Will American Idol Regret Casting Claudia Conway After Backlash?

AMERICAN IDOL Ð "401 (Auditions)" - "American Idol," the iconic series that revolutionized the television landscape by pioneering the music competition genre, will return to airwaves during its season premiere SUNDAY, FEB. 14 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Christopher Willard) GEORGE CONWAY, CLAUDIA CONWAY
(ABC/Christopher Willard) GEORGE CONWAY, CLAUDIA CONWAY

Welp. Recruiting Claudia Conway, Tik Tok star and daughter of political operatives Kellyanne and George Conway may backfire on American Idol.

It’s nearly 3 pm on the east coast and “American Idol” is STILL TRENDING ON TWITTER. I  can’t think of a time during ABC’s incarnation of the show when that’s happened. ABC casts controversial characters on their reality shows to bring the eyeballs and garner attention. See: former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer shaking his ample butt on Dancing with the Stars two years ago.

But will the casting pay off in the long run? Look through the relevant hashtags, and you’ll find quite a backlash to last night’s show. Claudia is only 16 years old. For the most part, folks are NOT directing criticism at her, but to ABC and her parents for exploiting her.

Controversy followed Claudia’s fall audition

Remember that the auditions were filmed last fall. Claudia was already a controversial presence on social media, known for lashing out at her mother. But despite Claudia’s claim during her video package that she wanted to leave the drama behind her, she certainly has not.

There are two incidents in particular that critics note. Recently, Claudia posted audio and video clips of her mother abusing her verbally. Kellyanne actually said that her daughter is lucky that she’s prolife. Then, even worse, a topless photo of Claudia appeared briefly on Kellyanne’s Twitter Fleets. No one has ever offered an explanation of how that happened.

Claudia is obviously a kid who needs help. Social media and appearances on reality TV shows are likely not it.

There are also folks criticizing the network for rehabbing Kellyanne, who worked for an administration that separated migrant children from their families, on purpose, among other controversial policies.

Honestly, I think the “rehab’ may be a byproduct of what American Idol is really after–a buzzy Tik Tok star who will bring attention to the show.

Claudia insists that she’s not a gimmick

Personally, I hate when shows like DWTS cast controversial political figures. I’d prefer that my fun television viewing and interest in politics not mix. But on the other hand, ABC didn’t cast Kellyanne, they cast her daughter. Claudia insists that she’s not a fluke. “…a lot of people think that my being on american idol is a publicity stunt,” Claudia wrote on Twitter. “but i can promise you it is not. i have been vocally trained and in music for most of my life and did this on my own merit :)”

She also insists that her parents didn’t pressure her to appear on the show.

The Claudia controversy overshadowed some truly amazing talent

Putting Claudia aside, I actually feel sorry for the talent on last night’s show. Claudia can carry a tune, but she’s not polished or experienced enough to even sing in front of the judges, let alone move on to Hollywood. I wish this kid the best, I really do. But check out our recap of last night’s show. Folks should be fixated on potential stars like Grace Kinstler, Benson Boone and Nia Renee. The premiere featured a great mix of talent, emotional stories and laughs. However, Claudia’s presence is sucking all the air out of the room.

The Blue Checks speak

Meanwhile, check out some of the responses to last night’s show. A Variety OpEd accused American Idol of using Claudia, while former NBC host Soledad O’Brien slammed American Idol for rehabbing Kellyanne.

About mj santilli 31538 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!