ABC clearly knocked on Conways as a draw for the show’s fourth season on the network; they promoted Claudia, 16, in several commercials that led up to the Sunday night two-hour broadcast, which also featured her father, George and Kellyanne. An advertisement, tweeted out by Kellyanne and Claudia, described the teenager as a “sensation on social media” whose parents were “high-profile political figures.”
Last summer, Claudia received many headlines for viral tweets and TikToks that were critical of her parents and former President Donald Trump. In August Kellyanne left the White House, where she was a senior counselor and said in a statement that she would spend more time with her children. George also announced that he was leaving The Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republicans. Claudia then went on to write about her strained relationship with her parents to her 1.7 million followers on TikTok, documenting a number of their controversial video interactions.
“Idol” judge Katy Perry was apparently aware of some of this (or at least had been briefed) when she looked worried when Claudia went in for her audition, which was filmed In November.
“Uh – hey,” Perry said. “Are you okay?”
Claudia lo. “No,” she said. “But yes, I’m good.”
“Yes and no?” Perry pressed.
“Yes,” Claudia agreed.
“What am I missing?” Asked Judge Luke Bryan and looked hopelessly confused.
Claudia introduced herself: “My mother is Kellyanne Conway. She worked for Donald Trump. And my father is George Conway. He’s a lawyer. He worked against Donald Trump. ”
“Wow,” the judges mumbled at the same time.
“It’s a lot, but you know, I just want to spread love, and I love a compromise,” Claudia said. “And I agree to disagree with my mother and my father.”
In a pre-recorded segment, Claudia explained more of her background story: “When your mother works for the President of the United States, with whom you strongly disagree, it’s really hard.” The producers then showed Claudia in a room where attendees can talk to family and friends on video (a limited number of followers are allowed in auditions this season due to pandemic precautions) and featured Kellyanne giving her daughter a pep talk.
Claudia added that she finally felt her voice was heard through social media, even though the Internet “can be a very, very dark place.” “But when life goes downhill, I have my music,” she said. “Now I want to get out of the controversy, get out of the drama, get out of politics anything and let people know that I’m a singer and that’s what I want to do.
Claudia started with Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain”, though the nerves got the best of her, and she stopped at one point to take off her uncomfortable shoes. She offered to sing another song, Adele’s “When We Were Young,” and Perry encouraged her to think about her difficult past while performing.
“It’s like you lost your youth because you were not able to experience it alone without all this noise,” she said. “Your father is your father, your mother is your mother. Who is Claudia? You must calm the storm that is around you.”
Claudia tried again and the judges were much more approved. Cameras showed a shot of George on the other side of the door, strangled as he said, “I could not imagine anything that would make her happier than doing this.”
Afterwards, Bryan said Claudia sold her feelings “really, really well,” even though her reach was limited; Lionel Richie added that he was much more impressed with the second song. Perry urged her to stop reading comments on social media.
In the end, Bryan voted no, though Perry and Richie voted yes and sent her through to the Hollywood Finals, which airs in several weeks. “I think what you’re doing right now is stepping forward and announcing who you are. You selected music. I want to give you a shot at music, ”Richie said. They invited George into the room to celebrate.
“Claudia, you’re not going to DC, honey. You’re going straight to Hollywood! “Announced Perry. Claudia took her golden ticket and went to the video room to share the news with Kellyanne, who cheered and said she was very proud.
Back inside, the judges discussed their enthusiasm for sending Claudia through. “God, I love this job,” Bryan said happily without repeating the producers and network executives who are excited that they will get even more attention and likely trigger controversy for having included her on the show.
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