BANGKOK — Sorry, it’s not Ed Sheeran’s carpool karaoke or Lady Gaga’s Superbowl show.
It was a true shocker when YouTube revealed that a reality show performance of a man in an oyster costume was the single most trending video worldwide this year.
What for Thailand was an episode of popular singing competition The Mask Singer was, for nearly 200 million viewers on YouTube, a major WTF spectacle of a man in sparkly ruffled chiffon delivering an upbeat rendition of a song to an enraptured audience.
The seemingly Google-translated lyrics might also have added to the mystique for foreign viewers:
“I don’t have money, crown and headdress.
I don’t have a car or air conditioner like they do.
I don’t have Mighty X, [but an] old pickup truck with loud exhaust pipe
I’m non-appearance in gentility
and you can find me just in Sic-Bo”
Under the mask and costume was Panthapol “Ohm” Prasarnratchakij, singer for Bangkok rock band Cocktails. The performance was broadcast on local television and streamed online in June.
Thirty-two-year-old Ohm nailed the original version of the song, called “Trab Thuree Din,” by putting his unique voice through a dynamic range, drawing out some ballad notes before escalating into R&B and rap stylings.
And then there’s the audience and judges, who by the latter half of the performance are moved to cheer, clap and dance along.
Despite criticism the song is too “cheesy” and crowds “going heads over heels” in the comments, the video got a lot of applause from fans around the world.
“Not able to understand but it’s so pleasant to listen :),” Umesh Singh Mehta wrote.
“Such beautiful lyrics and melodies – I wish I spoke the language,” Greg Bennett wrote.
The video on YouTube is now available in many languages including phonetic subtitles.
The video topped a list that included “Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You | Kyle Hanagami Choreography,” “Inauguration Day — A Bad Lip Reading of Donald Trump’s Inauguration” and “Lady Gaga’s Full Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show | NFL.”
Top-trending videos are not the most viewed, but rather those YouTube measures by audience engagement such as views, shares and likes.