16-year-old Ton Do-Nguyen just recently had his world turned upside down. Ton’s Snuggie-infused shot-for-shot rendition of Beyoncé’s “Countdown” is the talk of the Internet. But while shares and views reaching into the millions would be enough for most people, Ton got an added perk. The real kicker came when Beyoncé posted the video on her website calling it “brilliant,” and saying, “I think he did this video better than I did.”
Clocking in at just over three minutes, Ton’s execution of “Countdown” doesn’t miss a beat. In fact, when compared to the original, the Snuggie version pops with an energy and adoration that only diehard fans have. Pure fun aside, Ton’s YouTube remake is a video marvel with breakneck editing and a low-fi sensibility that reminds us why true fandom can be so endearing.
Now that it’s clear that you can make a good buck from a viral video, more and more creators are making videos with dollar signs in mind. Ton’s YouTube video, on the other hand, was crafted simply as a labor of love. I caught up with the insanely friendly YouTube creator right after “Countdown (Snuggie Version)” hit half a million views to talk about his inspiration, the video’s reception, and of course, Queen B.
“Countdown (Snuggie Version)” just hit 500,000 views. How does it feel?
Ton Do-Nguyen: I never expected this. My video channel is over a million now, and I am like, “Oh my god!” I seriously never thought this would happen at all.
What was it like having Beyoncé post your video on her site?
Ton: I was with my friend, and her dad texted her. Then she told me and, like, we were both checking the website, and then there it was, and it was literally amazing.
Beyoncé said you did it better than her. Do you think you did?
Ton: Oh, heck no. She is number one. Beyoncé is the queen.
Did you expect her to like it so much?
Ton: I was just freaking out that she even acknowledged it. I didn’t think she would ever see it because she is just so busy, you know? It is just so awesome having Beyoncé see it.
Why did you make “Countdown (Snuggie Version)?”
Ton: My friends and me were just make videos for fun, like birthday videos and all that. We have been doing this for a while, and I was making this for my friend for a birthday video, and so that is how it all started out.
Where did you come up with the idea to do it in a Snuggie?
I am seeing all these comments that say, “Oh, this is so funny. I don’t know how you thought of it.” But, like, my friends thought it was funny. They thought it might be strange for other people, but they expect that kind of behavior from me [laughs].
How long did it take you to edit all that footage?
Ton: Oh my god, it took months and months and months of work.
Seriously? It took months of work?
Ton: Yeah, I almost totally gave up. But not for Queen B, not for Queen B
Do you upload to YouTube regularly?
Ton: It was kind of random. I pretty much only uploaded two videos including that one. The first one was “Love On Top,” and I uploaded that in January, and that was the first one ever, and so, like, I just do them randomly.
Are you planning on making any more fan videos?
Ton: I always plan to keep on doing videos. But it is going to take some time before the next video, especially with all the editing and all that. It won’t be popping out, like, in the next week or so, but there will be one in the near future.
Are you worried that people will forget about you if you take too long between uploads?
Ton: I mean, like, I guess it will fall off a little bit, and I will try to get one out sooner. But I am not really worried about that because I knew that last one took months. I hope the hard work shows in the next one. I am just doing this for fun; I am not really looking for all the views. I am so grateful for it all, but I never really, like, did it for the views; I just did it for fun. This is all just so crazy.
What song is next?
Ton: Definitely Beyoncé.
Ton: I love me some Beyoncé
You were really young when Destiny’s Child was big; how do you feel about them?
Ton: I love me some Destiny’s Child too. I have the whole “Survivor” CD on my iTunes, and, like, I have so many songs of them. I have every single Beyoncé song also.
Do you think Jay-Z and Beyoncé are part of the Illuminati?
Ton: That’s ridiculous; that is so weird. Do people seriously think they are part of the Illuminati?
I think they do.
Ton: That is so ridiculous though. Why can’t people just accept that they got there through hard work? That is so weird.
Yeah, Jay-Z is a hard worker. I love “Watch The Throne.”
Ton: I like me some Jay Z too. HOVA! H to the Izzo.