What Is the Lose 20lbs in 2 Weeks Dance Blowing Up on YouTube?
How a South Korean duo, a 3-minute video, and four yellow flip-flops led to 46 million views
At the start of the year, YouTube recommended a video for me to watch called “I tried the 20 lbs in 2 weeks Dance Workout Everyday” by Japanese YouTuber Sakura Snoopy, who signs off her video descriptions using the name Kaylyn. Although my first reaction was that it was ridiculous to make a blanket statement that one could lose so much weight in such a short space of time, I of course could not resist watching.
The video was uploaded in September 2020 and although the Sakura Snoopy channel has less than eight thousand subscribers the upload has garnered over 1.4 million views. In the video, Kaylyn explains how the dance workout was created by a South Korean duo and had gone viral in Japan in 2019. The requirements of the challenge are simple, you follow a basic 3-minute long dance and repeat it over the course of thirty minutes. Why did it take off? We are all aware that society is obsessed with shortcuts to lose weight and seeing quick results so following a simple dance for thirty minutes every day for only two weeks is definitely likely to appeal to the masses.
Kaylyn took sixteen days to complete the challenge due to taking rest days and in the end lost less than 2lbs, however, she did notice a change to her waist measurements. Her video intrigued me and I was hungry to learn more about who was behind the viral trend and their weight-loss claims.
The Original Lose 20lbs in 2 Weeks Viral Dance Video
A quick search for the ‘lose 20lbs in 2 weeks’ dance workout will quickly lead you to the original video entitled “[20 lbs in 2 weeks]: Dance Diet Workout | Fitz and the Tantrums — HandClap”. When I viewed the video I was shocked to find that it had over 46 million views.
The video was uploaded by Korean duo Josh & Bamui in August 2017. Although in 2021 the channel, as well as their other social media platforms, continues to be called Josh & Bamui, Josh has left the group and been replaced by another man named Danny. For clarity, it is Josh dancing with Bamui in the HandClap video however uploads since October 2019 include Danny. I will continue to refer to the channel as Josh & Bamui for the purpose of this article. Together Bamui and Danny continue to upload videos with the most recent “20 lbs in 2 weeks” dance uploaded in November 2020.
The viral dance is a simple 3-minute routine to the song “HandClap” by American indie pop and neo soul band Fitz and the Tantrums. I had never heard of the song but given it has over 100 million views on YouTube since being uploaded in 2016 it was clearly a hit at one point or another.
While watching the video I immediately noticed how casually Josh and Bamui were dressed for a dance workout particularly given that their footwear of choice is matching yellow flip-flops — not a shoe I would wear in an attempt to lose 20lbs. The dance is simple to memorise yet is high intensity and its repetition can be draining. I would compare it to doing star jumps for thirty minutes.
Evidently, I was not the only person who has had Kaylyn or Josh & Bamui’s video recommended to me by YouTube as more comments in the English language and videos of individuals taking part in the challenge have been popping up every day this month. A closer look at the HandClap comment section finds plenty of eager viewers taking part in the challenge promising to update on progress only to leave scrollers disappointed when most forget to mention their advancements after a day or so.
The video is without a doubt a viral hit, so how much money are Josh & Bamui taking in as a result of their success?
How Much Money Does a Video with 46 Million Views Make?
Josh & Bamui’s simple marketing is quite genius — they lure you in with the farfetched idea of losing a ton of weight in a short space of time, they keep their videos short giving little to no explanation of the evidence behind their video title claims, they don’t wear expensive workout clothes and they have fun personalities that shine through the screen. So are they taking full advantage of their success? It appears not.
In a Q&A video with Danny, he mentions that the dance sensations do not make any earning from their YouTube videos as the master owners and publishers of the music tracks they use are entitled to the money generated by video views. This is rather surprising when you think about how much could have been earned from the HandClap video alone.
Josh & Bamui’s videos have amassed almost 170 million views with over 3 million of these in the past 30 days according to Social Blade. They have almost thirty dance videos with over one million views. To think they aren’t profiting from this work is eye-watering but could their popular videos be helping them with other revenue streams?
Their YouTube channel seems to predominantly target their Korean, Japanese, and English-speaking fans. They link a Paypal donate button on their channel header and the HandClap video description gives contact information as well as FaceBook and Instagram links. From their Instagram account, I found that they now sell merch and also discovered that they have paid classes available on ClassTok — a Korean online learning website. Despite their efforts, it seems that Josh & Bamui are really missing out on the income that could be received from their YouTube videos.
Could it be that money really doesn’t matter to them?
In his Q&A Danny also explains how Bamui created the channel to “overcome her traumatic weight loss experience” and wanted viewers to understand that everyone can lose weight without stress or obsession by following their energetic dance videos. As lovely as it sounds you do have to question if using clickbait titles about losing large amounts of weight in short periods of time is really an appropriate way to promote healthy weight loss. Perhaps what Josh & Bamui really need is a manager who can advise them on how best to monetise their work.
The burning question; did I complete the two-week challenge myself? Well, I started it and gave up after about a week. Why? It’s simple really, the pandemic is tough enough as it is without having to listen to the same song 140 times over two weeks. Apologies to Fitz and the Tantrums but your song is not for me.
Interestingly I couldn’t find any evidence of Josh & Bamui confirming that the challenge is to complete the HandClap dance ten times a day for two weeks. All of the playlists on their channel link multiple “lose 20lbs in 2 weeks” videos. It would appear that the challenge is a creation of the viewers themselves.
If you are looking for a fun way to workout from home then Josh & Bamui’s videos may be for you but the claims of losing 20lbs in 2 weeks don’t appear to live up to expectations for the majority of viewers. Is this surprising to any of us? I certainly hope not.