Five years ago, Nelson shot to online infamy after she attempted to do a Jamaican accent for a “You Generation” video campaign that resulted in her blurting out a weird sound: “balegdah”. The bizarre moment went viral, became a meme, spawned dozens of think pieces and even inspired several merchandise lines.
Now, users online have made light of the hilarious blunder by imagining that Nelson has been cast as Sebastian the crab, who has a Jamaican accent, in the forthcoming live action The Little Mermaid.
One Twitter user wrote: “Congratulations to Jesy from Little Mix who has been cast as the Jamaican crab Sebastian in The Little Mermaid”, while another said: “Cast Jesy Nelson as Sebastian the crab, you cowards.”
Congratulations to Jesy from Little Mix who has been cast as the Jamaican crab Sebastian in The Little Mermaid pic.twitter.com/E3FGA2Ffnv
— ???? (@Spilling_The_T) July 6, 2019
Another person joked that they’d made a petition calling for her casting: “Hi, please sign my http://change.org petition to have Jesy Nelson play Sebastian in the live-action Disney remake of The Little Mermaid.”
Hi, please sign my https://t.co/C5saGzsxbI petition to have Jesy Nelson play Sebastian in the live-action Disney remake of The Little Mermaid.
— Steve #GTTO ? (@artificialsteve) July 5, 2019
In November 2015, Nelson was asked by the Huffington Post UK whether she found the clip’s popularity annoying. “Oh my god, the most! So much. It isn’t my Jamaican accent, it’s annoying,” she said.
“The fan edited it as though it was my Jamaican accent, I actually do a Jamaican accent! That’s not even a Jamaican accent, they just cut off my accent and said that was my Jamaican accent.”
She went on to explain that the noise – which has been coined “balegdah” – is a sound she and her bandmates make when they’re puzzled by something stumped.
“We do it all the time but for some reason that bit was hilarious. I’ll never live it down,” Nelson added.
Disney’s live action remake of 1989 animated classic stars Halle Bailey, one half of the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle, as Ariel. No actor has been attached to the role of Prince Eric so far, though if BTS fans had their way, member Jimin would be cast as Ariel’s love interest.
The film is currently in pre-production with no confirmed release date.