Claudia Conway debuted “American Idol” Sunday with appearances from both the 16-year-old’s famous parents and judge Katy Perry quizzing her about her well-being.
The teenager was joined by her father, Republican lawyer George Conway, while mother Kellyanne Conway showed up via video call before and after Claudia – spoiler alarm – reached the next round of auditions. She first sang Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain,” but when that failed to impress the panel, she went to Adele’s “When We Were Young.” Judges Perry and Lionel Ritchie voted her through. Luke Bryan declined.
There was a focus on Conway’s backstory and well-being, where Perry asked, “Are you okay?” and give her a pepper talk about finding herself in the middle of “noise” in her parents’ public life.
Asked if she was okay, Conway initially replied, “No” – but then added, “No, but yes, I’m good.”
When Perry suggested that reality was more “yes and no,” Conway said, “Yes.”
What’s it worth, Bryan did not seem to recognize Conway or know her background story – as the teenager explained in a pre-recorded interview: “When your mother works for the President of the United States, with whom you strongly disagree, it is really difficult. ”
Still, the air momentum drew harsh criticism, both in op-eds and social media posts. Numerous media figures and critics questioned whether ABC “exploits” the teenager and her explosive privacy, which has often been made public through her TikTok videos. Others warned against tweeting or commenting harshly on the actions of such a young girl.
Conway’s “American Idol” look was teased in an advertisement last week, though she herself first revealed that she had an audition for the lengthy singing competition at TikTok in November, as 16-year-olds do. Also on TikTok in recent months, she suggested that her mother is verbally violent and reacted claims that her mother, a former figure in Donald Trump’s administration, posted a topless photo of her on her Twitter account. (Local police in Alpine, New Jersey, launched an investigation into the photo leak.)
Last Monday, she posted the follow-up TikToks, when she started trending on Twitter and revealed: “I have been singing all my life. I grew up in musical theater. Music has been one of the pillars of my life and I would not be here without it. I play about eight instruments. I’ve just been doing it since I could walk. ”
She denied that her appearance is “an advertising stunt” and she is “a joke because of [her] parents or whatever, “but noted that” American Idol “reached out to her after watching a video she sent of herself.
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