseth as an example of poor song choice.
If it is over, Langseth's "Idol" run served as a chance to redefine her career and wipe away the blues music associations that colored her career.
Partly because of her relation to older brother Jonny - a former blues wunderkind - and partly because she spent the middle section of this decade touring regional clubs as the blues-rock act Jesse Lang, Langseth was pegged as a second- or third-rate contemporary blues act in a genre that has few stars.
But with the mark of "Idol" now stamped on her resume, Langseth has so much more star power than she did as a younger, female take on her brother's popular act.
Don't expect Langseth to move to Los Angeles and set up camp in the future music stars career line. As a single mother with an 8-year-old daughter, Jonesey, she has real-life responsibilities. Plus, in recent years Langseth gave up her touring music gig.
"Things were not going in a direction that she was happy with," says older sister Heidi Jo Langseth. "She wanted to focus on writing and wanted to be normal for a while."
We'll see if she chooses normal or another run at stardom by cashing in her newfound bankability.