Shy Teen Awes Crowd With School Talent Show Performance
Apr 01, 2021 by apost team
A timid teen amazed his classmates with a show-stopping performance of “Billie Jean” at his school talent show in May 2014. Brett Nicols breathed new life into the classic Michael Jackson song as he emulated the late pop singer. The 17-year-old not only had an outfit fit for the stage, but he also had enough stage presence and charisma to make him a star.
Nicols began dancing when he was only 9 years old. He learned how to dance like the King of Pop from the comforts of his own home. He performed “Billie Jean” at another school talent show when he was 11-years-old, but he didn’t receive the same amount of attention he did when he performed the song at Pitman High School in Turlock, California. The talent show was held in the school’s gymnasium in front of a large crowd of students, teachers and parents.
While performing “Billie Jean,” Nicols really committed to emulating Jackson as much as possible. He not only had the moves and stage presence, but he had the outfit. Dressed perfectly with a black hat hanging low over his eyes and white sequined gloves sparkling in the bright lights of the school’s gymnasium, Nicols wowed the audience with a routine suited for a professional dancer.
He threw his hat off and smoothed out his hair before grabbing the microphone in front of him. Nicols may have lip-synced to the song, but his dance moves were as real and impressive as ever. He definitely had spent some time studying Jackson’s iconic moves. In the end, Nicols showed off his talents, leaving everyone awestruck.
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A Hometown Celebrity
The video of Nicols performing “Billie Jean” at his talent show quickly became a viral sensation. He did an interview with the Turlock Journal in May 2014 talking about how crazy the whole experience was. He appeared a bit timid, almost like he couldn’t believe what was happening to him.
“It’s obviously taken a life of its own,” Nicols said about the video circulating around the net. The interviewer told him that people were saying his performance was perfect and that people went so far as to compare his dancing to the hologram performance of Jackson.
“I didn’t think this would go viral,” Nicols explained, clearly surprised by how a simple video was able to reach millions.
Nicols quickly went from being the shy boy in class to a hometown celebrity. He had managed to put his high school on the map. He was even escorted by security into a car at the end of the interview with the Turlock Journal. The school talent show was more like a warm-up stage for the possibilities laid out in front of him.
The teenager explained how he did the performance more for his friends than for himself since they always encouraged him so much. He also expressed wanting to be a positive influence for others.
“I hope that I’ve let my foot in the door to begin something,” Nicols said.
As for performing? Nicols wasn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. “Whether I’m in front of the camera or behind it is where I belong,” he told the Turlock Journal.
The History And Success Of “Billie Jean”
Nicols' fans weren’t just his family, friends and classmates. Some incredibly important people in the music industry were also captivated by his stellar performance. According to Billboard, The Estate of Michael Jackson reached out to Nicols. They complimented him on the routine and sent him a CD and an invitation to the “Michael Jackson: ONE” show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Michael Jackson: ONE” was an impressive musical experience reflecting the dynamic showmanship of the late singer. It was created by The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil, according to the official Michael Jackson website. The name commemorates the King of Pop’s ideals that everyone should be seen and treated equally, and the world should come together as one in unity.
The video of the talent show performance went viral and Nicols uploaded even more videos of himself performing to the popstar’s music. According to Billboard, the video circulated so much that it got people excited about “Billie Jean” again, helping the song resurface on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 2014.
“Billie Jean” had already reached commercial success as one of Jackson’s fastest-rising singles in his career. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts as well as the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart, which is currently known as the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Jackson is a longtime namesake for the latter chart with 13 different singles topping it.
The song was also critically acclaimed, receiving two Grammy awards and an American Music Award. Rolling Stone rated the song at number 58 on a list crediting the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Moonwalking To Fame
The now-viral video was originally uploaded to a YouTube Channel called Open Mic Crew on May 22, 2014. The video has since drawn in over 26.5 million views. Nicols re-uploaded the performance on his personal YouTube account just a week later, bringing in a new wave of views. He has since received over 7.1 million views.
Nicols' YouTube channel showcases his incredible ability through various videos of the teenager dancing to Jackson’s songs. He even uploaded his first performance of “Billie Jean” from when he was only 11-years-old. Nicols' stage presence throughout each performance was prominently on display for all to see.
Jackson was known for having signature dance moves. Nicols made sure to incorporate as many as possible within his school talent show routine to “Billie Jean.”
His moves were effortless and thrilling to watch. His classmates couldn’t take their eyes off of him. A handful clapped along to the music blasting through the speakers as Nicols continued to own the stage.
The camera recording the viral sensation focused on the incredible footwork Nicols did, sparking remembrance of the late popstar’s notorious dance moves. Brett did a quick spin and seamlessly kicked his leg out to the side.
Nicols entertained his peers until the very end of his performance. He finished the routine with a classic Jackson move — the moonwalk! His feet glided effortlessly across the gym floor. He stood on his tiptoes ballet style, which was an infamous move for Jackson. Nicols ended the dance by throwing his arm high in the air and making a fist formation. He was rewarded with the loudest round of applause he had ever received.
Nicols' moves were nothing short of phenomenal while dancing along to “Billie Jean.” What was your favorite part of the performance? Be sure to pass this along to your peers and ask them, too.