ENCINITAS — A young Encinitas dancer who burst onto the scene by competing on a nationally televised dance competition will appear on a popular TV lip-sync competition.
Merrick Hanna is slated to appear at 8 p.m. Sunday on Nickelodeon’s “Lip Sync Battle Shorties,” a spin-off on the popular Spike TV Series “Lip Sync Battle”
“I’m really excited, I’ve been waiting so long for the show to see it,” said Hanna, 11, who said the show finished filming a couple of months ago.
The show concept is a take on karaoke, where contestants lip sync their favorite songs, but in highly stylized and choreographed performances.
Unlike the adult version of the show, which features celebrities, “Shorties” will feature “everyday kids,” according to the news release.
Hanna, however, isn’t your everyday kid.
The 11-year-old Cardiff boy burst onto the scene this year when he appeared on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” show, wowing the judges with his “flo-bot” style dancing, which earned him a ticket to the competition’s next stage.
Hanna’s popularity has only grown from there — more than 35,000 people follow his Instagram account and several of his Youtube videos, including his appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show, have more than 700,000 views.
He also appeared in a national commercial for H&M clothing’s back to school ad campaign.
In Sunday’s show, hosted by “Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland, Hanna will lip sync “Radioactive” the 2013 smash hit from the American rock band Imagine Dragons.
“It’s not like anything I ever danced to before, but I thought it was kind of cool,” Hanna said. “I like the lyrics, and the idea that comes into my head is a mad scientist lab, and that’s really cool.”
It also doesn’t hurt that Imagine Dragons is his favorite group.
Clips of Hanna’s performance on promotional videos reveal a glimpse of the “mad scientist” performance.
“It was a lot of fun,” the fifth grader at Ada Harris Elementary said.
So what is next for Hanna? Father Shawn Hanna said we will have to wait and see — just like the family.
“It is going to be a surprise, we don’t even know,” Shawn said.
Lip Sync Battle Shorties airs at 8 p.m. Dec. 11 and will re-air on Spike TV at 8 p.m. Dec. 14.