The next Macarena?
From soccer to the Billboard charts, get your hips ready for the "Ai Se Eu TePego" invasion
The '90s seem like a simpler time: The economy was booming, Internet comments hadn't been invented yet, and Ice Cube was still primarily a rapper.
But it was also a strange time when a dance craze called "The Macarena" invaded America, taking over the Billboard chart and the nation's hips. Surely that could never happen again, right?
America generally avoids foreign pop songs with cheesy dance moves. It's one of the things that makes us great. George W. Bush might have gotten us into a war in Iraq, but he kept us away from Las Ketchup.
As the Euro Cup heats up, there's another international phenomenon that's making waves stateside. In Brazil, "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" was a moderate hit by singer Michel Teló in the summer of 2011 when Brazilian footballer Neymar was caught on camera performing the song's hip-thrusty signature choreography.
But Neymar's moves were just the beginning. On Oct. 22, soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo performed the "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" dance to celebrate his goal for Real Madrid against Malaga CF. Within a couple weeks, the Teló video skyrocketed from 33,000 to 33 million hits on YouTube.
After Ronaldo, players from England to Greece have been dancing to the song on the field, in the locker room and beyond, the song has over 364 million views and the single has hit No. 1 in 17 countries — including on the U.S. Latin Billboard chart. But can a song called "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" crack the mainstream?
It's not unheard of for Spanish-language songs to make it on the Billboard charts (think Shakira's "La Tortura" and "Gasolina" by Pitbull) but America generally avoids foreign pop songs with cheesy dance moves. It's one of the things that makes us great. George W. Bush might have gotten us into a war in Iraq, but he kept us away from Las Ketchup.
Despite this, Teló's hit has spent 10 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 81. As the Euro Cup puts it even more on the radar, it could stick around. The thing about "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" is that it has a way of getting in your head and staying there.
Is America ready for another Macarena? Start practicing your hip thrusts now.