Who is Idol's 'crying girl' and where did she come from?

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Mar 22nd 2007 10:39AM
Ashley Ferl weeps for her Idols.Immediately following Tuesday night's show, many commenters and bloggers were speculating that the "little girl who cried" was "a plant" or an actress paid by either Sanjaya's family or the show's producers. Others surmised that she was merely one of the executive producer's kids or special guests getting some extra screen time.

Turns out she is 13-year-old Ashley Ferl from Riverside, California. Apparently, Ashley and her mom had gotten tickets for a taping of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. Their tickets allowed them to attend a dress rehearsal for Idol. Ashley began the waterworks during the rehearsals, was spotted by a producer, and was offered prime seats for Tuesday's show.

While Idol's cameras focused on Ashley during Sanjaya's performance, making it appear that he was her favorite, she apparently cried throughout the show. She also told the Los Angeles Times that she supports Sanjaya, Melinda, Gina, and Jordin all equally.

So why exactly did Idol give Ashley so much camera time and attention, even bringing her up on stage for a group hug? Well, it gave us all something to talk about, didn't it? It created some live, unscripted drama. And it clearly boosted Sanjaya's ego. But for the audience at home, it also felt like a stunt. Many people questioned its authenticity. Have we really become such a cynical society that we now mistrust the tears of little girls?

I think that in any other arena, Ashley's tears would have seemed sweet and sincere. But in Idol's big glaring arena, it all appeared a bit staged and fake. Wasn't it convenient that a young girl, resembling Marcia Brady, cried hysterically during British Invasion week?

I just wonder how this emotional little girl, who can't control her tears in the presence of her Idols, is handling all of this press and newfound notoriety.

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Aaron

This girl is for real. She was at the American Idol finals, and when Diana DeGarmo gave her an autograph and posed for a picture with her, she cried like crazy. Seriously. I even got a picture, which will be on my blog at myspace in the next day or two. (Just look up "aaronkillian" to find it!)

I even had my picture taken with her. Unfortunately, she didn't cry for me. :(

All the best,
~Aaron~

May 27 2007 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

"Have we really become such a cynical society that we now mistrust the tears of little girls?"

I agree. That fact that Americans are suspicious of everything, yes EVERYTHING, including this. makes it very clear as to why your country is such a mess, and why you are always at war with somebody, including each other.
Perhaps you shouldn't read so much into this. Turn off your T.V., it might be for the good of your nation.

May 15 2007 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adron

Sanjaya mentioned on an interview on the Tonight show. He didn't know anyone had enough water in their bodies to cry for 5 hours straight (as stated: she also attended the rehearsals before the show and cried the whole time).

April 21 2007 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kalissa

Where can I see a video clip of this? I totally missed the show that night!

April 05 2007 at 9:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shotatfame8

I would like to hereby suggest SingingCoyote.com for your evaluation, hence compare to Idol's talent ...

Sarah
La Jolla, CA

March 29 2007 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jerry

what a let down, not only does Sanjaya sing like shit, now, with his hair like it was the other night, his head looks like it just came out of somebodys ass

March 29 2007 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Franny

Hey- give Sanjaya a break. He adds fun and spirit to American Idol. He is the underdog but he is very fun to watch. He is just a kid with a dream. Let him live it and leave him alone.

March 28 2007 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jackie

I agree with previous comments. I am very disappointed in this year's Idol show. I've really enjoyed the show in other years and have participated in the voting each season.The problem of voting has to be revised or they are going to lose an lot of viewers. Either convert to a 50/public vote and 50/ judges vote or limit the number of calls accepted from one telephone number to no more than four or five calls. As long as there are sickos who get their kicks out of spoiling a valid contest by promoting voting in large numbers for the worst performer or the manipulator who ties up the line for legitimate voters by automatically dialing in the 100s of calls, the show producers need to change the system.

March 28 2007 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie

I don't dislike Sanjaya as a person, but he is not in the same league as the other singers that are left on AI. Now, as far as I am concerned Sanjaya & Haley should not be in the top 10...not at all. Sundance & Stephanie should still be there not Haley & Sanjaya. I think, even they are surprised they are still standing. People are not voting as a competition, they are voting because they like their personalities, they way they look or whether they like Howard Stern or not....(which is totally stupid in my opinion.) That is not fair to the ones who really can sing. My top three are Melinda, Lakisha and Jordin....Blake is the best male vocalist, I think. Come on America, do the right thing, send Sanjaya home, stop making fun of him...it's not right. I think even he wants to go home....it's too much for Sanjaya and Haley to stay on the show, they know their not good enough. As far as the little girl who cried on last weeks show, it was probably staged by someone. I mean, what in the world did she have to cry about....being excited is one thing, crying another. Someone should have gotten her out of there if she felt that bad. Were those happy tears or sad tears? People made fun of her too..and that's sad. This is not supposed to be a show to make fun of people...it's supposed to be a competition to show how much talent we have and then we pick a winner...remember?!?!?!

March 27 2007 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kerri

I think its finally biting the Judges in the butt! They turn away real talent for someone with hair or is young lets face it "the girls are going to like you" Now that person who cannot sing is getting popularity votes not talent votes. I know several people who have tired out for AI and they are very good singers a lot better then a lot who made it to hollyweird this year. Their try out was all TV if you didn't have some sad story or if you were not a freak you didn't make it. My family and I have watched AI since season 1 but we all agree this is the worst season its become to commercial its not about the best singer its about the ratings and making money for AT&T. If Melinda Doolitle doesn't win there is a big problem! This is our last year to watch ... if we even finish the year!

March 27 2007 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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