Fans of ABC’s hit singing competition series American Idol likely saw a familiar face Monday night when the season four trailer dropped. The audition montage contained a brief clip of 16-year-old Claudia Conway’s audition. The commercial, which features a “very nervous but very excited” Conway, set off a firestorm of tweets in its wake that largely speculated on the validity of the abuse allegations the teen has made involving politically opposite parents George and Kellyanne Conway. For the past few months, the teen has been sharing TikTok videos that appear to show abusive behavior by her mother.
Shortly after the commercial aired, American Idol confirmed the news that Conway would be making her debut, in a tweet that had the star’s name trending on Twitter. “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 response to her upcoming season four appearance ran the gamut from alleging the abuse claims were designed as a PR stunt leading up to her role on the show, to making worrisome allusions to the new Britney Spears documentary. Others yet speculated that this was all designed to take some of the heat off of her mother, who was recently alleged to have tweeted a topless photo of the teen.
That moment when thousands of people simultaneously realize that Claudia Conway was playing them the entire time… I told you not to trust that family.
— we survived a coup attempt (@benFranklin2018) February 9, 2021
“I’ve said from day one that the Conways are one collective ‘con.’ This is proof. And pretty gross. On all counts,” read another tweet — from singer Richard Marx of all people.
I’ve said from day one that the Conways are one collective “con.” This is proof. And pretty gross. On all counts. https://t.co/zK7tVyL9QD
— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) February 9, 2021
But for Conway stans, the Idol news should come as no surprise. Conway shared a backstage video in November announcing her intention to audition.
The teen took to TikTok to address both her excitement and the speculation in a video released Monday night in response to the claims that her abuse allegations were made up for clout.
sorry i sound weird i’m a little sick but yes my audition will air on sunday 🤎
“I’ve been singing my whole life; I grew up in musical theater,” she told her fans. “Music has been one of the pillars in my life and I wouldn’t be here without it.” She went on to tell fans that she plays eight instruments, and has been musical since she could walk, which wow. “So everyone thinks that this is a publicity stunt or me trying to be like, whatever, but no — music is my passion.”
While we’re sure that all the social discourse is good business for the ratings of American Idol, we feel compelled to remind the greater social media-verse that this cannot be good for the young girl at the center of this conversation. We cannot possibly know what’s going on behind closed doors in that family. There is no evidence on which to base the claim that an attempt to start her career somehow means that her allegations are anything less than true. What’s more, speculation of this kind can be very damaging (and dangerous) for both her and others in similar positions who may now find themselves afraid to speak out about what is happening at home.
If you or someone you know is being abused, you can report it by calling 911 or The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453).
Keep your teens safe with these face masks.