A 15-year-old singer from Winthrop may be on her way to becoming the next “American Idol.”

Danielle Pease auditioned for the hit Fox Network talent show in August in New Jersey and impressed the judges enough to make it to the show’s Hollywood rounds. That means she will be one of about 200 people competing in Hollywood for the 20 slots in the show’s semifinals.

The semifinalists are the ones who sing on the show and before the judges each week, trying to win the coveted “American Idol” title and a recording contract.

Pease says she is legally restricted from talking about the show, but she did share some of her thoughts about her “Idol” audition via e-mail Friday.

She said there were more than 20,000 people in line, and she ended up being one of 100 people to sing for the judges. Pease said her nerves “weren’t too bad” as she sang Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.”

“Steven Tyler said, ‘Well, you could use more emotion when you say take it, but you certainly did one thing today.’ I of course said ‘What?’ ” Pease wrote in her e-mail. “He said ‘You took a little piece of my heart.’ He was so sweet.”

Pease said another judge, Jennifer Lopez, called her “cute.” She ended up getting three “yes” votes from the judges.

“Being told you’re going to Hollywood is probably the best feeling in the world,” Pease wrote.

How much of Pease people will see on “American Idol” will depend on how far she makes it. The show’s new season began this week, with two episodes showing glimpses of the auditions that drew thousands of people to locations around the country. Audition episodes will be shown for the next few weeks, with Hollywood episodes beginning on Feb. 16.

Typically, the Hollywood shows include snippets of people performing and rehearsing, but not every contestant is seen.

The 20 semifinalists will be announced Feb. 24. The date of the season finale has not yet been announced.

At 15, Pease already has a lot of singing experience. Until recently, she was a member of the local band Fyve, which played once at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The band also played at a charity softball game in Connecticut where the Jonas Brothers were on the field.

In an interview with The Portland Press Herald in August, Pease said she admires the band Paramore, because of “a great female singer,” as well as the Eagles, because of the harmonies. Pease is now a solo act, playing guitar and piano.

A Mainer made it to Hollywood on “American Idol” last season. Jessica Cunningham, a Bridgton native, was seen on several episodes but was cut before the semifinalists were announced.

“American Idol” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the Fox Network, locally on WPFO (Channel 23). 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: [email protected]