Entertainment

WATCH: ‘American Idol’ Contestant Brandon Diaz Dedicates His Audition To His Cuban, Immigrant Father

“I’m auditioning today because…it’s really for my dad.”

“American Idol” has returned with it’s first week of auditions and among the first round of contestants was 21-year-old Brandon Diaz. The aspiring singer hails from Ashburn, Virginia and is currently a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. When asked about his reason for auditioning, Diaz gave all of the credit to his father, who immigrated from Cuba to the United States at three years old.

“He’s an incredible vocalist. He’s taught me everything I know. He’s always searched for the American dream and he’s always pushed me [to do the same],” Diaz expressed after stepping into the audition room.

Diaz’s song of choice for the audition was “Unaware” by Allen Stone, which he nailed and blew the judges away. In particular, judge Lionel Richie was veryy impressed by Diaz’s falsetto. Katy Perry even commented that she thinks “he’s the best male singer we’ve seen so far and I think he’s top ten.”

The only judge who had a critique was Luke Bryan, who thought Diaz had gone too high on one of the notes during his audition. Honestly, if that’s the worst critique from the audition, you must be doing something right.

However, viewers across the internet disagreed with Luke Bryan’s comment.

CREDIT: AMERICAN IDOL / YOUTUBE

Altogether, the “American Idol” judges decided to send Diaz home with a golden ticket, which wins him a trip to Hollywood and a chance to further compete in the show.

Only one Latino has won “American Idol” so far and that was Scotty McCreery in 2011. Could Diaz be next?

For the full version of Diaz singing “Unaware” by Allen Stone, check out the video clip below:

To stay updated on Diaz’s journey, check out the next episode of “American Idol” which airs every Sunday and Monday at 8pm.


WATCH: ‘The Voice’ Judges Lost Their Minds For This Latino’s Performance Of ‘Preciosa’

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‘American Idol’ Considers Backtracking On Claudia Conway After Being Accused Of Exploiting

Entertainment

‘American Idol’ Considers Backtracking On Claudia Conway After Being Accused Of Exploiting

Updated February 18, 2021.

The Trump World’s old days of reality television domination might be back to haunt us.

With their leader ousted as president, or having booted them out of their world long ago, plenty of figures in Trump’s inner circle have tried their hand at taking their positions of power and running with them… right onto the reality television screen. You might remember that it didn’t take long for Trump’s political mouthpiece Sean Spicer to take a turn around the Dancing With The Star stage soon after he departed from the White House. Even U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s scorned wife, Louise Linton, recently nailed distribution for her horror film, Me You Madness. Perhaps, it might not be long before we see the likes of Ivanka and Jared taking on their own version of “The Newly Weds” or doing interviews on “The Real Housewives” franchise.

The first to take the plunge post-2020 election?

TikTok hero Claudia Conway. Of course, her reality show push we don’t mind.

Claudia, the teenage daughter of top Trump’s propagandist Kellyanne, is now on “American Idol.”

https://twitter.com/TaylorLorenz/status/1328085425911603200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1328085425911603200%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.billboard.com%2Farticles%2Fnews%2Ftelevision%2F9484641%2Fclaudia-conway-tried-out-american-idol

Last weekend, the teenager with a substantial TikTok following, thanks largely to her efforts to speak out against Trump and in support of Black Lives Matter, revealed that she tried out for “American Idol.”

“Hey guys, I’m here at American Idol confessional, Conway revealed to her followers on TikTok. “I met Ryan Seacrest today and I have my audition soon…. I’m very, very nervous, but very excited.”

The fourth season of Idol on ABC is set to return on Feb. 14. According to Billboard, “Conway seems like a slam dunk, as she’s shown off her impressive vocals on her TikTok account, which has nearly 1.5 million followers; a source close to Idol confirmed that Conway is auditioning for the show.”

Hype around Sunday’s American Idol Season 19 premiere centered on’s Claudia audition.


During her appearance, Claudia insisted that appearing on the series was an “amazing opportunity” to find herself and establish her own identity. Still, backlash to Claudia’s TV appearance garnered immediate and intense backlash. Twitter users protested her appearance which columnated in an article published by Variety called “How ‘American Idol’ Used Claudia Conway writing “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.”

“American Idol is gross for allowing an abusive creature like Kellyanne Conway to rehab her image on the show, and using Claudia Conway’s pain to make a quick buck,” commented on user.

Now, after critics accused the show of exploiting the Conways’ struggles to boost ratings, an “insider” from the network told Page Six the show is “rethinking how they are going to position Claudia and Kellyanne with promotion. They were big on putting Claudia in all of the promos, but now they are thinking of not putting as much focus on that … to not make as big a deal of her being on the show and focus on other contestants.”

Claudia appeared in the new season of “American Idol” which premiered this week.

Claudia can be seen walking into her audition in the post before explaining to the judgest “My parents are high profile political figures… I’m very nervous but very excited.”

Claudia took to TikTok to share the news with her followers commenting “I did audition and it’ll be on air this Sunday, February 14th… 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. Everyone thinks this is a publicity stunt or me trying to be, like, whatever – but no, music is my passion.”

It didn’t take long for Conway fans to support her audition efforts.

“Claudia Conway going on American Idol is somehow one of the more shocking parts of this year,” one user commented.

Another Twitter user commented “omg claudia conway auditioned for american idol knowing well she has a platform and could just find connections but decided to prove herself in a competition……….. she’s kinda of an icon tbh”

Of course, there are skeptics. “Why the f*** is Claudia Conway going on American Idol???” One user questioned. “Tf is she supposed to say? Yes, I am currently being emotionally abused by my mother, and most of Tiktok hates me, and yes, my mother is Kellyanne Conway? Can she even say those things considering she lives with Kellyanne??”

If 2020 has proven anything, next year will be quite a year for reality television

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Former “American Idol” Contestant Blames the Reality Show For Her Problem with Drugs and the Law

Entertainment

Former “American Idol” Contestant Blames the Reality Show For Her Problem with Drugs and the Law

There’s no doubt that “American Idol” is a cultural phenomenon. During its 17 season run, the talent competition has brought us some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industry. Not only did it reinvigorate Paula Abdul’s career, it also brought JLo back to our TV screens. That’s just the judges; the reality competition also began major careers. Without “Idol” we may not have ever heard of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood or Jennifer Hudson. While these former “Idol” alums wouldn’t trade the TV show experience for the world, not all of the former contestants have warm feelings about their time on the reality series.

Recently, former “American Idol” contestant Antonella Barba had a major run in with the law and is now her time on the show is being blamed for her illegal actions.

Twitter / @USATODAY

Back in 2007, Barba appeared on the reality television competition. The aspiring singer made it all the way to the Top 16 before she was sent home, however; the Latina did kick up some controversy during her time on “Idol.” For instance, the aspiring singer was photographed posing in a wet t-shirt at the fountain of a World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. This and other racy photographs of her that were leaked online around the time she was on “Idol.”

Though she tried to stay in the entertainment industry after “Idol,” the aspiring singer never made it big. The American public didn’t hear from Barba again until she appeared in the 2012 season of Fear Factor. Her problems with the law started soon after. In 2011, Barda was first arrested for shop-lifting in New York City and sentenced to do community service. In August of last year, the Latina was arrested on major drug charges. She has since pleaded guilty on possession and distribution of fentanyl a highly addictive opioid that is deadly if abused as a recreational drug.

Court documents released ahead of her sentencing (scheduled for tomorrow) reveal that her time on the show is being b lamed for the downward spiral Barda’s life has since taken.

 Twitter / @mjsbigblog

Shared by celebrity gossip site, The Blast, the documents explain that the former singer sees herself as a “resilient, deeply religious, selfless and driven person…someone who could rightfully be called a perfectionist.” However, Barba’s mother saw that being on the television show only brought “a detrimental change” to her daughter’s life.

The documents go on to suggest that, before “American Idol,” Barda’s dream was to be an architect. According to her mother, this dream was disrupted thanks to appearing on the reality show. The former singer suddenly dropped everything in order to move to Hollywood to pursue her new dream of stardom. However, according the the documents, it “was a recipe for disaster.” The papers go on to explain that losing the competition was a huge setback for Barda. As the court documents suggest, when the former star was unable to “achieve the results she wanted, it was devastating to her.”

The court documents being released now come after her most recent legal issue.

Twitter / @HeavySan

This most recent arrest comes from 2018 when she was found with a package of pills in her car. That arrest led to bigger trouble when she was accused by prosecutors of being a courier for a drug ring. According to the charges, Barda was one of eight members of the illegal operation that was operated out of Virginia during late 2017 and early 2018.

Barba was able to reach a plea deal for lesser time following this arrest but her attorney is now asking for an even more reduced sentence.

Twitter / @_ShattaBandle

The plea deal she got would still see Barba sentenced to 10 years in jail for her crimes. However, her lawyer is now arguing that the former singer was kept in the dark about the crime ring as a minor player. Besides being unaware that she was working with a drug ring, the former “American Idol” contest’s lawyer argues that she didn’t even know what was in the package she was carrying.

“The extent of Ms. Barba’s involvement in this case is limited to delivering one shipment of drugs and that single instance forms the sum total of her relevant conduct,” the newly released court documents argue. “Ms. Barba also did not participate in any of the planning or organization nor did she exercise any decision making authority. Ms. Barba was told where to go, when to go, and what to do when she got there.”

The court documents go on to explain that the Latina did not profit knowingly from any drugs.

“She did not break down the contents of the package into smaller amounts for resale and she did not collect any proceeds. She had no pecuniary interest in the package and did not stand to benefit in any way by the sale of the narcotics. Ms. Barba was paid only to deliver the package.”

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