Fifth Harmony wanted their powerful performance at the MTV Video Music Awards to show they are "stronger and better" than ever as a four-piece ensemble following Camila Cabello's exit.
The Work from Home hitmakers hit headlines on Sunday (27Aug17) as they opened their set with an anonymous fifth person standing beside them on an elevated platform, wearing matching silver padded jackets.
As the beat to their new song Angel kicked in, the extra was depicted falling backwards off the stage, as Dinah Jane Hansen, Ally Brooke Hernandez, Normani Kordei and Lauren Jauregui removed their coats and launched into the track.
Fans interpreted the dramatic introduction as a jab at Camila, who left the line-up in December (16), but the pop stars insist it was simply their way of putting an end to rumors suggesting they will recruit a new fifth bandmate to round out the group.
The girls addressed the VMAs stunt during an appearance on breakfast show Good Morning America on Tuesday (29Aug17), when Ally insisted there was no "pushing" anyone off stage, and explained the meaning behind the performance.
"We get asked all the time if we're getting a fifth member," she said, "and we wanted to show the world in an artistic way that hey, the four of us are Fifth Harmony and we're stronger and better than we've ever been, and honestly, it was such a monumental moment for us. We were at the VMAs...!"
The California prizegiving was made all the more special for the singers as they also claimed the award for Best Pop Video for their Gucci Mane collaboration Down - their first VMA since Camila's departure.
The significance of the honor wasn't lost on the stars, who grew emotional as they accepted the accolade.
"We are so honored to be up here on this stage. I can't believe we won another VMA! I'm a little bit in shock," Lauren laughed, before a tearful Ally added, "This is such a monumental moment for us right now. This is so special. I'm so glad we're in this together. I had a vision for us, and I'm just so grateful for how far we've come. I love you guys with all my heart."