Emmy Russell Shares What Is Next for Her After Losing ‘American Idol’, Including a Grand Ole Opry Homecoming

While hoping to win American Idol, Emmy Russell found herself walking away from the competition when voted off before making it into the Top 3. Throughout the season, the singer opened up to fans about her ongoing struggles with stage fright, self-doubt, and trying to live up to the legacy of her iconic grandmother, Loretta Lynn. Although some singers see not winning as a loss, Russell appeared in high spirits as she continues to pave her own path in country music. Recently, the singer discussed her time on the show and what the future holds for her. 

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Not letting her Top 5 finish on American Idol dampen her spirits, Russell is using the newfound stardom to help launch her career. Releasing her single “Redemption” on May 17, the song surrounded the sting of lost love and breakups. Gaining praise from fans, the singer also prepares to hit the stage once again at the historic Grand Ole Opry venue on June 1. With Russell performing there before, her return is somewhat of a homecoming. 

Before stepping on the American Idol stage, the Grand Ole Opry was on the shortlist of notable onstage performances under Russell’s belt. Russell took the Opry stage with Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas, for a rendition of “Lay Me Down” back in 2022.

Although American Idol placed her under the spotlight, Russell promised not much has changed in her life. She told The Tennessean, “I feel like some people can lose themselves in the process, but I really feel like I’ve been finding more of myself during the show”. She added later, “I really do feel like my life’s gonna be very similar, like the same as it is now. I don’t know, it could completely change…I guess I’ll have to face that moment whenever I come to it.”

[RELATED: Emmy Russell Processes “Painful Breakup” on New Song “Redemption”]

Emmy Russell Reveals Her Favorite Performances On ‘American Idol’

Throughout her time on American Idol, Russell performed several hit songs from singers like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. But according to the star, nothing compared to singing her original song “Skinny” and her grandmother’s hit song “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Speaking on “Skinny”, she explained, “I just think that it’s my story. Growing up, getting picked on, having an eating disorder….you’re feeling those pressures to look a certain way. I just want to be skinny.”

Getting a chance to honor her grandmother, Russell returned for the season finale to perform “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” And she wasn’t alone as she stood alongside another country legend, Wynonna Judd. Remembering the performance, she insisted, “There was no other duet partner I really want to be with…she held my hand the entire time. There just (was) a really strong connection, almost like a sister.” 


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