Front-Runner Ashley Hess Impresses Judges With 'Don't Know Why' Audition

Front-Runner Ashley Hess Impresses Judges With 'Don't Know Why' Audition

27-year-old Ashley Hess sets herself apart from the competition with her noteworthy audition of ‘Don’t Know Why’ from Norah Jones. Despite her obvious talent for music, Ashley got a late start on her dream.


After high school, she thought the wanted to be a dental hygienist but soon found out that that career path was not fulfilling. She always had a heart for music, but her more practical side kept telling her to stick with a safe and stable profession.

“I feel like I’m split down the middle, like a dreamer and a realist. It’s just been this battle of ‘Oh, do I do something that’s riskier or do I do something that makes a little more sense?’
But that side of me that wants to take the risk has never really gone away.”

Today, Ashley decided to step out of her comfort zone and audition for American Idol. She started off quite timid and doubtful of her own skill. But as soon as she sat down at the piano and started to play ‘Don’t Know Why’ from Norah Jones, her remarkable talent emerged.

“I waited 'til I saw the sun
I don't know why I didn't come
I left you by the house of fun
I don't know why I didn't come
I don't know why I didn't come”

Ashley had barely gotten to the chorus when judge Luke Bryan spotted the performance. He instructed his fellow judges to move closer to the piano so that they could all bask in this incredible musician.

After the song finished, Ashley was in complete disbelief. One by one, the judges told this young woman how much talent she has and that she is easily a front-runner in this competition. Katy Perry even remarked that she wanted to scream at Ashley and say, “You could win this competition. Wake up!”

Hopefully, this audition is the spark of confidence that she needs to go all the way. But first, Ashley is on her way to Hollywood for the next round of American Idol.