'American Idol': Katy Perry Wowed by Claudia Conway's 'Transformation'

Claudia Conway returned to the American Idol stage yet again on Sunday, and she came to impress. The 16-year-old hopeful hit the stage rocking a new look and some resolute determination.

As Conway walked out on stage to sing for Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, Perry seemed absolutely stunned by the young songstress’ dark locks and new, more mature ensemble.

“I’m sorry, excuse me, what?” Perry said in awe as Conway smiled for the cameras.

“Yeah, it’s a little change,” Conway said, laughing as she ran a hand through her dark locks.

“You mean a transformation,” Perry responded.

In a pre-taped package, Conway explained that after her first audition, she faced a lot of critique, and support, on social media, but it was Perry’s words and advice at the first audition in Ojai, California, that helped her focus and stay motivated.

“She believed in me, and I could not be more grateful for that,” she shared. “Now I’m just trying it all out to telling myself I can do it.”

https://youtube.com/watch?v=5XalcSLAPVU%3Ffeature%3Doembed

The young songstress also got some vocal in-person support from her mother, former political adivsor Kellyanne Conway, with whom she’s had some very public disputes on social media during her mother’s time working for Donald Trump.

However, any past drama that may have played a role in their mother-daughter relationship took a back seat as the young contestant got a lot of love and support after her impressive cover of Bishop Briggs’ “River” that managed to win over the judges.

Conway’s journey is set to continue as she moves into the next round of the competition — the duets round — while many other singers’ Idol journeys came to a halt. The young social media star will undoubtedly document the ride on TikTok as she continues toward the live rounds.

American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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