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Kingston Springs native ends ‘Idol’ journey; Town to hold celebration

Emmy Russell’s “American Idol” journey came to an end on Sunday, May 12 after America voted her off the 22nd season of the reality singing competition. 

The Kingston Springs native made it to the top 5, but ultimately did not punch her ticket to the finale. 

The Town of Kingston Springs was expected to hold a free parade and concert for Russell on May 14 for the ABC production crew to film, but because she did not make it into the finale that celebration was canceled. 

“Kingston Springs native Emmy Russell was not selected as a final contestant on American Idol and they will not be filming locally this week,” the town wrote on its Facebook page. “Our events scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday May 14th are canceled as she will remain in LA to film the final episode of the show.” 

“We hope to host an event featuring Emmy in the near future so please stay tuned for developments,” they said. 

Russell – who graduated from Harpeth High School in 2017 – went out on a high note singing two Disney songs: “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus and “Carried Me With You” from the movie “Onward.” 

“I think this song is so true for you,” judge Katy Perry said after Russell’s performance of Cyrus’ original song. “This whole journey has been about the climb and to not let that other negative voice be louder in your head.” 

The theme of Russell’s journey on “American Idol” has been confidence. 

When she auditioned for iconic judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie in Nashville nearly one year ago, Russell voiced her fear of never being able to fill her grandmother’s shoes. 

Loretta Lynn died peacefully in her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., on Oct. 4, 2022 at age 90. But the country music legend left behind a legacy. 

In her career spanning more than six decades, Lynn had 51 Top 10 hits, sold 45 million albums worldwide, and garnered dozens of awards, including four Grammys and a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame.  

“I think there's a reason why I think I am a little timid, and I think it is because I want to own my voice,” Russell said during her audition for the reality singing competition.

She told the Kingston Springs Gazette in an exclusive interview early this year that she wanted to find a career in music separate from her grandmother. 

“I just wanted to be around other young creatives like me,” Russell said. “I think I just like the hard work of it, and it was outside of the traditional way that my grandma had – which is a publishing deal, get the record deal.”

“I wanted something out there and fun and just forced me to do it because I'm so shy and scared of going for it,” she added. 

Russell broke her silence on social media about being eliminated from Sunday night’s show, saying that she felt no shock that she wasn’t chosen to move on. 

“I’m really feeling grateful. I didn’t make top 3, but that was God’s plan,” she said. “Before I got eliminated I really felt like God told me, ‘Emmy you’re not going to be chosen by America, but I chose you.’” 

Russell announced upon her departure from the show that she will be releasing a new single – titled “Redemption” – on May 17. 



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