After the widespread backlash to last year’s disastrous YouTube Rewind, when it came time for YouTube to debut 2019’s lookback, creator Michelle Khare wasn’t willing to wait around and see if the platform would get it right.
Instead, she made her own.
The ex-BuzzFeeder and current lifestyle creator, who boasts 1.72M subscribers, is known for her experimental content, where she documents undertaking long-term challenges — like training for five weeks to become a Victoria’s Secret model, going from no experience to full-fledged beauty pageant competitor, and surviving Marine boot camp. For YouTube Rewind 2019: The Musical, she set out on a similar journey, spending six weeks taking acting classes and learning from Broadway choreographer/dancer Joseph Corella and vocal coach Ingrid Schnell.
Her hard work shows in the final product, a majestic, nearly 10-minute musical that tromps through the highs, lows, and scandals of YouTube 2019. Thanks to slick lyrics from writer Steve Greist, Khare, a suite of backup dancers and vocalists, and a handful of special guest stars chronicle: James Charles vs. Tati Westbrook, David Dobrik surprising his best friend with a brand-new Lamborghini Huracán, Logan Paul vs. KSI 2, Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau’s “wedding,” Shane Dawson making makeup (and not having sex with his cat), PewDiePie’s T-Series defeat, MrBeast and Mark Rober’s #TeamTrees, and a big shout-out for Phil DeFranco’s daily news show.
The video is both a relentless razzing and a celebration of all things YouTube creator community, which is probably why it’s so far gotten a pretty positive response. It’s currently No. 8 on YouTube’s Trending tab, with just shy of 760K views, and has 96K likes and 7.3K dislikes. YouTube’s own 2019 Rewind–a countdown-style mishmash of the platform’s top-watched videos–is sitting at 51.7M views, 2.7M likes, and 6.5M dislikes.
“Creating YouTube Rewind is no easy feat,” Khare tells Tubefilter. “We saw the potential of making our own version of YouTube Rewind as an opportunity to challenge ourselves creatively, pay homage to our favorite creators, and to raise money for a good cause. It was exciting to show Rewind from the creator point of view, because it meant we got to show our unfiltered perspective–one that YouTube corporate might not necessarily have the liberty to. We made it a point to showcase both the good and the bad of 2019 on YouTube–and so far, people seem to resonate with its authenticity.”
Khare adds that “the real drive and ambition of this video comes from getting to support #TeamTrees, a movement that shows that throughout all the chaos, the YouTube community can do good.” Her Rewind video is officially part of the #TeamTrees fundraiser, which has raised nearly $18 million of its $20 million goal with 22 days to go.
You can tune in to Khare’s Rewind below, and check out its behind-the-scenes making-of video here.