Trending This Week: Catcalls, Ten Second Songs, and PewDiePie

October 31, 2014

Halloween is one of YouTube’s favorite holidays, and this year on the Spotlight channel, we celebrated with some of our hallow’ed traditions: cool DIY costumes and scaring the heck out of people. This week was also doubly special as we celebrated the birthdays of two of YouTube’s greatest raisons d’etre: the Internet and Katy Perry.

Street Harassment Video - 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman

This video, commissioned by an advocacy group called Hollaback, started with a simple concept: follow a young woman for a day, capturing all the catcalls, “hey baby’s,” and harassing remarks that come her way (more than 100 after 10 hours, as it turned out). But it had a complicated response – sparking controversy, conversation, and a lot of close reading. Editorializing aside, the buzz made for a blockbuster view count (over 18 million in 48 hours).


There are two types of people in this world: people who know about PewDiePie and people who don’t. And never the twain shall meet. For that latter group, here’s the deal: the Swedish gamer is the current sine qua non of YouTube, holding the top slot for number of subscribers (his channel has had just shy of 3.5 BILLION views so far this year). But even if you’re not a member of the #BroArmy, you can get down with this charming chat sesh with Pewds’s mom, sister, and a pair of pugs. Shall we raise our hands in brofist (editor’s note: a Brofist is a friendly greeting or farewell and the main symbol used by PewDiePie to his bros)?

Ten Second Songs - Michael Jackson - Thriller

Impersonator impresario Anthony Vincent has a reliable formula: cover songs in 20 different styles, ten seconds a pop. (Improbably, he can pull off everyone from Kurt Cobain to Frank Sinatra, the Spice Girls, and DMX ). He hit it big with a “Dark Horse” cover in March, and has had over 35M views since then. This week he threw on some facepaint and covered "Thriller" to rapturous Internet praise. We think this YouTube commenter put it best: “dude. subbed for eternity.”

Abby Holcowitz - Kelly Clarkson “Shake It Off” Taylor Swift Cover

With the world in the vice-like grip of Swift mania, we were surprised to realize that the most-viewed Taylor Swift video on YouTube this week doesn’t exactly feature Ms. Swift herself. Fan-shot footage of country-pop singer Kelly Clarkson putting a stripped-down, soulful spin on the ubiquitous hit at a recent concert got the coveted Swift stamp of approval. And if you – like us – can’t get enough of celebrities covering celebrities, feast your ears on this playlist.

-- Claire Stapleton
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