Fifth Harmony made a seemingly scathing reference to former member Camila Cabello during their live performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Now a four-piece following Cabello’s departure, the US pop band arrived on stage as a five-piece, much to the surprise of viewers.
But as the track began, the mystery fifth member was blasted off the back of the stage, and it is believed it was a reference to Cabello.
Cabello officially left the group – which rose to fame on the US version of The X Factor in 2012 – in December 2016, and has since embarked on a solo career.
Fifth Harmony performed their song Down with Gucci Mane at the awards ceremony, just two days after releasing their third album, their first without Cabello.
The group, comprised of Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane and Lauren Jauregui, were later revealed as the winners of the best pop award for Down.
Many viewers took to Twitter to express their surprise over Fifth Harmony’s shade-throwing at their ex-band mate.
For some, it was an enjoyable performance, with one writing: “Fifth Harmony did that performance & I’m living for the shade thrown at the gworl who left the Group.”
They added it was “petty yet iconic”.
Another viewer said they were “crying” because it was “so amazing”.
One described it as “the shade of a lifetime”, while another stunned member of the audience said: “So there was 5 ppl on stage and one blew away… WOW. IM SHOOK!!”
But for others, the move was uncalled for, with one criticising Fifth Harmony for being “childish and unnecessary”.
“Fifth harmony has a lot of growing up to do,” one wrote.
“It’s time to leave Camila in the past! It’s ok to be sad but let’s not be bitter.”
One said that the group only drew attention to Cabello, writing: “Fifth harmony had the opportunity to show the world how amazing they are as a 4 piece but instead made everyone think about Camila.”
Cabello is due to release her debut solo album The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving. in September.