A viral video appears to show singer Sam Smith stage diving into an audience that didn’t manage to catch them—but is it really them?
Social media users are reacting to the hilarious clip in their droves, but many eagle-eyed viewers doubted the authenticity of the footage. It was unclear to many whether the video was a joke, or a genuine video of the British nonbinary musician face-planting into a crowd.
Smith, whose preferred pronouns are they/them, has received criticism in recent months for the outlandish nature of their costumes onstage. This has included dressing as the devil at the Grammys, and wearing “fetish gear” during a recent gig. It’s led to online backlash that has also spilled out onto the streets as videos of them being shouted at by strangers have gone viral too.
“Sam Smith doing a stage dive at his Seattle show…” the TikTok user @brandonlatham5 wrote on a TiKTok video that has over 6.7 million views. Filmed from behind, the brief video shows a heavyset male figure running from the stage and belly flopping into the audience. It’s unclear if anyone attempts to catch the person, but they soon disappear out of shot and into a crowd of bodies.
“Please tell me that isn’t actually Sam Smith,” @marthajones47 commented, speaking for thousands of others who asked similar questions in the comment section.
The video went cross-platform, going viral on Twitter too, with people using it as an excuse to laugh at Smith’s expense. While many knew it wasn’t him, others used it as an excuse to make jokes and create memes. “That episode of Teletubbies where Dipsy did a sky dive for charity,” wrote @magawk.
Sam Smith tries crowd surfing. It goes about as well as expected. pic.twitter.com/5iZhQQjPAy— Catch Up (@CatchUpFeed) June 21, 2023
As people discussed the validity of the clip and whether or not it was Smith, the story behind the video was told by @Sahara_Sky on TikTok.
Their video footage shows that the man in green is definitely not the British pop star Smith. It’s actually a man dressed in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume, attending a Vanilla Ice concert in Canyonville, Oregon, on June 17, 2023.
In the original video, @Sahara_Sky shows the man dancing before the concert, and then on stage later that night alongside Vanilla Ice. From a different angle, the video shows the man deciding to jump into the audience, where no one appears to catch him.
“He made a very bad decision,” @Sahara_Sky wrote. “Right here he knew he F’ed up. I hope he is ok,” it says on screen as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle man disappears into the crowd.