Claudia Conway was asked about her relationship with her mom during her 'American Idol' audition. Here's how their relationship has played out in public.

Margot Harris,Moises Mendez II
·25-min read
KellyanneClaudiaConway
Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images/@datjerseygirl/TikTok
  • Claudia Conway, 16, is the daughter of former Trump adviser, Kellyanne Conway.

  • The teen went viral in June 2020 for her political TikToks and gained a massive following.

  • During her February "American Idol" audition, Katy Perry asked Claudia about her relationship with her mother.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Claudia Conway has made a name for herself on social media platforms, such as TikTok, after posting videos criticizing former President Donald Trump and being in vocal opposition to her mother, Kellyanne Conway, a former senior counselor to Trump. She gained a following after voicing her support for the Black Lives Matter movement and saw another bump in followers after she announced her mother's coronavirus diagnosis.

In other videos, Claudia began to reveal the complicated family dynamics of the Conway household and made explosive claims about her parents.

In February, Claudia appeared in the premiere of season 19 of "American Idol." During her audition, judge Katy Perry questioned Claudia about her relationship with her mother. The 16-year-old said their relationship was "iffy."

After the episode aired, audiences were split as to whether or not they felt ABC "exploited" Conway and "used" her familial drama to draw in more viewers.

Insider hasn't independently verified any of the allegations Claudia Conway had made against her parents. Both Kellyanne and George Conway declined to comment on the record for this article.

Here's a timeline of Claudia Conway's controversial social-media presence.

Claudia Conway became a public figure in her own right when her political TikToks gained traction in June.

ClaudiaConwayTikTok
In a June TikTok video, Conway and two friends held up a banner reading "Black Lives Matter" while dancing to audio repeating "f--- 12," an anti-police slogan. @datjerseygirl/TikTok

While the teenager has been using TikTok for years — she began posting videos on Musical.ly in 2015, before the app was purchased by the Chinese company ByteDance in 2017 and merged with TikTok — her profile drew thousands of new viewers in June when users discovered her political and anti-Trump content.

Conway participated in several trends on the app, including #savebarron, a satirical movement of social-media users hoping to "save" Barron Trump from his father and the White House (the hashtag has generated over 200 million views on TikTok).

In other videos, she voiced her support for the Black Lives Matter movement and encouraged followers to leave one-star reviews of Trump's hotels, golf courses, and restaurants.

The sudden social-media attention pushed Conway's follower count above 31,000 by the end of the month, with several of her videos receiving hundreds of thousands of views. Accordingly, the comments sections of her videos flooded with criticism from Trump supporters calling her social-media presence "disrespectful" and support from newfound fans heralding her "legendary" defiance.

Conway has 1.5 million TikTok followers.

Following the spike in engagement, Conway began to open up about her politics and relationship with her parents.

ClaudiaConwayVideo
In several since-deleted TikToks, Conway mentioned her mother's position in the Trump administration. @TaylorLorenz/Twitter

On June 30, Conway told Insider's Connor Perrett that her TikToks stemmed from her efforts to learn more about politics and move away from her family's conservative ideology.

"I took the time to educate myself and took the time to branch out and be exposed to other sides and other biases and whatnot," she said in a phone interview where her father, George Conway, was present.

Establishing her own identity in the shadow of a famous parent, however, proved to be a challenge.

"Growing up when your mom is Kellyanne Conway, it's really, really hard to disassociate yourself with that image, because people look at me and are like, 'Oh, that's Kellyanne Conway's daughter, she must love Trump.' In reality, I really don't," she said.

The 16-year-old added that she and her parents argued about politics "all the time" and that she felt consistently "shut down" by her "entire family."

Still, she insisted at the time, she viewed her mother as her "best friend" — and she described her parents as "the most generous, well-educated people" who she wished "nothing but success and good fortune."

Conway also said she "respectfully declined" her mother's request to take down the viral videos.

As Conway racked up hundreds of thousands of TikTok followers and received more media attention, she began publicly sparring with her parents online.

George Conway
George Conway condemned media coverage of his daughter, sparking tensions between the two online. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As Conway's view counts and overall visibility skyrocketed, she appeared to clash with her parents — and several of her explicitly political videos also disappeared from her profile.

On July 3, George Conway condemned the media coverage of the teenager's social-media presence, instructing the press to "desist" contacting his daughter — to which she responded, in a since-deleted tweet: "You're just mad that i'm finally getting my voice heard. sorry your marriage failed."

Apparent family tensions escalated when Conway continued tweeting at her parents, asking them to "please stop shutting off my phone."

In July, Conway said she'd stop discussing her family publicly and was being "forced" to delete her social-media profiles.

Claudia Conway Tweet

On July 10, Conway took to Twitter, where she has more than 500,000 followers, to announce that she would no longer discuss her family online, claiming that her father attempted to delete her social-media profiles.

She went on to discourage her followers from sharing their impassioned responses, writing, "no hate to anyone."

In another tweet, Conway clarified that she felt her Twitter account should not be dedicated to speaking about her clashes with her parents.

"You have questions? go ask them," she wrote, adding that the constant speculation about her family and personal life were unappreciated.

Conway made headlines three days later when she announced on Twitter that her parents were "forcing" her to delete social media.

"Apparently, i don't have a platform! it's fake!" she wrote. "love you all so much. keep fighting."

Just two days after posting about her impending departure from social media, Conway posted a TikTok joking about being "cured" of her leftist views.

ClaudiaConwayLeftismTikTok
In a since-deleted video, Conway winked at the camera as she said "MAGA." @datjerseygirl/TikTok

On July 15, Conway reappeared on TikTok: this time, with a tongue-in-cheek video voicing her newfound "love" for Trump.

In the clip, which appeared to be addressed to her mother, she said: "Hi Smelly Kelly, the rumors are true, I have been cured from my radical leftism. And now I love Trump and I love our president."

The 16-year-old concluded the video by saying "MAGA" with a wink.

The post was later removed, but Conway continued sharing content, including a video of a Zoom call in which her mother made an appearance and waved at participants.

At the end of July, Conway returned to Twitter, where she promptly resumed her political posts.

Claudia Conway Tweet

Upon her return to the platform, Conway suggested that her phone had been taken away and most likely would be taken away again.

"Got my phone back!" she tweeted on July 29. "Probably wont have it for long though considering i'm about to revolutionize twitter brb."

Within 24 hours of return to the platform, Conway responded to several of the Trump's tweets, calling his statements about the coronavirus "racist"; voicing her love for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, asking the congresswoman to "adopt" her; and writing, "eat the rich."

Soon after her return to Twitter, Conway faced off with her mother on the platform.

Claudia Conway Text
Conway posted a screenshot of text messages in which she and her mother disagreed on comments from CDC Director Robert Redfield. @claudiamconwayy/Twitter

On July 30, Kellyanne Conway tweeted a tribute to Herman Cain, writing that the businessman and political activist had "led a remarkable life and will be missed."

Claudia Conway, however, took issue with her mother's framing of the situation.

"Yes it is sad but wasn't your administration complicit in his death ?? yikes," she responded the following day.

Cain died after being hospitalized with COVID-19. While it was unclear how he contracted the virus, he tested positive 11 days after attending an indoor campaign rally for Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The disagreement between mother and daughter continued when Kellyanne Conway reiterated a comment from Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regarding mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"#CDC Director: more deaths among high school students from suicides & drug overdoses than from #COVID19," she tweeted. "He said lockdowns & a lack of public schooling caused a disproportionally negative impact on young peoples' mental health."

The 16-year-old's response was swift.

"How can you possibly compare SUICIDE rates to COVID-19 fatality rates amongst TEENAGERS?" she responded. "As your daughter who has struggled with suicidality in the past, you make no sense."

Conway went on to post screenshots of a text conversation with a phone contact labeled "mother." In the texts, "mother" — presumably, Kellyanne Conway — told her daughter that she was "tired of this," instructing her to trust "the nation's lead doctors" and "learn the facts."

"What an idiotic argument backed with no logic," the younger Conway responded. "This is not a matter of bipartisan politics. suicidality is NOT to be compared to covid-19 deaths. i'm very disappointed in you."

The tweet has since been deleted.

In August, Conway alleged that her parents had been abusive and said she was searching for a family lawyer.

Claudia Conway TikTok
In an August 2 TikTok video, Conway alleged that she'd experienced "non-stop CPS investigations" over abuse. @claudiamconway/TikTok

On August 2, Conway posted a TikTok video in which she listed the events of 2020 "so far," detailing her mental-health struggles, family issues, and viral fame.

In the clip, she claimed to have experienced "non-stop CPS investigations" because of abuse and said her mother had gotten her arrested.

In response, commenters offered Conway support, and several expressed concern about the teenager's increasingly public family situation.

A representative from the Child & Family Services Agency could not confirm investigations into the Conways, telling Insider that district and federal confidentiality laws precluded CFSA from providing comment.

On August 6, Conway changed her TikTok username, this time from @claudiamconway to @datjerseygirl, citing a desire to separate herself from her famous last name.

She then took to Twitter and asked her following how to "get in touch with pro bono lawyers," later specifying that she was looking for a "family" lawyer.

The post received thousands of concerned comments detailing resources for legal aid and offering mental-health advice.

Conway then voiced disappointment in her mother's career choices and told followers she was "pursuing emancipation."

Claudia Conway Kellyanne Conway
In a TikTok video, Conway wrote that she would be "running away" because of her mother's scheduled appearance at the Republican National Convention. TikTok @datjerseygirl/Getty Images

On August 22, she took to Twitter to say she was "devastated" by the news that her mother would be speaking at the Republican National Convention.

Conway also addressed the situation on TikTok, writing: "Just found out my mom is a speaker at the RNC... that's it. i'm out. running away phase 1 starts tomorrow at 7 am."

She went on to tell her Twitter followers that she would be "officially pushing for emancipation," noting that a legal battle would most likely "be public one way or another, unfortunately."

In a follow-up tweet, the 16-year-old called her mother's trajectory "heartbreaking" and "selfish."

"It's all about money and fame, ladies and gentlemen," she wrote.

Conway then addressed her father's politics, saying that the two agreed on "absolutely nothing" and that social-media users should reassess their admiration for him.

As news of her desire for emancipation circulated on Twitter, Conway fired back against Twitter users spreading misinformation, accusing her followers of twisting things.

"I'm not getting emancipated because of my mom's job," she clarified. "It is because of years of childhood trauma and abuse."

Shortly thereafter, Conway announced she'd be taking a break from social media to focus on her well-being.

Claudia Conway
In a TikTok video announcing a social-media hiatus, Conway reminded her viewers to "manifest love and peace." @datjerseygirl/TikTok

The 16-year-old tweeted that her situation was "becoming way too much" and that she would be taking a "mental health break" from her social-media accounts, thanking her fans for their support and urging followers to cease posting hate comments directed at her parents.

She also posted a TikTok video announcing her social-media hiatus.

In the clip, she said she would be deleting TikTok "for a week or so" and urged her followers to "remember to manifest love and peace" for themselves and those around them.

@datjerseygirl

taking an actual mental health break this time. love you guys. see you soon

♬ original sound - datjerseygirl

Later that evening, both George and Kellyanne Conway issued statements announcing their resignations from their respective positions.

Kellyanne Conway
Kellyanne Conway speaking with reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on August 6. Samuel Corum/Stringer/Getty Images

On the evening of August 23, George Conway took to Twitter to announce that he would be withdrawing from The Lincoln Project to "devote more time to family matters."

Kellyanne Conway also took to Twitter to announce that she was "gratefully & humbly" leaving the White House.

In an attached statement she wrote that she and her husband, who "disagree about plenty," were united in focusing on the well-being of their children.

"Our four children are teens and 'tweens starting a new academic year, in middleschool and high school, remotely from home for at least a few months," she wrote. "As millions of parents nationwide know, kids 'doing school from home' requires a level of attention and vigilance that is as unusual as these times."

She added that her resignation was "completely" her choice, concluding that her presence at home will be "less drama, more mama" for her children.

Conway paused her social-media hiatus to address the new family developments with her TikTok audience.

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Conway livestreamed her reaction to her parents' announcements before announcing another break from social media to prioritize her mental health. @datjerseygirl/TikTok

In a TikTok video posted shortly after her parents' resignation announcements, Conway expressed disbelief.

"Look what I did. Look. At. What. I. Did, ladies and gentlemen," she said in the video, using the app's green-screen feature to show her father's tweet in the background.

@datjerseygirl

the power i hold - i- they think this is gonna stop me from getting emancipated? NANSHAJAB BYE

♬ original sound - datjerseygirl

In response to the deluge of questions from curious viewers, a visibly upset Conway livestreamed her reaction on TikTok.

In the clip, which was reposted to YouTube, Conway claimed her parents were leaving their jobs and tabling plans to divorce to keep her from successfully seeking emancipation.

Her parents' public displays of concern for the family, she suggested, were inauthentic.

"I can tell you, being their daughter, they don't give a s---. Like, they don't give a s---," she said in the clip. "My dad doesn't care about me, he's never cared about me, he probably doesn't even know my middle name."

Conway went on to allege that her parents had been physically abusive in the past and she would continue to pursue emancipation following her 16th birthday in October.

She said her parents' recent gestures ultimately were "not genuine."

"I just said this to them: 'You guys [are] putting on this whole show.' You know, they want attention. Them putting on this whole show of them leaving — it just, isn't going to be effective," she said in the clip, adding that she'd spoken with lawyers who might take her case pro bono.

Conway also said she had not been made aware of her parents' decision to turn their attention to the family; she said she found out about their plans on Twitter.

Before abruptly concluding the livestream, Conway added that her mental health was "at an all-time low."

Conway then posted another TikTok in which she thanked her supporters for being "amazing."

"I am taking a break to process this recent and stabilize my mental health," she wrote.

Conway returned from her TikTok hiatus in September, and she continued to address her relationship with her parents.

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In one video, Conway mocked her mother's resignation statement in which she vowed to spend more time with her children. @datjerseygirl/TikTok

After a brief break from posting content — and racking up Venmo donations from her supporters — Conway returned to the platform, where she continued posting videos about her politics and family tension.

In one video, she shared her father's reaction to "WAP," Cardi B's hit single featuring the vocals of Megan Thee Stallion.

"I think he likes it," she captioned the video, in which George Conway instructed her to stop recording.

In another clip, she poked fun at her apparent political influence, joking that she "made" her mother leave the White House and had "taken down" the Trump administration to save the country.

In one video, the teenager mocked a line from her mother's resignation statement and suggested that the former Trump adviser had been largely absent since promising to spend time with her children.

"My mom after saying, less drama more mama," she captioned the clip in which her image briefly flashes across the screen.

Conway continued posting content — after changing her TikTok name back to @claudiamconway — including a video in tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg following the Supreme Court justice's death on September 18.

After President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, Conway began posting videos addressing her family's health - eventually revealing that her mother had also tested positive.

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Conway told her followers that her mother had been "coughing all around the house" before testing positive for COVID-19. @claudiamconway/TikTok

On October 2, following the news of the president's COVID-19 diagnosis, the teenager posted a video in which she said her mother had been "coughing all around the house." Conway set the video to a popular audio clip in which Cardi B says: "That's suspicious. That's weird."

In a follow-up video, Conway added that her "lungs hurt" and she struggled to breathe.

In her next TikTok, she updated followers, writing that her mother had tested positive for the coronavirus.

"She told me not to post this but I'm so furious please wear your masks guys," Conway wrote in the comment section.

@claudiamconway

bye i’m done i’ll see you all in two weeks

♬ smack my blank like a drum - andy war

In a comment on a follow-up video, Conway claimed her mother had initially lied about her test result and told the family she'd tested negative.

Soon after posting the videos, Conway began trending on Twitter — and she posted a TikTok questioning the media's fascination with her content.

Kellyanne Conway confirmed her positive diagnosis in a tweet that evening.

She described her symptoms as "mild" and said she had begun the quarantine process. She did not confirm where she had been exposed.

In a follow-up video, Conway suggested she had contracted COVID-19, but her father said she had not yet received her test results.

On October 5, Conway posted a video captioned "hey guys currently dying of covid!" and commented that she felt "like HELL," while her mother exhibited "no symptoms."

As concerns about the teenager's health made their way to Twitter, George Conway weighed in on the situation.

In a tweet, he said he and his daughter had been tested only an hour prior so did not yet have test results.

The two had been exposed only in the past 96 hours, he added, so a test result might not yield accurate results.

An October video captured a heated exchange with her mother.

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In a recent TikTok video, Kellyanne Conway can be heard instructing her daughter to retract her previous claims. @claudiamconway/TikTok

In a TikTok video posted on October 5, Conway walked back on her claim that her mother lied about receiving a negative COVID-19 test. The retraction, however, appeared to come from the insistence of Kellyanne Conway, who could be heard instructing her daughter what to say on camera.

"Do it now," the former Trump adviser said in the clip. "You say: 'Correction: My mom had three tests.'"

"I'm doing it right now," an exasperated Conway responded.

"Little clarification from my previous posts," she captioned the video, which has been viewed over 2 million times. "[M]y mother claims she did not lie to me. She had three tests done, first negative, second two positive. [W]e were not in communication. I misinterpreted it."

In a since-deleted TikTok, which YouTuber Def Noodles re-shared on Twitter, Conway can be seen in a heated argument with her mother about the impact of her videos.

"You've caused so much disruption," Kellyanne Conway said in the video. "You lied about your f---ing mother. About COVID? About COVID?"

The teenager then began a livestream in which she appeared to tell her followers — speaking in so-called "gibberish" — that she was afraid of her mother.

"Do we all speak gibberish the same way?" she asked before switching to the code language.

Several viewers gave translations the 16-year-old's statement, claiming she said "going on live because [she's] scared of [her] mom."

In several TikTok comments that evening, Conway went on to suggest that Trump's condition was worse than what had been presented to the public and that he was "literally not okay."

As the videos racked up millions of views and media attention, Kellyanne Conway responded on Twitter, criticizing public speculation about her daughter and her home life.

"My daughter, Claudia, is beautiful & brilliant. She has access to top doctors & health care & lives comfortably," she wrote. "Like all of you, she speculates on social media Yet she's 15 You are adults We have COVID, but it's clear who's really sick."

In another tweet, she confirmed that both she and her daughter were quarantining.

After making headlines again - and being heralded by some social media users as a "whistleblower" - Conway issued a statement demanding privacy.

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After posting several videos questioning the media and the public's "obsession" with her videos, Conway shared her thoughts in a written statement. @claudiamconway/TikTok

On October 6, Conway posted a TikTok video revealing a written statement about her knowledge of the Trump administration, her relationship with her family, and her thoughts on being in the public eye.

In the statement, which she also shared in a Google Doc, the teen said that she had no "'special' insight into the President's health status" and that she is not the "'whistleblower' of our time."

@claudiamconway

i keep having to repost it because tiktok keeps adding weird sounds

♬ original sound - ThatVeganTeacher

"It has come to my attention that my recent TikToks and comments have sparked intense controversy and uproar. This was not my intent," the document reads. "I am appalled at the mainstream media's efforts to exploit a teenage girl, which is negatively affecting my mental health."

Conway went on to demand that she and her family be left alone.

In the comments section of the video, the 16-year-old asked her followers to "get [her message] into Twitter" and denied commenters' suggestions that her mother had forced her to publish a statement.

Claudia continued to be in vocal opposition of her mother, called her out after the Capitol insurrection

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A pro-Trump mob is seen after breaching the Capitol building on Wednesday. John Minchillo/AP

The 16-year-old took to TikTok to address her mom and call her out after the deadly Capitol Hill siege that took place on January 6 in Washington DC.

She posted a video the day after the riots and said, "How do you feel about your army becoming rioters?" Claudia continued and said, "Because I remember when I was going to protests in the summer, you weren't too happy with it."

The protests she referred to weree the Black Lives Matter protests that sprung up around the country after the death of George Floyd.

Claudia then posted a follow-up video in response to a comment where a user said, "She needs to put your dumb--- teenager adult wanna be up for adoption." She asked her mom in the video if she would put her up for adoption and Kellyanne unhesitatingly replies back, "Never babydoll."

Kellyanne's daughter later wrote in the comments section, "Why is this like a Netflix original movie's acting?"

In January 2021, Claudia's posted videos that appeared to show Kellyanne screaming at her and threatening her.

Kellyanne Conway
Kellyanne Conway Leah Millis/Reuters

Claudia posted two compilation videos on TikTok, which have since been deleted, that seem to show her mother, Kellyanne, screaming at her and in one of the videos, swiping at her.

The first video, which currently has over 1.4 million views, has text that says, "A COVID recap with Kelly. In it, a voice seemingly belonging to Kellyanne can be heard accusing Claudia of posting lies about the family and cursing at her.

"You're never gonna record another f---ing thing in your life, it's going for a forensic analysis," the same voice can be heard saying in the second video, which has over 3.6 million views.

Her comments were flooded with notes of support, but also suggestions on how to get help. According to the 16-year-old, she's "tried everything" but her "parents are too powerful," so nothing can be done.

She also mentions trying to contact CPS and claimed in a separate video that CPS "interviewed my whole family and they didn't do sh--. Pierre from Child Protective Services, if you're watching this, you failed me," she said.

It's unclear when the videos were removed but she posted an update video to TikTok, saying she's no longer going to comment on the situation as her intention was not to get her family in trouble.

Update: Insider has updated this story to include recent statements made by Claudia on TikTok.

Read more:

Kellyanne Conway's 15-year-old daughter is defiantly posting anti-Trump and pro-Black Lives Matter TikToks 'to inform people and spread love'

Claudia Conway is criticizing the Trump administration in tweets to Kellyanne Conway, claiming it is 'complicit' in Herman Cain's death

Claudia Conway posted TikToks celebrating her parents Kellyanne and George withdrawing from politics

A topless photo of Claudia appeared to be posted on Kellyanne's Twitter.

White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway pre-records her address to the Republican National Convention from inside an empty Mellon Auditorium August 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.
White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway pre-records her address to the Republican National Convention from inside an empty Mellon Auditorium August 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On January 25, a nude photograph of 16-year-old Claudia Conway was seemingly posted on Kellyanne Conway's Twitter account.

The photo was seemingly taken down but cropped versions of the photo were later shared among Twitter users.

YouTuber Tana Mongeau posted a nearly 20-minute recording of a Facetime call with Claudia Conway seemingly arguing with her mother and father, where she accuses her mother of posting the photograph. "You posted a naked picture of me. You literally posted a nude photo of me, and you can say you didn't, but millions of people saw it," Claudia can be heard saying in the video.

Kellyanne can seemingly be heard denying this and claimed another Twitter account posted the photo.

Claudia said in a since-deleted video she posted on Monday that she thought that her mother's account was hacked. "I'm assuming my mom took a picture of it to use against me one day and then somebody hacked her or something," she said in the video, "I'm literally at a loss for words. If you see it, report it."

Insider reached out to Twitter for comment and they responded in a statement saying, "Through technology and human review, we'll proactively remove any images that violate the Twitter Rules."

The 16-year-old said in a TikTok video, "We're going to handle this privately, and I will never ever be speaking about this publicly."

Claudia appeared on the season premiere of "American Idol" and was asked about her relationship with her mom

"American Idol" premiered its 19th season on February 14 and it included an audition from Claudia Conway that was filmed last fall. Conway came off as nervous, as judge Katy Perry asked if she was "okay." To which Claudia responded, "No… No and yes," she said in between hesitant laughter.

Conway told the panel of judges, "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 sang Rihanna's "Love on the Brain" and was asked to stop mid-song. Perry asked that she restart with a new song, which was Adele's "When We Were Young."

She eventually landed the coveted golden ticket and her mom made a remote appearance, telling her daughter, "This is your time to shine, but remember: Winners are people who are willing to lose." Claudia's dad, George Conway, also made an appearance giving the family an opportunity to show a united front.

With this, critics began to weigh in on Conway's audition.

"The first thing that feels jarringly wrong about this is the degree to which a child at the center of a dispute that has bled into public view is being asked to launder the reputations of two adults who should know better," Variety wrote.

However, Claudia was showered with support from fans, whose Instagram stories she reposted on her Instagram story. "You slayed the #AmericanIdol audition," one person said, "I like how you're going against what you were taught and fighting for what's right."

Read the original article on Insider