‘American Idol’ Contestant Sets the Record Straight Over Perceived Emmy Russell Snub: “We Don’t Tolerate Mean Girl Energy Here”

Sunday (April 28) was a rough night for American Idol contestant Mia Matthews. First, she blanked on the lyrics to Shania Twain’s “No One Needs to Know”—in front of Shania Twain. Next, she found herself in the bottom three beside competitors Kayko and Emmy Russell. Russell received enough votes to secure her spot in the top 8, marking the end of the road for Matthews and Kayko. Many viewers wondered whether Matthews harbored any resentment towards Russell for outlasting her in the competition. However, the 19-year-old Alabama native took to social media to clarify that there are no hard feelings.

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Did Mia Matthews Deliberately Ignore Emmy Russell on ‘American Idol?’

On Tuesday (April 30), Matthews posted a clip of her season 22 elimination to her Instagram stories. In the video, both Matthews and Kayko seem genuinely thrilled when host Ryan Seacrest announces Russell’s place in the top 8. Almost immediately, Kayko gives the 25-year-old Tennessee native a congratulatory hug. However, when Russell appears to move toward Matthews for an embrace, Mia doesn’t respond.

[RELATED: Emmy Russell Says She Felt Like Herself While Performing Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” on ‘American Idol’]

Some viewers noted it’s unfair to expect Matthews to celebrate with Russell after the former’s elimination. “Emmy trying to get a hug from Mia in that moment is so silly,” one viewer wrote on X/Twitter. “You made it over her… Mia—literally just got bounced out of her second singing competition!”

Other viewers disagreed, saying Matthews was wrong not to hug her competitor. “Odd take, I thought Mia should of just hugged her back as a sign of respect,” one X/Twitter user wrote.

Mia Matthews Is Sorry For Not Hugging Emmy Russell: “We Don’t Tolerate Mean Girl Energy Here”

Of course, it’s impossible to tell what the contestants are thinking from behind a screen. Fortunately, Matthews set the record straight on Instagram.

“guys I did ignore emmy’s hug BUT I DIDNT MEAN TO hahaha!!!!!” the aspiring country singer wrote. “and if the situation truly played out as it seemed, I would HOPE people would harp all on me for it! We don’t tolerate mean girl energy here!”

Matthews explained she was distracted by side conversations with Seacrest and judge Katy Perry. Additionally, she was trying to mentally map her exit from the stage.

“I am the BIGGEST EMMY RUSSELL FAN!!!! My roomie and southern sister! genuinely couldn’t be happier for her!!!!” Matthews wrote. “no one deserves it more @emmyroserussell you STAR! I’m sorry I missed your hug!! I love u: )”

Featured photo via Instagram

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