Emmy Russell Breaks Silence After ‘American Idol’ Elimination

Emmy Russell embarked on a journey of self-discovery with her American Idol audition. The granddaughter of the late country legend Loretta Lynn made an impressive season 22 run before falling just short of the top 3 Sunday (May 12.) And she did it all while confronting onstage jitters and self-image issues head-on. While Russell didn’t capture the crown, she is walking away with a newfound confidence and a renewed sense of family identity. In the wake of her top 5 exit, the 25-year-old Tennessee native took to social media to reflect on her time with Idol.

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“It’s the Climb”: Emmy Russell Shares What She Learned on ‘American Idol’

Russell and 16-year-old Alabama native Triston Harper were eliminated after Disney Night Sunday (May 12.) Jack Blocker, Abi Carter and Will Moseley will battle it out for the crown during the May 19 finale.

[RELATED: ‘American Idol’ Top 3: Who Was Eliminated? Biggest Snubs and Fan Reactions]

Russell summed up the feeling surrounding her elimination in an Instagram post Monday (May 13.) Speaking to the camera, she invoked the words from one of her final Idol performances: Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”

“‘Sometimes you’re gonna have to lose,'” Russell quoted. “It’s not about how fast you get there; it’s not about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.”

“Don’t Run From Rejection”

Emmy Russell spent her childhood performing alongside her “Memaw,” who died in October 2022 at age 90. However, the 25-year-old began to shrink from that spotlight as she grew more image-conscious with age.

Wanting to “own her voice” and fulfill the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” singer’s wishes, Russell auditioned for Idol. She sat at the piano and poured her heart out with an original song, “Skinny,” written about her battle with disordered eating.

“You got the gift,” judge Katy Perry told Russell after her February audition.

Still, her timid nature was an obstacle. Judge Luke Bryan likened Russell’s audition demeanor to “a baby mouse.” But thanks to Idol, that mouse is no more. Russell has found her voice, and she’s not stopping now.

“For me, the point of being here is: You can be yourself and be successful,” Russell said on Instagram. “Don’t run from rejection or pain and basic hard things.”

The top 5 finalist found no shortage of support in the comments — including one from fellow Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price. “You are wise beyond your years!” Price wrote. “It’s the journey, not the destination and you are on the right path in so many ways.”

Featured photo via Instagram

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