16-year-old Conway, whose parents are former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway and Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway, quickly became a trending topic on Twitter Monday night after she was featured in a commercial for the singing competition show.
“American Idol” then confirmed Conway’s appearance, writing: “You heard that right. @ClaudiaMConwayy is looking for a golden ticket. Find out Sunday if she has what it takes to be #TheNextIdol on #AmericanIdol.”
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) February 9, 2021
The show’s account also shared a 30-second teaser of Conway’s audition. “I’m very nervous but very excited,” Conway says in the beginning of the clip. The show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, then says in a voiceover: “She’s a social media sensation… but will she get a ticket to Hollywood?”
During the teaser, Conway can also be heard introducing herself to judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. “I’m Claudia Conway. My parents are high profile political figures,” she says. But, the video leaves fans guessing, with Perry telling Conway in a matter-of-fact tone, “We want an American Idol.”
After she started trending on Twitter, Conway posted a video on TikTok explaining her appearance on the show and her musical background.
“I know I made a video in November saying I was auditioning, I did audition and it will be on air this Sunday, Feb. 14. I’ve been singing my whole life, I grew up in musical theater. Music has been one of the pillars in my life and I wouldn’t be here without it,” Conway says. “I play about eight instruments. I’ve just been doing it since I could walk. They saw a video I posted as a joke of me singing and they were like, ‘Hey, do you want to audition?’ and I was like, ‘Oh shit, yeah.’ Because who wouldn’t? So everyone thinks that this is a publicity stunt or me trying to be like, whatever, but no – music is my passion.”
sorry i sound weird i’m a little sick but yes my audition will air on sunday 🤎
As Seacrest stated, Conway has become a social media star over the past year, particularly on the platform TikTok, where she has 1.7 million followers. She is best known for her vocal stance against Trump and openness about her family life, with some of her videos sparking concern about her safety and even calls and emails to authorities.
It’s not the first time that “Idol” has intersected with American politics. In Season 5 in 2006 — AKA, the season of Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee and Kellie Pickler — Ayla Brown, the daughter of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, looked like an early favorite in the competition. Brown made it through to Hollywood Week, and then to the semi-finals, but failed to make the Top 12. (And Senator Brown would soon be unseated by Elizabeth Warren as well.)
Conway first hinted at her appearance on “American Idol” on Nov. 15, when she posted a video of her during the audition, which was also used in the show’s teaser. “Hey guys, I’m here at ‘American Idol’ confessional,” Conway says in the TikTok. “I met Ryan Seacrest today and I have my audition soon, so stay tuned for that.”
@americanidol shoutout to anhie
“American Idol” premieres on Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT on ABC.
Kate Aurthur contributed to this report.