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Robert Morast, Published February 20 2009

‘American Idol’ hopeful stirs up gossip

We still have a few days before former Fargoan Jesse Langseth will find out if the “American Idol” audience likes her enough to send Jonny Lang’s younger sister into the singing competition’s round of final 12.

But before that tense moment is stretched out over 15 or 20 agonizing minutes of manufactured drama Wednesday night on Fox, there’s enough minor drama swirling around Langseth to suggest the Minneapolis resident could be out of TV’s hottest singing competition faster than a tone-deaf accountant. Once again, this possibility comes courtesy the “C” word.

Con-tro-ver-sy.

Earlier this week the Internet’s celebrity gossip grid was buzzing with the revelation that Langseth is this year’s “Idol” bad girl, pegged as an “ex-con.”

The buzz grew after TMZ.com first reported that Langseth was previously arrested for DWI, spent four days in jail and was placed on two years of probation.

The gracious site also posted her mug shot, which shows a teary, blond Langseth sporting a nose piercing.

The Star Tribune newspaper followed with a report stating the arrest came in August 2007 in the Twin Cities’ St. Louis Park area and that Langseth had a blood-alcohol content of 0.20 percent.

Apparently, she also was released from her probation this past December.

Still, that didn’t stop various Web sites from making cracks about Langseth being an experienced bare-knuckled brawler or that the “Idol” judges might want to keep their eyes out for sharpened toothbrushes.

But, at least as of yet, the news of Langseth’s past doesn’t seem to be hurting her too much.

She hasn’t been kicked off the show – unlike Joanna Pacitti, who was booted from “Idol” earlier this month for connections to a former manager now involved in the production of “Idol.”

And the news of Langseth’s criminal past came out at the right time. In these days of disposable information, many people will have forgotten the DWI when they cast their votes after Wednesday night’s “Idol” performance. They’ll simply focus on the redheaded singer’s vocal skills. Or so she hopes.

Regardless of the fairness of digging into Langseth’s past to judge her today, this is popular news.

And in the interest of full disclosure, there are a few other tidbits about Langseth that have come out in recent days and weeks.

For instance:

- According to a records search, Langseth doesn’t have a concealed weapons permit or own a watercraft.

- Langseth considers eating a steak while watching TV the most relaxing act a human can do.

- In a video on www.americanidol.com, she pronounced “knowledge” with a “k” sound, like “kuh-nowledge.” It was a joke, though. She’s doesn’t come off as stupid or ditzy, at all.

- She has a plate and 10 screws in her right ankle.

- And though her “Idol” bio says Langseth is 25, her birth records (born December 1982) say she’s 26.

Oh, and people are raving about her Angelina Jolie-like lips. Ultimately, those popular lips will probably have more effect on her “Idol” status than anything else – including her bluesy singing.

On TV


Robert Morast has a plate and eight screws in his left arm. He can be reached at (701) 241-5518 or rmorast@forumcomm.com