Asia'h Epperson, Joplin, one of 12 remaining female contestants in this year's American Idol competition is featured in an article in today's Springfield News-Leader:
Epperson has been featured more prominently on "Idol" to date than Yeager. Regular viewers know the teen learned her father was killed in a car accident just days before she auditioned in Atlanta.
Folks in Joplin are following her progress closely, says Jamie Lofland, general manager for area Curves fitness centers. Last spring, Epperson worked as a fitness coach at the Webb City location.
"I've always watched 'American Idol,' but it's really exciting this year," Lofland says.
Other women at Curves feel the same, she says: "Everyone's watching it and trying to figure what we need to do to get everyone to vote."
Lofland says Epperson loves to sing and that she participated in local competitions.
"She has a very bubbly personality. I always said if she made it to 'American Idol,' America would fall in love with her," she says.
Epperson has also worked as a waitress in Joplin.
"We've all been extremely excited to see her on TV," says Paul Stephens, general manager at Garfield's restaurant, where Epperson worked for a couple of months. "Everybody's pretty pumped up for her."
Stephens and his wife watched the show last week.
"I've heard her sing in the store," he says. "She's got a beautiful voice."