Where does Idol Challenge come from?
The Idol Challenge started after the K-pop band BTS released a little song onto YouTube on August 24, 2018. The song, called “IDOL,” was paired with an impressive dance routine, and within 24 hours, it earned more than 45 million views.
We forgot to mention that BTS, or the Bangtan Boys, is one of the biggest music phenomena of 2018 and a massively popular K-pop group that has crossover success in the US and around the world.
Congratulations to BTS! 'IDOL' now holds the record for the biggest music video debut in YouTube history, earning over 45 million views in its first 24 hours. https://t.co/ZqZmVpbIJF pic.twitter.com/G3cx51eRmC
— YouTube (@YouTube) August 28, 2018
On the same day as the video’s release, Twitter user @sonia_oolo uploaded a video with the hashtag “#IDOLCHALLENGE.” The video showed a young boy nailing all the BTS dance moves.
— Sonia Atieno (@sonia_oloo) August 24, 2018
The challenge really took off when on August 27, 2018 when J-Hope, a member of BTS, posted a video of himself on the social app Tik Tok complete with the “#IDOLCHALLENGE” hashtag.
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) August 27, 2018
Cementing the Idol Challenge as a viral internet dance craze was a remix of the song “IDOL” with American rapper Nicki Minaj. The end of the remix video, released on September 6th, features a compilation of people doing the Idol Challenge.
Examples of Idol Challenge
Who uses Idol Challenge?
During the months of August and September 2018, it was hard to go on Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube without seeing someone posting about the Idol Challenge. With BTS’s enormous popularity coupled with the the internet’s love of dance crazes, “IDOL” really went viral.
Compilations of all kinds of people doing the Idol Challenge are still all over YouTube. Some of these videos have gained hundreds of thousands of views.
Even major publications couldn’t resist talking about the Idol Challenge. The likes of Billboard, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and NME all wrote articles about the Idol Challenge.
People loved posting about where they were doing the Idol Challenge using the hashtag “#IDOLCHALLENGE” and “#BTS” along with their location. A quick search on Twitter shows people doing it from South Korea to the United States to Turkey.
— Melanie (@mel28purple) October 17, 2018
This is not meant to be a formal definition of Idol Challenge like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Idol Challenge that will help our users expand their word mastery.