American Idol has closed the book on the beautiful mess that is auditions, meaning it’s time to head to Hollywood — and check in on Claudia Conway, who earned her very own golden ticket a few weeks ago. Claudia debuted a new brown-haired look in Hollywood, which she called “a little change,” but judge Katy Perry dubbed “a transformation.” “I’ve been trying to establish my own identity for a while,” she added in a confessional, before her performance of Bishop Briggs’s “River.” Claudia’s rendition earned a standing ovation from her mother Kellyanne, who, yes, was in the audience supporting her daughter (or just saving face on live TV after allegedly leaking a topless photo of her daughter in January). Host Ryan Seacrest alluded to Kellyanne as “no stranger to voting, something fundamental to the Idol process,” which is certainly a way to spin working for the Trump administration. “It is okay for you to have different views than the people you love,” Claudia added ahead of the performance. (And those views aren’t just political, as we saw Kellyanne tell Claudia her singing was flat ahead of the performance.)
After Claudia made it to the next round, Kellyanne gave her daughter an enthusiastic hug — before taking the chance to prove her own musical bona fides, as one does in Hollywood. “She thinks I can’t sing,” she said, launching into a few bars of Alicia Keys’s “Girl on Fire.” Be glad that part didn’t make the clip below.
Update, March 23: Well, at least you won’t have to hear Kellyanne singing anymore. Claudia was eliminated during the second episode of American Idol’s Hollywood Week, which aired on March 22, after duetting Harry Styles’s “Sign of the Times” with fellow teen contestant Hannah Everhart. (“She’s apparently TikTok famous … but I didn’t know that, ’cause I don’t stay on TikTok,” Everhart said after finding out her duet partner.) “Claudia, you’re just coming to life — I can see it in you,” Katy Perry said, announcing Claudia’s elimination. “And you’re taking control of your life. I applaud you for that.” And Everhart, who made it through, added, “You’re a really wonderful person, and I wish you the best of luck on whatever route you take, ’cause you’re already in a great spot.”