Amanda Gorman Reveals Why Michelle Obama Yelled at Barack During the 2021 Inauguration

During an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Amanda Gorman shared why Michelle Obama yelled at Barack Obama and how her history-making performance turned her social media upside down.

By Mona Thomas Jan 26, 2021 7:37 PMTags
Watch: 5 Things to Know About Inauguration Poet Amanda Gorman

Eavesdropping can lead to really great stories, just ask Amanda Gorman.

On the Tuesday, Jan. 26 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the inaugural poet who inspired the world with her spoken word performance of "The Hill We Climb" during the 2021 Inauguration, shared her experience sitting next to former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

"I remember Michelle Obama, like, being close," the 22 year old recalled. "And she kind of kept yelling at Barack, like, ‘Stop hugging people. Stop getting close to people.'"

She continued, "And then when I was done, she kind of like pushed him out the way and gave me the just the biggest, warmest Michelle Obama hug."

Amanda, who gained "millions and millions of followers in under 48 hours," went on to reveal how she met the Obamas before her life-changing performance.

"I have met Michelle a few times before," she told host Ellen DeGeneres. "Not Barack. And whenever I meet Michelle I hope that she forgets meeting me, because I just want a do-over. I just want a clean slate. Like, I just want to do it right this time. But she always remembers and she's always great."

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So, what does the former FLOTUS' hugs feel like? Well, Amanda hilariously recalled, "When I hug her, I'm so short. My forehead is, like, in her belly button."

Ellen laughed and added, "She's awesome. You can always—she's so down to Earth as you know. You can be yourself around her," noting, "And there's no do-over I'm sure."

During the interview, Amanda also reflected on how the performance impacted her life, especially her social media presence.

"I understand in some fashion that I was making history as the youngest inaugural poet," the wordsmith confessed. "I didn't know really what that history would look like or the impact it would have."

She continued, "I just remember finishing, going back to my holding room and just swiping up on my Instagram, [asking], ‘I wonder what people are saying.' And just my apps, my phone not functioning. Like, all the apps I typically used had crashed. I couldn't look at my photos, anything like that. And I hadn't expected that."