What stood out most at the American Idol auditions Tuesday night? It may not have been the singers.
A little girl named Ashley would not strop crying. FOX cameras would not stop showing her. The young fan even got to hug Sanjaya Malakar.
The family obtained tickets on a website to attend a taping of Smarter Than a 5th Grader, a day passage that included not just the taping of the show itself, but also the dress rehearsal of either Grader or Idol. The fates were kind, and the mother and daughter found their way to the Idol rehearsal, where Ashleyâ€™s waterworks began. Her prowess was quickly brought to the attention of producers, who summoned the clan to a ringside seat of honor at the final taping.
Her powers of speech slowly returning, Ashley revealed that while she was on stage she had been thinking that â€œthis was the coolest thing ever.â€
Asked whom she was supporting in the competition she named â€œSanjaya, Melinda, Gina and Jordinâ€ as her picks, refusing to narrow her vote down to a single choice. It didn't matter how much the reporter probed, Ashley repeated her mantra: â€œAll Four: Sanjaya, Melinda, Gina and Jordin.â€
And so the race begins in earnest, with tears at every step of the way.