By Allen Payton
Watching with anticipation at the Antioch home of Ashley Morgan’s parents, Keith and Patti, they, plus a group of family friends, as well as her brother Stephen and his wife Becky, cheered when she came on first, on Tuesday night’s showing of The Voice musical competition television show.
Before the show began, Patti distributed poppers and small toot horns for everyone to use when and if at least one of the four judges turned their chair around, signaling Ashley’s advancement to the next round.
With raised hands, and squeals of excitement, Keith and Patti, expressed their excitement, even though it was the second time they watched. They both traveled to Southern California and were in attendance during Ashley’s performance before the judges.
Following her performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” made famous by the late Whitney Houston, both country music star Blake Shelton and singer, songwriter Pharrell Williams turned their chairs around, indicating they wanted her on their teams.
Ashley received positive comments from the judges.
“You were hitting some notes, let me tell you,” said pop star Christina Aguilera. “That was no joke, Ashley.”
“When she goes back to the theme park she’ll be the headliner,” Shelton stated.
“There’s nobody like you in this competition,” he said, hoping to coax her onto his team. “This is your chance to become Ashley the artist in front of millions of people, by the way. I have not been this excited about an artist on this stage in a long time. I love you.”
“You cannot buy that type of training,” Williams said. “What kind of music do you want to make?” Ashley responded “I’m still figuring out who I am as an artist. But, I do want to make music that has an impact and makes a difference in the world.”
Then she chose Williams as her coach for the competition.
“She’s an all American. She can win,” Shelton added, as Ashley left the stage, even though he couldn’t convince her to choose him for her coach.
Her dad and mom were at the taping of tonight’s episode, and appeared on TV a few times, showing them watching her from their viewing room.
“It was incredible. I am ecstatic, happy, pleased, proud but not surprised,” her father, Keith said, after watching, tonight. “It was just as thrilling as the first time, even though I knew what was going to happen.”
Her mom was more focused on the future.
“I’m excited for her, for the adventure and the journey she’s been given right, now,” Patti said. “We’ll see where it takes her in the next round, which is the Battle Rounds.”
Ashley’s voice teacher Nuhad Levasseur, who taught her for 12 years.
“I think she was absolutely incredible, tonight,” she said. “I felt so proud to have been her voice teacher all those years. We still talk and are still really close.”
“She always had amazing work ethic in her singing and was always very focused on wanting to make it in the industry,” Levasseur shared. “She’s definitely on her way. She has the talent to be a big star one day.”
Ashley’s older brother Stephen said “She knocked it out of the park. She killed it! Great song choice. It fit her voice very well.”
“I’m very proud of her,” he added.
Her oldest brother David wasn’t at the party, but watched from home with his family and had a teasing, tongue-in-cheek comment on Facebook, just like big brothers do.
“All of Facebook is talking about this Ashley chick,” he wrote. “She’s pretty good, I guess! Proud to know her.”
The next round of the competition on The Voice will be shown next Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC at 8:00 p.m.
To watch her performance on Tuesday night’s show, it’s available on YouTube, by clicking here.
Ashley is a 2006 graduate of Antioch High School and a 2010 graduate of Azusa Pacific University in Music Business. She now lives in Costa Mesa, California.
To learn more about Ashley, read an earlier Herald article here or visit The Voice’s website at www.nbc.com/the-voice/artists/season-8/ashley-morgan.