Carmen Rasmusen (born March 25, 1985 in Edmonton, Alberta) is a Canadian-born American country music artist who ranked sixth on the second season of American Idol in 2003. Rasmusen also plays piano and guitar.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

Rasmusen was born on March 25, 1985; she is of Norwegian heritage and is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The second of four children, Rasmusen has been performing in public since the age of five: singing, dancing (including cheerleading, tap, ballet and hip-hop dance), and playing the piano.

She graduated from Woods Cross High School in Northern Utah in 2003, and is an alumna of Brigham Young University.

American Idol[edit | edit source]

Rasmusen auditioned initially in Los Angeles and was put through to Hollywood. She was originally eliminated by the judges during the Top 100 stage. In a surprise move, Rasmusen and three other young female singers were brought back to compete in the Wild Card show. No clear reason was made public, but speculation at the time centered on the show's producers wanting to provide a greater demographic diversity in the Final 12.

Rasmusen performed "Can't Fight the Moonlight" by LeAnn Rimes for her Wild Card performance. Although the judges, including Simon Cowell, opined that it was not a good enough performance to advance, the next night Cowell, noticing her potential after watching the show back, chose her as his "judge's choice" to move into the Top 12. Carmen survived for seven weeks in the finals, earning generally mixed reviews from the judges throughout her stay. Her performances of "You Can't Hurry Love" and "Turn the Beat Around" received relatively high marks from both judges and viewers, while her rendition of Blondie's "Call Me" during Billboard #1 Hits Night drew brickbats. Judge Randy Jackson was often one of her harshest critics.

Rasmusen was praised by her fans as having a wholesome, girlish appeal and for refusing to wear outfits she thought were inappropriate for her. Fans also cited her on-stage energy and strong vocal projection. Detractors pointed to her recurring difficulty in controlling her natural vibrato and her tendency to yodel when changing registers. She was also one of the most outspoken defenders of the show among the second season finalists in the wake of the scandal involving Corey Clark's allegations regarding Paula Abdul.

As the only contestant in the second season under the age of eighteen, she had to spend three hours a day with an on-set tutor. Her mother had to accompany her with the other contestants to the special American Idol house, where they all lived during the competition. Rasmusen was friends with several of the contestants, her closest friend being Clay Aiken, who thanked her in the liner notes of his 2003 debut album Measure of A Man.

Post Idol[edit | edit source]

After her elimination she went on to appear in numerous shows promoting American Idol and she appeared on the last episode of the second season singing with the other finalists. Rasmusen also appeared on the American Idol Season 2: All-Time Classic American Love Songs singing "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes.

Rasmusen got to sing the holiday classic "Silver Bells" with Clay Aiken when his Joyful Noise tour came to Salt Lake City in November 2004.

Ater releasing an EP, Carmen, in 2004, Rasmusen signed a deal with Lofton Creek Records and released her debut album, Nothin' Like the Summer, in 2007. The music video for the title track was directed by Roman White, who has directed music videos for various artists like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.

In June 2008 Carmen starred as one of the headliners for a live music show in Branson, MO, called America's Favorite Finalists. The show featured six top 12 American Idol Finalists performing their own music, cover songs and group numbers. The show ran at the Grand Palace.

Personal Life[edit | edit source]

Rasmusen has been married to Bradley Herbert, the son of Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert, since December 2005. The couple have two sons, Boston(born in 2008) and Beckham(born in 2010).

Discography[edit | edit source]


  •  Carmen (2004)


  •  Nothin' Like the Summer (2007)
Season 2
Ruben Studdard  · Clay Aiken  · Kimberley Locke  · Josh Gracin · Trenyce  · Carmen Rasmusen  · Kimberly Caldwell  · Rickey Smith  · Corey Clark  · Julia DeMato  · Charles Grigsby  · Vanessa Olivarez
Aliceyn Cooney  · Chip Days  · Janine Falsone  · Olivia Mojica  · Nasheka Siddall  · Juanita Barber  · Sylvia Chibiliti  · Ashley Hartman  · Patrick Lake  · Samantha Cohen  · Equoia Coleman  · Lou Gazzara  · Kimberly Kelsey  · Jordan Segundo  · George Trice  · Rebecca Bond  · Candice Coleman  · Jennifer Fuentes  · Hadas  · Jacob John Smalley  · J.D. Adams  · Meosha Denton  · Patrick Fortson  · Bettis Richardson
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