Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime performance was making headlines before it even started: first there was rumored Prince hologram, then there wasn’t (but there was a Prince tribute), and then it was Janet Jackson Appreciation Day.
Despite all the noise, the pop star did his thing, and even though not everyone agrees on how much they actually enjoyed his performance, it should say something that the most memorable part of it was not Timberlake at all, but instead, that kid he got a selfie with. The “selfie” kid, as he came to be known, was broadcast to millions of televisions all over the world, subsequently inspired some pretty great memes, and now, in true keeping with the circle of life, he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about his experience and to receive a laundry list of prizes.
Ryan McKenna, 13, is a diehard New England Patriots fan from Scituate, Massachusetts. He was excited to go to the Super Bowl, but had no idea just how good his seats would be. "My dad told me two weeks before and I just started crying. I couldn't believe it. Just to go to the Super Bowl is a dream come true," he said.
When he realized what was about to happen, though, he made sure to do what he needed to get a selfie, elbows and all. Turns out, despite what one of the most popular memes suggested, McKenna really is a JT fan. He got there, but his phone didn’t exactly cooperate. "I have the iPhone 6, so that thing's slow. It just shut off," McKenna said. "That's why all the memes formed."
What happened next will surprise literally no one who has ever heard a single thing about Ellen’s show—in fact, it hardly surprised McKenna himself. Timberlake himself calling in to speak to McKenna and provide his own perspective on that night’s most viral moment.
"Basically, I knew that I wanted to end the performance with 'Can't Stop the Feeling!' because I knew how people respond to that song," the performer said. "And then cut to Ryan!"
Timberlake then invited McKenna and his family to his upcoming show in Boston so that the two could properly meet and get a “second selfie together.”
As if that weren’t enough, the NFL gifted the McKenna family with a “VIP experience” to a New England Patriots home game next season, as well as four tickets to a game and four pre-game field passes.
Man... this kid is so damn lucky.