Microphone disinfection turns to TikTok gold for Highland seniors

Who would think a video of a guy spraying disinfectant on a microphone is hilarious? Millions of TikTok users, that’s who.

The simple gesture to keep everyone safe at a school talent show is a viral TikTok sensation for two Highlands High School students.

When Alli Love saw Noah Kessler take the stage to spray disinfectant on the mic after each act, she thought it would be a fun moment to capture on camera. The moments occurred during the school’s annual “Fall Follies” talent show on October 21.

“I didn’t know Noah was on the stage crew, and I thought it was funny every time he did,” Love said.

She filmed a few videos of Kessler, then decided to edit them together, much like the videos she saw on TikTok, the popular video-based social network.

The video shows quick cuts of Kessler pulverizing the mic and receiving cheers from the crowd every time. Ginuwine’s pop song “Pony” plays below the video. Love randomly chose the 1996 song while searching for background music.

@ alli..love

best part of the show ????????

♬ Pony – Ginuwine

She posted the TikTok on Monday after friends convinced her to do so.

In three days, the video reached over 11 million views and over 2 million likes.

“I was really shocked because I didn’t expect anyone to see him other than friends,” Love said. “I’m glad people like it.”

She had to turn off TikTok’s notifications on her phone due to the engagement the video is receiving.

” They continue. Every time I open the app it doesn’t go over 99 notifications, ”she said.

Kessler, who saw the video before it was posted, was blown away by the reception. The crowd’s reaction to his actions caused the spotlight to finally come to him as he looked behind the curtains.

“I was really looking forward to being on stage, but hearing the crowd’s reactions made me happy,” Kessler said.

Andrew Conte, director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University, said the timeliness of video during covid and its fast format made it the perfect formula for getting laughs and attention.

“It’s the kind of thing we’ve been going through for a year and a half,” he said. “That sums up well”

When it comes to defining what is considered “viral,” Conte said TikTok has its own unique model for doing so.

“TikTok is special because it uses the algorithm to identify things that are popular and disseminate them to people,” he said. “The platform itself can help something go viral.”

TikTok did not respond to a request for comment.

Highlands Music Director Michael Zeiler saw the video after a former music student sent it to him. He was happy to see the attention the video was getting in just one way the school was making sure the students were safe, sanitizing the mic, while having fun.

“It was just an act of kindness,” he said. “I’m glad it turned out to be a positive and fun thing for the kids.”

Tanisha Thomas is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tanisha at 412-480-7306, [email protected] or via Twitter .



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