American Idol season 22: Emmy Russell’s rendition of Coal Miner’s Daughter earns her a spot in Top 7

American Idol season 22 contestant Emmy Russell
American Idol season 22 contestant Emmy Russell (Image via Instagram/@americanidol)

American Idol season 22 aired a brand new episode on Monday, April 29, 2024, and saw the top eight contestants fighting for their spot in the Top 7. One person had to pack up their bags and leave the show. The eight contestants delivered performances that proved why they were a part of the competition.

One of the contestants, who made it to the top 7 list was Emmy Russell, singer Loretta Lynn's granddaughter. Emmy sang her grandmother's song Coal Miner's Daughter, chosen by Katy Perry as a part of the judge's contest.

Perry, who got emotional after the performance, said she chose the song for Emmy because she believed the contestant could "do anything now as Emmy Russell."

"I chose this song not because you're Loretta Lynn's granddaughter but because you are Emmy Russell and you can do anything now as Emmy Russell," the judge said.

American Idol season 22 will return with a brand new episode on Sunday, May 5, 2024, at 8 pm ET on ABC.

Emmy Russell says Coal Miner's Daughter was the "perfect perfect song" in American Idol season 22 episode 15

In American Idol season 22 episode 15, Emmy Russell sang a song by her grandmother, Loretta Lynn. Before the performance, as her journey in the competition was showcased to viewers, Emmy spoke about her performance and the song.

"I love singing from the heart and I think this is a perfect perfect song for that. When I saw the song choice, there was like a sadness whenever I saw it because she just passed away very very recently," Emmy said.

Emmy also said that since it was her grandmother's song, it couldn't get much closer to the heart than her own blood.

The American Idol season 22 contestant said she knew Coal Miner's Daughter like the back of her hand. She told Adriana McPhee who was acting as a vocal coach and Phredley Brown, the associate music director, that she wanted her performance to be "an ode" to Loretta Lynn.

"You know, almost like a way of hugging her," Emmy said.

She also claimed that she was "literally just a granddaughter singing this song to her grandma." During rehearsals, Adriana McPhee told the American Idol season 22 singer that the way she was singing and playing the piano, her rendition didn't sound like the original song at all. Brown added that "the honesty" was going to draw people in

During rehearsal, Emmy Russell broke down in tears and said that she cried every time she sang it when Adriana asked her how the song made her feel. Emmy said that it reminded her of her grandmother.

The American Idol cast member said that Lynn would always end her shows with Coal Miner's Daughter. She added in a confessional that she was proud to be a "coal miner's granddaughter."

During her performance, the camera panned to the crowd and focused on Emmy's parents who were in tears as their daughter sang. Fellow contestant Kaibrienne was also emotional watching Emmy sing the song.

Her rendition earned her a standing ovation from the judges and loud cheers from the studio audience. Host Ryan Seacrest joined her on stage and thanked her for her performance. Ryan asked Emmy to guess which judge picked the song for her and the American Idol season 22 contestant correctly guessed Katy Perry, who was also emotional after the song. The judge's reasoning and emotional response made the contestant cry as well.

Emmy was one of seven contestants who made it through to the next round, including Abi, Jack, Julie, McKenna, Triston, and Will.

The next episode of American Idol is set to be released on Sunday, May 5, 2024.

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