There are whirlwinds and then there are viral-video VMA-related whirlwinds. The last time MTV News caught up with home-video mastermind Ton Do-Nguyen to discuss the success of his shot-for-shot recreation of Beyoncé’s “Countdown” video, which the Queen B herself called “brilliant,” he was beside himself with delight at Beyoncé’s recognition. The next time we contacted Nguyen, it was also music video-related, but on grander scale: to let him know that MTV had set aside two tickets for him and his mother to fly out and attend the VMAs.
“I am… I’m just freaking out right now,” Nguyen said when asked how he was feeling about attending the awards show. “This is so awesome. Thank you so much! I can’t believe this. I don’t know what to say.”
If there’s anyone who’s earned a ticket to tomorrow’s (September 6) main event, it’s Nguyen. How many of this year’s guests can say that they are a YouTube sensation whose work has also been blessed by its insanely famous VMA-nominated inspiration? Not many. Because Nguyen is clearly well-versed in the world of music-video choreography, we also had him break down the nominees in the Best Choreography category, for which the 16-year-old also provided us with corresponding, Snuggie-clad mash-up videos.
“They’re all such good music videos, I love it. Avicii’s “Levels,” that music video is fun. He’s just going around getting kind of crunk. It’s funny and silly but really cool,” Nguyen. “Chris Brown, “Turn Up the Music”: there are so many intricate moves in there. There is so much energy in all the moves he does; it’s a really energetic video. J-Lo and Pitbull, “Dance Again,” where do I start? I love how it’s put together, the choreography is very sharp and very clean, and it’s cool how they pulled off all the visuals. Rihanna, “Where Have You Been,” it’s kind of tribal which I really like. I love the feel of the video, it feels out there and earthy and really tribal.”
And what did he love most about Beyoncé’s “Countdown?”
“It’s really different from a lot of her videos, you can tell she’s having so much fun in the video and she’s just glowing from her pregnancy and she’s having so much fun and incorporating so many influences that are just classic,” he said. “I love that it was inspired by ’60s pop art, it makes it iconic and I love all the imagery and choreography, it’s probably one of my favorite videos.”
So who does Nguyen think should win the category?
“Well, Queen B! But I might be a bit biased on that.”
Finally, what are Nguyen and his mom doing to prepare for his big night out at the VMAs?
“I’m in shock right now. I’m frozen and I don’t really know how to articulate at all,” he said. “My mom is so excited for me. She doesn’t really watch the VMAs but she’s excited for me and this will be a good experience for her. She’ll have a lot of fun I know that.”
Has he started packing yet?
“I haven’t packed yet, is that bad? What am I supposed to wear to the event?”
We suggested he pack one of his signature Snuggies.
“Yes! I’ll bring the blue Snuggie. I’m going shopping tonight,” he added. “So I’ll have my pimped-out outfit on.”