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Fifth Harmony Clarify Pushing ‘Fifth Member’ Offstage at VMA’s Was an ‘Artistic Statement’

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Brows were raised and jaws dropped during Fifth Harmony‘s performance at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday, August 27 as the girls started their set by pushing an anonymous fifth member offstage. Many took the move to symbolize a jab at former member Camila Cabello, who left the group back in December 2016.

During an interview with Good Morning America, the girls clarified that rather than an allusion to Camila, the group was trying to address the constant question of whether or not Camila would ever be replaced. Ally Brooke explained that “We wanted to show the world in an artistic way that, hey, the four of us are Fifth Harmony.”

“We’re stronger and better than we’ve ever been,” Brooke said. “Honestly, it was such a monumental moment for us. We were at the VMAs. We had rain. We had the splits. We had a mic drop!”

The girls certainly had a triumphant night — besides the visually stunning stunt, they also won a VMA for Best Pop Video for their single “Down” with Gucci Mane. The win marks their fourth VMA grab, making them the second most-awarded girl group in the award show’s history, just behind TLC.

On Camila’s end, the singer confessed that despite public claims that the five ladies are on good terms, she reached out to her former bandmates earlier in the year with no response. In an interview with Billboard, she said “I hoped that it would be a peaceful turning of the page, and we would root for each other. But I only got love for them.”

Whether they’re up or down — or have four or five members — it’s clear that all five of the ladies are determined to move on in their own careers.

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