'American Idol' Alum Avalon Young Diagnosed with Brain Cancer ... Needs Help with Next Surgery

A LONG ROAD AHEAD
TMZ.com

Former "American Idol" finalist Avalon Young has been through the wringer the past few months, and though she's staying strong and positive ... she needs help.

The singer's been diagnosed with brain cancer, telling TMZ a series of medical issues around Thanksgiving led to the discovery of a large brain tumor ... and a 16-hour surgery in February to remove it.

Avalon says it was gnarly, but she was hopeful after it was done she was getting better. Sadly, she was recently told there's still cancer in her brain, and she needs another surgery to remove what's left of the tumor ... along with undergoing radiation treatment.

Like we said though, Avalon's got a great attitude heading into her next procedure -- which is scheduled for May 27 -- but she desperately needs funds to cover the cost.

That's why she tells us the GoFundMe she set up is so important to her and her family, and hopefully ... this next surgery will get the job done, and she can get back to work.

Young became a household name for 'Idol' fans in Season 15, and the 26-year-old singer is dropping a new single on April 30 called "She Don't."

'Idol' Contestant Cecil Ray Accused of Hitting Ex-Girlfriend ... Arrested for Burglary of Habitation

"American Idol" contestant Cecil Ray forced his way into the home of his ex-girlfriend and struck her in the face when she refused to let him see the child he believes is his ... according to police in Texas.

A Rockdale PD officer says he got a call to a residence last week where Cecil -- full name Cecil Ray Baker -- allegedly entered the home of his ex, Mariah Lopez, and assaulted her.

According to the affidavit obtained by TMZ ... Lopez claims she wouldn't let Baker in, so he went to a locked back door and ripped it open to gain entry. She told police he then pushed her to the floor and "struck her in the face with a palm heel" before leaving.

Baker's sister told cops she witnessed the incident, and she claims he went to Lopez's place to see her daughter who he believes is his. According to cops, the sister mostly corroborated Lopez's version of events.

Police say they then tried to track down Baker, and learned that he had relocated to a nearby town. He was arrested a few days later on April 17 and booked for burglary of habitation, a second-degree felony in Texas.

Baker was released the same day on $15,000 bond.

Cecil Ray made it to the top 24, but was eliminated from 'Idol' last week.

For his audition that earned him a ticket to Hollywood, he dedicated his performance to his 2-month-old daughter.

Luke Bryan COVID Keeps Him from First 'Idol' Live Show ... Paula to the Rescue!!!

Luke Bryan's going to miss out on the excitement of "American Idol" going live for the first time this season due to the coronavirus ... but a familiar face will take his place.

The country music star and 'Idol' judge says he tested positive for COVID-19, so he won't be part of Monday night's first live show of the reality singing competition.

Luke says he's doing well and hopes to be back at it soon, but in the meantime ... Paula Abdul is back!!!

The show just announced while Bryan's quarantining and recovering at home, the former judge will be filling in as guest judge alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

It's unclear how long she'll have to hold down the fort in Luke's chair, but as you know ... she has a lot of experience. Paula joined the series in 2002 as one of 3 judges with Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, and had numerous memorable clashes with Simon.

She left before the 9th season of 'AI' so it's been a while ... but it's gotta be like riding a bike for her. Fans will find out Monday night.

Ryan Seacrest Claudia's 'Idol' Axing Was Fair ... Next Stop, Reality TV???

KEEPING UP WITH THE CONWAYS
TMZ.com

Ryan Seacrest says Katy Perry's right about Claudia Conway ... she's not quite ready for the next round of 'American Idol' just yet, but she's got a bright future in Hollywood ... perhaps in reality TV.

We got the 'Idol' host Tuesday in New York City and asked if Kellyanne Conway's teenage daughter got a fair shake on the show. Ryan seems to think so ... and even believes the show might've helped the Conway family image.

The mother/daughter dynamics between Kellyanne and Claudia were put on full display during 'Idol' and were much more positive than what we've seen on Claudia's TikTok.

We asked Ryan -- who helped build the Kardashian empire -- if the family's got what it takes for some solid reality TV ... and he certainly doesn't say no.

END OF THE ROAD
ABC

As for her idol elimination, Seacrest says Katy hit the nail on the head when she cut Claudia loose ... he says CC has some growing to do as a singer, but she should definitely try out for 'Idol' again. No wonder Katy's a judge.

ON TO THE NEXT ROUND
ABC

As you know ... Claudia's elimination came less than 24 hours after she just made the cut in the opening night of Hollywood week, when she shared some screen time with her politico mom.

Claudia Conway Axed from 'Idol' ... Katy Perry's Parting Advice

END OF THE ROAD
ABC

Well, that was fast! One minute Claudia Conway's on to the next round on 'American Idol,' and the next she's cut loose, but at least Katy Perry was nice about it.

Kellyanne Conway's 16-year-old was eliminated Monday night ... less than 24 hours after she squeaked by in the opening night of Hollywood week and shared some screen time with her politico mom.

This time, Claudia was on the chopping block for a duet round with another contestant -- Hannah Everhart -- in which they double-teamed Harry Styles' 'Sign of the Times.' The judges thought Everhart held her own, but not so much for CC.

3/23/21
CLAUDIA'S FINAL PERFORMANCE
ABC

When it was time to give the teenager the tough news, Katy played the bad guy and she offered Claudia some advice she could apply to singing ... and maybe her tumultuous life at home.

Check it out -- KP tells Claudia that she's just coming to life ... which is true, Claudia's super young and she's already out here making 'Idol' debuts and pretty much has TikTok in the palm of her hand.

Katy also applauded Claudia for taking control of her life -- seemingly a tip of the hat to her ongoing feuds with Kellyanne -- and even invited her back. For her part, Claudia was gracious in defeat.

ON TO THE NEXT ROUND
ABC

No on-camera sign of Kellyanne here to embrace her child again, but they seemed to be smoothing things out while Claudia was on 'Idol.'

It'll be interesting to see what happens between them now.

Kellyanne Conway Sings Some Alicia for Claudia ... In 'Idol' Hollywood Round

ON TO THE NEXT ROUND
ABC

Kellyanne Conway and her teenager, Claudia, finally seem able to get along for once -- turns out, all they needed was a little music ... and an audience, of course.

The mom and daughter duo were in good spirits Sunday night during a new episode of 'American Idol,' where the 16-year-old was due to perform in front of the judges again ... only this time, in Hollywood. Kellyanne was in tow to lend support for Claudia's network TV debut.

They had some cute, witty banter before Claudia's cover of Bishop Briggs' 'River' -- which was good enough to get her into the next round ... something Kellyanne was ecstatic over as she belted out a little ditty of her own while embracing her child.

You can watch for yourself to see what KC decided to sing ... it's actually not half bad.

10/7/20
CONWAY CHAOS
@claudiamconway / TikTok

In any case, it was great seeing the pair be civil for once. As we've reported, they were at each other's throats over and over again as the 2020 election was in full swing and tensions boiled over in the household, and on camera.

There have been screaming matches, cuss-out sessions and even a physical confrontation once that left Claudia without her phone -- and the almighty TikTok -- for a while. It got so bad at one point, cops had to come out and check on everyone to see if things were okay.

Now, it appears they've turned over a new leaf ... unless you're more cynical. Then you probably think they're just playing nice for the show.

SUPPORT FROM MOM
ABC

Remember, Claudia's dad, George, tagged along for her initial 'Idol' tryout ... and Mom beamed in virtually to send well-wishes.

It's pretty fascinating seeing Kellyanne in this context -- not being Donald Trump's mouthpiece in D.C., and soaking up the spotlight in Hollywood.

Claudia Conway Sings for 'Idol' Judges ... With Cameo from Kellyanne

SUPPORT FROM MOM
ABC

Claudia Conway's audition for the 'American Idol' judges finally aired ... showcasing the teen's talent as well as her politically famous folks.

Conway was one of several singers highlighted during the show's premiere Sunday. Katy Perry was quick to ask the 16-year-old "Are you okay?" as soon as she could. Claudia responded with a "No, but yes, I'm so good." She then sang a version of Rihanna's "Love On The Brain" which missed the mark with judges before singing Adele's "When We Were Young."

Eventually, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie each gave Claudia a "yes" ... moving her on to the next round.

Claudia was accompanied by her dad, George Conway, to the audition but her famous mom, Kellyanne, made a digital appearance thanks to the 'Idol' video board. Kellyanne celebrated Claudia's golden ticket and let her daughter know she was proud of her.

Kellyanne's relationship with her daughter has been the focus of a lot of attention lately. TMZ broke the story ... cops were called to the family's New Jersey home last month after Claudia posted a string of videos on TikTok of verbal spats with her mom.

At one point during Claudia's audition, Katy Perry offered Claudia some life advice, telling her, "You have to quiet the storm that's around you."

Claudia Conway 'American Idol' Audition Teased ... For Season Premiere

CLAUDIA'S DEBUT
ABC

The folks at "American Idol" know gold fell in their laps when Claudia Conway auditioned ... and they're, very wisely, milking it even before the season begins.

Kellyanne Conway's headline-grabbing teen got the front-and-center tease treatment Monday night in a new trailer for the upcoming 'AI' season on ABC ... and they didn't pussyfoot with the big name they had in their midst. Claudia's appearance was cut as its own TV spot.

You hear Ryan Seacrest talking about how she's a social media sensation, but perhaps more importantly ... she's the kid of 2 very famous political figures, which CC herself alludes to on camera.

We also get to see what the judges have to say about her, at least momentarily.

A SHOT AT STARDOM
@claudiamconway / TikTok

It's a great hook into the season, and folks online seemed genuinely shocked the gal was involved at all. Guess they weren't paying attention, because Claudia herself revealed she was trying out back in November 2020 -- she posted some behind-the-scenes footage.

We'd also spoken to Ryan himself about her audition, asking if she'd be getting through on talent or her name.

NOVEMBER 2020
ALL ABOUT THE TALENT
TMZ.com

He told us it should be the former, and that's probably true -- but watch the promo ... ABC's using the name for hype. That's showbiz!

Ryan Seacrest New York's My Home Now Selling Bev Hills Estate for $85 MILLION!!!

Ryan Seacrest doesn't spend much time in L.A. these days ... he's living in New York where he co-hosts "Live with Kelly and Ryan" ... so he's decided to sell his home and in the process pocket around $44 MILLION!!!

Real estate sources tell us, Ryan is putting the Bev Hills home he bought from Ellen DeGeneres back on the market. We've learned he's listing the estate Monday for $85 million ... amazing since he bought it for $39 mil back in 2012. He spent another $2 mil on an adjacent property.

The house is amazing and has quite the history. Ellen bought it from "Will & Grace" creator Max Mutchnick. After she sold it to Ryan, we're told Max got in touch with him and said he was never able to finish the house the way he wanted, so he offered to help Ryan redo it, and Seacrest agreed. So, Max was his designer/architect!

The estate is spectacular ... one of the great resort-like compounds in the city. It has 5 structures, set between gardens and water features. It's amazing for indoor/outdoor living.

The main house is 9,000 square feet with 4 bedrooms, 6 baths and a gourmet chef's kitchen that opens to an outdoor pizza oven.

The living room has 22-foot high ceilings, but that's just the beginning. It has a movie theatre, a spa, an incredible world-class gym and a master suite with its own meditation garden. It even has a super cool bar/lounge.

The house, and especially the pool and teak pool house, gives sunbathers a jetliner view of L.A.

Seacrest is kind of a land baron ... he has houses in NYC, Napa and Italy -- and that's just what we know of.

Ryan will still commute to L.A. to do "American Idol," but apparently he doesn't need a massive estate for the quick trips.

The house is listed by uber-successful realtor Kurt Rappaport, who is one of the few people who can afford it.

Ryan Seacrest Claudia's 'Idol' Journey ... It's on Talent, No Freebies (i think)

NOVEMBER 2020
ALL ABOUT THE TALENT
TMZ.com

Kellyanne Conway's teenage daughter isn't gonna be getting any breaks on her 'American Idol' journey ... according to Ryan Seacrest, who says it's talent or bust.

We spoke to the 'AI' host Wednesday in NYC, and asked if Claudia Conway had gotten a free pass to be on the show (or a shot at it, at least) because of her family name and clout ... on TikTok and elsewhere.

Ryan tells us that's not the case -- or not to his knowledge, anyway. He does concede there was a lot to talk to her about because of her history and ties to Donald Trump ... but when we pressed, RS says however far she goes should be on merit.

A SHOT AT STARDOM
@claudiamconway / TikTok

With that said, he did kinda throw up his hands ... noting that he's just the host of the show and doesn't have a whole lot of say on her advancement. That'll ultimately be up to her, the judges, the audience ... and probably a lot of executive producers.

Another little tidbit he shared about his time with the kid ... her dad, George Conway, is apparently the one who was with her for this 'Idol' audition she went to recently. Ryan even says Claudia called her pops a great coach -- how 'bout that?!?

Waiting for your permission to load TikTok Post.

Claudia already put a spotlight on George during her trip, and he seemed more than game to get on one of her TikToks and play along with the lip-syncing and dancin'. So yeah, it's clear he supports her all the way -- no word if Kellyanne's on board.

Anywho ... when we tried opening the convo about what Claudia's 'Idol' audition might mean for her mom and Trump supporters, Ryan wisely bid us adieu 👋🏽.

Kellyanne Conway 16-Y-O Daughter Claudia Trying Out for 'American Idol'?!?

A SHOT AT STARDOM
@claudiamconway / TikTok

Kellyanne Conway seems to be on her way out at the White House, but she could still ride the coattails of her 16-year-old daughter ... who might be the next "American Idol!"

Claudia Conway just teased the fact that she's trying out for the reality singing competition show -- posting a video on TikTok in which she says she's about to audition and was in the process of filming her confessional. Claudia also says she's already met Seacrest 👀.

In her brief clip, Claudia turns the camera around and sure enough ... there's a film crew there. You can also see the 'Idol' logo behind her in what appears to be a soundstage setting -- so yeah, it seems legit. Word is 'AI' is, in fact, filming right now -- out here in Cali, no less.

A couple things about this ... for starters, welcome back to TikTok, kid!!! Remember, it looked like Claudia got grounded from using the app a little while ago after spilling alleged tea on Trump's COVID diagnosis, which her mom did NOT like ... as we saw first-hand.

Waiting for your permission to load TikTok Post.

Looks like Claudia's been back online for a minute now -- but the other question this brings up ... who the hell knew she could sing?!? While we mostly see Claudia lip-syncing and dancing to songs on TikTok -- like so many other users -- she actually has some videos of herself where she shows off her pipes. We gotta say ... she ain't half bad!!!

Now that she's 16 and meets the minimum criteria to try out ... it seems Claudia's gonna get some face time with Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry soon enough here. Considering her rebellious streak, you also gotta wonder if mama bear knows about this 😅.

Anyhoo, something tells us she's got a TV career in the making -- and we might very well be seeing her get some air time when the new 'Idol' season kicks off next year. Stay tuned!

Adam Lambert Unloads Hollywood Hills Crib for $2.92M!!!

Adam Lambert's finally saying sayonara to his crib in the Hollywood Hills ... cause someone else will be idolizing it after plunking down a good chunk-o-change.

The 2009 "American Idol" runner-up just sold his 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom crib for $2.92 million. You'll recall the singer put the house up for sale back in August 2019 ... five years after originally buying it. He had no problem finding a new spot ... dropping $6.5 million for an awesome new pad with home theater and wine cellar.

Back to the Hollywood Hills crib ... it's a perfect contemporary blend of style and private oasis. It features city light views from the main level with a sliding glass wall. Big wine drinkers will love the floor-to-ceiling climate-controlled wine wall as well as a home theater and gym. The backyard's sick too ... with 2 reflecting pools and a 10-person spa and fire pit. Friends not included ... but with this backyard, it won't be hard to make some.

Emil Hartoonian and Nicholas Siegfried of The Agency held the listing and Jonathan Sharaf of Compass repped the buyer.

'American Idol' Abandons Filming in Studio Due to Coronavirus

The folks at "American Idol" tried to make it work, but ultimately they had to jettison plans to produce the show in the studio, but TMZ has learned the show may still go on.

Producers sent an email to the crew, saying, "As we continue to monitor advice from federal and local agencies, it seems unlikely we are going to be able to make it back into the studio for this season of American Idol."

The email, obtained by TMZ, goes on ... "We will continue to monitor and provide updates should any changes occur."  BTW ... we're told the crew will not be paid.

Our production sources tell us the plan is still to produce the show ... but the judges will be at their respective homes and viewers will ultimately decide who wins and who ends up packing.

'Idol' joins an ever-growing list of productions that have had to pivot in the wake of the pandemic.

The email ends on a positive note ... "In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy. We are looking forward to the day we can all work together again."

'American Idol' Contestant Haley Smith Dies in Motorcycle Crash

Haley Smith -- a former contestant on "American Idol" -- died over the weekend after crashing her motorcycle in Maine ... TMZ has learned.

The singer passed away early Saturday morning in Millinocket, Maine in a one-vehicle crash after police say it appears she failed to make a sharp turn along a residential road that becomes a highway in certain sections. Police say she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her father, Mike Smith, tells TMZ ... Haley was riding on a country road and her family believes a deer might've caused the accident -- as he implied she was a good rider, and they doubt she simply lost control of her bike.

Haley's time on 'AI' was relatively brief in 2012, when she auditioned in Colorado during season 11. She didn't make it beyond the second Hollywood round, but Haley certainly left an impression on the judges at the time in her audition.

She sang Rufus and Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good," putting a folksy twist on it that left Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler pretty impressed.

Steven even said it was an honor to hear her sing, 'cause he said she was out of his "era" with her look, sound and vibe.

Haley was 26, and her family says they were preparing to celebrate her birthday this upcoming November.

RIP

Ryan Seacrest & Shayna Taylor Back Together ... All Aboard the Love Yacht

Ryan Seacrest is on again with his longtime girlfriend, Shayna Taylor ... and nothing says we've made up like a romantic getaway on the Italian high seas.

The "American Idol" host was seen enjoying the hell out of a megayacht he and Shayna were aboard Saturday while vacationing in Positano, Italy. They'd split up earlier this year after about three years together -- now, it looks like they're two peas in a pod again.

Shayna was spraying sunscreen on her boyfriend's backside, and Ryan was trying to help her reach the tough places by bending whatever way was necessary. That's amore!!!

The couple tanned, talked and eventually dove head first into the ocean -- kinda like how they're diving back into their relationship. After a dip off the Amalfi Coast, they got back on the boat ... only to get into yacht's mini pool. Why settle for just salt water, right?

It's a big year for Ryan -- not only has he reconciled with his gal, but he's also in talks with Disney at the moment for a massive new contract to continue hosting 'AI.'

Things are looking up.

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