CLAUDIA Conway, the teenage daughter of former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Filipino American conservative lawyer George Conway, is advancing to the next round of “American Idol.”
The 16-year-old — who made headlines last year for her viral TikToks criticizing her mother’s job and former President Donald Trump — received a golden ticket during the show’s season 19 premiere on Sunday night, February 14.
For her audition, Claudia sang Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain,” but was cut off by judge Katy Perry, who asked her to sing a different song.
She went on to perform Adele’s “When We Were Young,” which received mixed reviews from the panel.
AI judge Luke Bryan noted that her range was “limited,” while Lionel Richie gave her props for choosing music.
Claudia received a ‘no’ from Bryan and a ‘yes’ from Perry and Richie, earning her a golden ticket to Hollywood.
“Claudia, you’re not going to D.C., honey, you’re going straight to Hollywood,” Perry announced.
The high school student’s TikTok account, which has over 1.7 million followers, features videos criticizing the Trump administration, weighing in on social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement, and showing an inside look into her tumultuous relationship with her parents.
“The internet can be a very, very dark place, but when life is all going downhill, I have my music,” said Claudia.
“Now I kind of want to get out of the controversy, get out of the drama, get out of the political whatever, and let people know that I am a singer and that this is what I want to do,” she added.
Perry suggested that Claudia unplug from social media.
“There’s a lot of noise in your life. Before you sing, you need to get off your phone. You need to stop reading your comments. Push it aside. Because if not, you may not ever rise above your dad or your mom. It’s your choice,” the pop star said.
Claudia was accompanied by her father George to the audition, while Kellyanne encouraged her remotely on a large screen when she admitted being nervous for the audition.
“She loves music and I’m really thrilled that she’s here because maybe it gives her an opportunity to pursue it at another level,” George said in an interview outside of the audition room as he wiped away tears. “It makes me happy seeing her here, doing this one way or the other.”
“You should be nervous, honey. It’s a very humbling experience,” said Kellyanne, adding, “But remember, honey, winners are people who are willing to lose.”
In a home video played before the audition, Claudia opened up about her relationship with her high-profile mother.
“When your mom is working for the president of the United States, who you very much disagree with, it’s hard,” she said.
When asked by Perry if her mom still hugs her, Claudia answered: “I mean, yeah, she loves me. I love her. I feel like our relationship’s a little iffy. Most of my life, my feelings had been suppressed, so then I got social media, and I was like ‘Well, damn. Now my voice is being heard.’”
Perry also gave Claudia a pep talk, advising her to “calm the storm that is around you.”
“When you sing this next song, think about when you were young, and go back to that time. There’s a sadness there. It’s like, you lost your youth, because you weren’t able to experience it on your own, without all of this noise,” the AI judge said.
“Your dad’s your dad. Your mom’s your mom. Who is Claudia? You have to calm the storm that is around you, ’cause if you sing like you want to read the social media comments afterwards, you’re only ever gonna be a TikTok star. We want an American Idol,” continued Perry.
“American Idol” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.