For the final challenge of Billboard NXT – a first-of-its-kind singing competition from Billboard and Samsung Galaxy, designed to discover the next great unsigned artist – the 12 contestants were tasked with a unique proposition: slowing things down, and running them out.
Using their Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G to capture their content from the best angle, the contestants were tasked with slowing down a track of their choosing in their performance clip – while speeding themselves up with some physical activity. Each of the 12 artists delivered some of their best moves yet while performing reworked versions of some familiar favorites.
The Billboard NXT contestants are being ranked weekly on a custom Billboard chart, with the three top artists becoming finalists and being paired with one of three superstar celebrity mentors: Charli XCX, Anitta and Todrick Hall. Each finalist will perform at the competition’s Grand Finale, a livestreamed event on Billboard.com, and the winner will receive a Billboard cover, a music video, studio time to record a first single and tickets to the Billboard Music Awards.
See where the contestants stand as we get closer to the grand finale, and check out all of the performance clips in the final challenge of Billboard NXT below!
Amir Brandon, “Fireflies”
@amirbrandon##ad For the final round of the @billboardnxt competition, I created a retro, slow-down version of “Fireflies.” What do you think? @samsungus 🤩♬ original sound – Amir Brandon
Amir Brandon brought us back to the ‘80s with a retro version of “Fireflies,” paired with some throwback workout moves and a vintage filter for a hilarious and entertaining aerobics clip.
Betty Reed, “Fireflies”
@bettyreed.music##ad Check Out the @billboardnxt + @samsungus 5th & 6th Challenge, “slow it down and run it out” like and comment to show I should be ##billboardnxt♬ original sound – Betty Reed
Betty Reed twirled through the streets for her acoustic version of “Fireflies,” nailing her moves while being filmed from a moving car in an impressive, music video-style performance.
Bronze Avery, “Back To You”
@bronzeavery##ad for this week’s @billboardnxt challenge I had to slow down “back to you” while getting some physical activity in 👌🏾🏀@samsungus ##BillboardNXT♬ original sound – BRONZE
In covering “Back To You,” Bronze Avery slows down the track to give it a more intimate sound while demonstrating some basketball moves with impressive balance.
Celia Inside, “Back To You”
@celiainside##ad aw – it’s Challenge 5 & 6 already for @billboardnxt via @billboard & @samsungus! here’s “Back to You” — lmk what you think!♬ original sound – celiaINside
For the final challenge, Celia Inside not only created a futuristic cover of “Back To You,” but also added props and a cohesive narrative to create her own visual opus.
James The Seventh, “Complicated”
@jamestheseventh##ad Here’s my submission for the next @billboardnxt challenge @samsungus ##BillboardNXT♬ original sound – James the Seventh
James The Seventh’s slowed-down, dark-pop cover of “Complicated” is accompanied by intricate choreography that showcases a mix of music and dance skills.
Jayne Rio, “So Sick”
@jaynerio##ad ##ad This week, for the last @billboardnxt challenge, I chose to use So Sick and I’m about to slow it down and run it out @samsungus♬ So Sick – Ne-Yo
For “So Sick,” Jayne Rio added some classic TikTok moves to the cover of the breakup anthem, intertwining the track with perfectly timed movement.
Jordan Occasionally, “Complicated”
@jordanoccasionally##ad • what if complicated was a slowed down rnb song? @billboardnxt @samsungus ##billboardnxt♬ original sound – jordan_occasionally
“Complicated” becomes a groovy R&B track thanks to Jordan Occasionally, who performs the stellar cover with silky moves and their signature vocal acrobatics.
Mackenzie Johnson, “Fireflies”
@mackenziemusic26##ad It’s the final week of @billboardnxt! Like, comment, & share this video to help me make it to the top 3 🤩 @billboard @samsungus ##BillboardNXT♬ Fireflies – Owl City
For her top-notch acoustic cover of “Fireflies,” Mackenzie Johnson gives an energetic performance and ditches her guitar midway through to show off some lively choreography.
mreens, “Do It”
@mreens##ad when @billboardnxt and double Dutch challenge collab 🙃 this is my cover of Do It produced by mreens ##billboardnxt @samsungus♬ original sound – mreens
Starting out slow with vibrant cover of “Do It,” mreens kicked their performance up a notch by adding in some hopscotch moves to fit the indelible beat.
@serpentamusic##ad Check our my final entry for @billboardnxt where I slow it down and run it out @samsungus♬ original sound – serpentamusic
Serpenta jammed along to her cover of “Fireflies” in her performance clip, adding in some TikTok gestures for a fun performance.
Sophie Marks, “Turn The Beat Around”
@sophiemarksmusic##ad here’s my cover of “Turn The Beat Around” for the final @billboardnxt challenge *with a built in workout* 🏋️♀️🏃🏻♀️💜 @samsungus ##billboardnxt♬ original sound – sophiemarks
“Turn The Beat Around” was transformed into a slowed-down R&B track for Sophie Marks’ latest submission — which she choreographed into a fun aerobics video, complete with a retro workout look.
Soukhya, “Do It”
@soukhyaa##ad my @billboardnxt + @samsungus submission for the run it out & slow it down challenge! Like & Comment to show I’m ##BillboardNXT ! 🥰🤍♬ original sound – SOUKHYA
Soukhya turned this challenge into her own spin class, showcasing an animated cover of “Do It” while riding a stationary bike — all without breaking a sweat!