Justin Timberlake's 2018 Super Bowl Halftime Show Turns This 13-Year-Old Kid Into a Star

Ryan McKenna was in the right place at the right time at this year's big football game

By Samantha Schnurr Feb 05, 2018 4:40 AMTags
Justin Timberlake, halftime show, Super Bowl LIINBC

The 2018 Super Bowl has its breakout star!

No, not Justin Timberlake. No, not Philadelphia Eagles winning quarterback Nick Foles. It's 13-year-old Ryan McKenna. During the finale of Timberlake's halftime show, the triple threat headed into the stands to mingle with fans as he belted out his "Can't Stop the Feeling." The musician ended up standing next to McKenna, and the teen suddenly—and unexpectedly—had his big moment to shine as cameras focused in on the lucky guy. 

As is typical for 2018, it wasn't long before the youngster quickly transformed into a viral meme as viewers took images of McKenna standing with his cell phone and posing for a selfie with Timberlake and spread them around Twitter. 

Super Bowl 2018: Star Sightings

The hit NBC series This Is Us, which was scheduled to debut a highly anticipated episode after the game explaining lead character Jack Pearson's death, took advantage of McKenna's facial expression to promote the upcoming episode. They used the moment of him looking at his phone to suggest he was looking up "What happens to Jack Pearson."

Meanwhile, plenty more clever viewers matched the youngster's phone pose to other feelings like "Mom, I thought you said Justin Bieber was going to be here" and "Who is Justin Timberlake?"

Needless to say, the moment pretty much made his night. As he told The St. Paul Pioneer Press, "It's been so crazy...I don't even know what to think. All my friends have been texting me and stuff. It's insane." People are even likening him to 2015's "Left Shark." 

Meanwhile, the football fan revealed why he was really looking at his phone in that moment—he was trying to get the camera app open. "I just thought to myself, 'I'll never get this opportunity again in my whole life,'" McKenna told The St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I just went for it."

Just like that, a star is born.