Crying Ashley Ferl is America’s newest media obsession

American Idol 6 has a new star, and she never even auditioned. Ashley Ferl, who was first introduced to the world as she bawled over Sanjaya from the audience on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times sent a reporter to her hometown to talk to people who only sort-of know her, MTV says she’s the new David Hasselhoff (at least in terms of people who get press for crying on Idol), and she’s already the subject of satirical news.

The 13-year-old is also doing the rounds in the media, and was interviewed by Access Hollywood. On the show, she said she didn’t leave the FOX show’s set empty-handed. “I got all their autographs. I got earrings from Paula Abdul. They’re like hearts,” she said. Tragically, she adds, “I don’t have my ears pierced.”

She’s unabashedly rooting for Sanjaya, the contestant who’s inspired some people to starve themselves until he’s voted off, because of “His voice and his hair and his personality, just everything. He’s just like — phenomenal.” She tells people who disagree, “‘you’re wrong.’ Or, I ignore them.”

She also was on The Today Show Thursday morning, where she proved to be shy and “seems somewhat embarrassed by” the attention. Her mom said on the show that Ashley’s crying “may have had something to do with” Sanjaya’s survival. Perhaps; it definitely wasn’t his singing.

Searching for ‘Idol’s’ crying girl in Riverside [Los Angeles Times]
Move Over, David Hasselhoff — ‘Idol’ Has A New Star Crier [MTV]
Ashley Ferl is ‘American Idol’s’ biggest fan [Access Hollywood]
Dreams do come true for ‘Idol’ fan [Today]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.