Fifth Harmony appeared to throw some major shade towards former member Camila Cabello at the top of their performance of “Down” on Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, when a mysterious fifth member of the group was thrown from the stage.
But the “Work From Home” singers stress the move was more about them than it was her.
During an appearance on Good Morning America Tuesday, group member Ally Brooke explained what the high-flying fake-out was meant to say.
“We get asked all the time if we’re getting a fifth member and we wanted to show the world in an artistic way that hey the four of us are Fifth Harmony,” Brooke told host Lara Spencer on the ABC morning program. “And we’re stronger and better than we’ve ever been.”
Despite what they said, Harmonizers couldn’t help but read the move as a dig at Cabello — who very publicly left the successful girl group at the end of 2016 amid reports that she “hadn’t gotten along” with bandmates Brooke, Lauren Jauregui, Normani Kordei and Dinah Jane.
“Fifth Harmony did that performance & I’m living for the shade thrown at the gworl who left the Group,” wrote one fan on Twitter. “PETTY YET ICONIC.”
Since leaving, Cabello has remained estranged from her former group — telling Billboard in February that while she hopes to eventually mend fences, her attempts to reach out have gone unanswered.
“I don’t want to get into the details of that, because it was really intense and it’s hard for me to talk about. It makes me sad,” the 20-year-old “Crying in the Club” songstress 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.”
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Meanwhile, Fifth Harmony gave their all during their performance — Kordei even dropping effortlessly into an applause-inducing split at one point.
“We’re extremely excited,” Jauregui told PEOPLE ahead of the show. “This is definitely one of the biggest moments of our careers — something we’ve worked so hard for to get to a place where people would want us on the stage, so we’re excited as heck for it… there are so many surprises.”
“Honestly, it was such a monumental moment for us,” Brooke said on GMA. “We were at the VMAs! We had rain, we had splits, we had mic drops!”