YouTube Star Todrick Takes on Disney and Titanic in His New MTV Series
When Todrick Hall was eliminated in the semifinals of American Idol’s ninth season, he thought his career was over. Turns out, the burgeoning song-and-dance man couldn’t have been more wrong. Five years later, the Plainview, Texas, native is a full-on YouTube luminary with his own MTV show, titled (what else?) Todrick.
Hall’s redemption began with a video he created with some pals in which the group sang an order at a McDonald’s drive-through. It quickly went viral, amassing more than 9 million views, and served as Hall’s calling card as a content creator for the retweet generation. “I was hoping that someone would knock on my door and give me some type of dream role,” Hall says. “And when I realized that was fairy-tale thinking, I was like, ‘I have to take matters into my own hands.’”
His compulsively watchable videos—the most notable ones feature pop-culture parodies and Disney classics—have garnered him more than 235 million clicks. Now, MTV is pulling back the curtain to reveal how Hall and his friends create a video, from concept to completion, each week, as in tonight’s hometown-inspired installment. (A teaser will air at the end of each episode; the full version premieres online afterward.) Along the way, they’ll face tight time constraints and even tighter pockets. “They look like they have a huge budget behind them [but they don’t],” says Hall. “It’s usually a bunch of favors, [such as someone] loaning us a nice camera and us promising to give them a shout-out on Instagram.”
Hall and the gang will largely debut original concepts, but fans of his cheeky send-ups will also enjoy an upcoming, highly unconventional take on Titanic, titled Titaniqua. The idea stemmed from watching the Oscar-winning blockbuster with his mom back when he was in fifth grade. “She was like, ‘If there’d been a bunch of black people on that ship, we would have found a way to survive,’” says Hall, laughing. “So if you’ve ever wondered what would have happened if the Titanic sank with a whole bunch of ratchet people on there, then that’s the episode you gotta see.”
Todrick, Mondays, 10/9c, MTV