Watch Emmy Russell Bare Her Heart and “Sole” in Powerful ‘American Idol’ Top 14 Performance

Emmy Russell got great news on the latest episode of American Idol. After the votes came in, Russell made it into the Top 14. After getting the news, Russell performed her original song “Skinny” for the Idol crowd.

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Russell first performed “Skinny” during her American Idol audition. It and another original song were more than enough to earn her a Golden Ticket to Hollywood. This was the first time she performed the deeply personal song for the Idol crowd.

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Taking the stage barefoot, wearing ripped jeans and a plain T-shirt, Russell opened her heart and poured it out. She wrote the song “Skinny” after getting sick on a mission trip and relapsing into the eating disorder she battled throughout her teenage years. After she was once again in recovery, she penned the song with Nashville songwriting collective Song House.

Emmy Russell Reveals the Story Behind “Skinny”

Earlier this month, Emmy Russell sat down with People to discuss “Skinny” and the deeply personal meaning behind it. She revealed that it all started when she was on a mission trip in Brazil. “All of a sudden, I started getting a little bit sick and I was like, ‘Why am I not keeping any of my food down?’ And I think a part of it was the eating disorder in high school, but then the damage that happens to your body and it just happened again,” she recalled.

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“Then, I started seeing results from me getting sick, and then it just spun out of control,” she explained. By “results” Russell means that she was losing weight due to the illness. That triggered a relapse of the disordered eating patterns she thought she had put behind her.

“I felt a lot of shame,” she admitted. “I was like ‘I’m serving God. I’m in Brazil. Why is this coming back?’” she told the publication. At that point, she knew what she had to do. Russell traveled back to Nashville and, with her mother at her side, started her road to recovery once again.

Russell said that she learned a valuable lesson from the song. “You can only really succeed when you’re truly yourself,” she explained.

See if she’ll continue to move up the ranks when American Idol continues next week.

Featured Image by Hubert Vestil/WireImage

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