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'Backpack kid' steals the show at Katy Perry's 'SNL' performance

Fifteen-year-old Russell Horning mesmerized viewers when he appeared during Perry's performance of "Swish Swish."
/ Source: TODAY

In a "Saturday Night Live" performance by Katy Perry that included a group of sashaying drag queens and rows of pom pom-wielding cheerleaders, one person stole the show and left everyone with a simple question.

What's up with the kid with the backpack? (Jump ahead to 2:26 to see his entrance.)

Enjoying a "Left Shark"-style moment during Perry's performance of "Swish Swish" was 15-year-old Russell Horning, who goes by "Russell Got Barzz" online.

The teen from Lawrenceville, Georgia, captivated the audience with his deadpan expression, his hypnotic dance moves, and, of course, his backpack.

Horning, who was discovered on Instagram by Perry, keeps a full water bottle, earbuds, a phone charger and fidget spinners in the backpack to give it just the right amount of weight for dancing, he told USA Today.

A month ago, he traded a friend some shoes for the backpack and began dancing with it, he told the newspaper.

Horning has amassed more than 500,000 Instagram followers for his comically deadpan dancing, writing in his bio, "Disclaimer: I can't dance." He has dubbed his signature arm-swinging move "The Russell."

Perry even joined him for some joyfully awkward moves.

He is a favorite of pop royalty, as one of his dancing videos was posted by Rihanna last year when she found out about her eight Grammy nominations.

Horning's performance on "SNL" brought to mind that of the famous "Left Shark" that danced alongside Perry during her 2015 performance at halftime of the Super Bowl.

The shark's fin-flopping, lurching dance moves (Perry's backup dancer Bryan Gaw was in the suit) captivated the internet.

As for Horning, he plans on having more than his 15 minutes of fame like "Left Shark" enjoyed.

"I'll never stop,'' he told USA Today.


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Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.