Jimmy Fallon is giving TikTok creators their time to shine. On Monday’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the host virtually welcomed the creators of five viral TikTok dances to discuss their success and perform their routines.
The creators’ appearances came after Fallon was criticized for having TikTok star Addison Rae perform the viral dances on the late-night show without giving credit to those who created them, many of whom are Black.
“On our last show before break we did a bit with Addison Rae where she taught me eight viral TikTok dances,” Fallon said. “We recognize that the creators of those dances deserve to have their own spotlight, so right now some of the creators will join me to talk about how their dance went viral and then perform the dance themselves.”
First up were Mya Nicole Johnson and Chris Cotter, who created the viral dance to Cardi B’s song “Up.”
Cotter said he and Johnson decided to choreograph to the track because they thought it had the “potential to go viral,” while Johnson recalled Cardi B’s support of them.
“That was really exciting,” she said. “She posted our video two times on her Instagram and then one time on TikTok, so that was a great experience.”
YvnggPrince, who created the “Corvette Corvette” challenge, was next, and discussed his future hopes as a college student, actor, model and dancer.
“I want to be an all-around performer, entertainer,” he said. “Will Smith and Kevin Hart, they’re, like, my inspirations. I love their journey.”
Fly Boy Fu, who created “Laffy Taffy (Remix),” and indii, who’s responsible for the accompanying dance, appeared next, with the former revealing he laid down the track in one take, and the latter sharing that she choreographed the dance in five minutes.
“It shocked me because I wasn’t even expecting it to go viral,” she admitted.
“Blinding Lights” dance creators MACDADDYZ said their love for The Weeknd inspired them to choreograph the viral dance.
“The foot move, that was our go-to dance back then, so we put that in there, we added some hand movements, and it just kind of went together perfectly,” they said.
Last up was Keara Wilson, who created the mega-viral dance to Megan Thee Stallion’s track, “Savage.”
“It took me about 30 minutes to choreograph because I kept changing the ending,” she told Fallon. “… I never expected it to blow up like it did. I just did it for fun, honestly. Then I just kept seeing it grow.”
“Celebrities were doing it, little kids were doing it. It was the best,” she continued. “Seeing my dance bring joy to people throughout quarantine was definitely the best part.”
Prior to the Addison Rae controversy, ET spoke to Kaelyn Kastle, Kaychelle Dabney and Queen Khamyra, members of the Atlanta-based Collab Crib, about being Black creators on TikTok and the cultural appropriation they’ve witnessed on the platform.
“I do understand that Black creators are trendsetters for a lot of the content that is being produced on TikTok,” Kastle said. “But at the same time, there’s a way to involve yourself in someone’s culture without it becoming cultural appropriation… You want people to appreciate us, but at the same time, it’s a fine line. I think it’s more the educational background where they educate themselves before they can be involved.”
“Sometimes it does mess with your mental [state] because you’re like, ‘Well, dang,’ like because you’re trying so hard and you’re doing exactly the same thing as other people, but for some reason, it seems like you’re being targeted or you’re being, like, hated or something like that,” Dabney added. “You can’t dwell on the situation. You can’t beat yourself up because you won’t get anywhere. So even though it sucks, the most we can do is work harder.”