Emmy Russell Delivers Flawless Performance of Brandi Carlile Song on ‘American Idol’

Emmy Russell has had a dizzying ride on American Idol. The season 22 top 5 finalist has battled nerves and fully embraced her family legacy. Russell took viewers’ collective breath away when she paid homage onstage to her grandmother, the late country legend Loretta Lynn. The “Fist City” singer, who died in October 2022 at age 90, always urged her granddaughter not to neglect her musical gifts. For the first time, Russell ran straight toward her lineage with a moving performance of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Lynn’s signature hit. And her song choice tonight (Sunday, May 12) seemed like another nod to the woman guiding her journey from above.

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Emmy Russell Shines on Disney Night

American Idol viewers saw the return of the much-anticipated Disney Night during Sunday’s (May 12) episode. For her second performance, Russell selected Brandi Carlile’s “Carried Me With You,” from the 2020 Disney film Onward.

It wasn’t difficult to imagine Russell directing the lyrics to her late grandmother: Like a lighthouse in a storm / You were always guiding me / Yeah, it’s true / You carried me with you.

[RELATED: American Idol’s Emmy Russell Is No Longer Running Away From Her Family Legacy]

‘American Idol’ Will Return For Another Season—Without This Longtime Judge

Season 22 of American Idol is winding down, but viewers can pencil them in for the same time next year. The singing reality competition show will return in 2025 for its eighth season on ABC.

While American Idol may be returning, one of its judges is not. Katy Perry announced in February that her seventh season would also be her last.

Don’t call it a retirement, though. “I’m just trying to make space for other things,” the “Part of Me” singer told Entertainment Tonight in April. “It’s not like me ending this show means I’m going to go retire on an island, even though that would be fabulous. I’m gonna go to work.”

However, that doesn’t mean the decision was easy. Perry, 39, has famously brought the waterworks throughout her seven seasons on Idol. And mark her words — you ain’t seen nothing yet.

“I am always emotional on finale, but gosh when this finale comes, I better just tape the false lashes to my face,” Perry said.

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