Photo Credit: @paulkarmiryan on Instagram
Dance fans probably know Paul Karmiryan from his time on So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), as a contestant and an all-star, and from his appearances on Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). Now, Karmiryan has branched out from the dance competition show space to star as Agent X in Ed Sheeran’s music video for his new single ‘South of the Border,' which is featured on his latest album titled No. 6 Collaborations Project. The video also stars Sheeran (Teddy Fingers), along with Camila Cabello (The Mariposa), Cardi B (herself), and DWTS alum Alexis Ren (Scarlet Jones). Last time Karmiryan and Sheeran teamed up for the ‘Thinking Out Loud’ video, Karmiryan was used strictly behind-the-scenes, but in ‘South of the Border,’ he gets the chance to sizzle in the spotlight.
‘South of the Border,’ directed by Jason Koening (who also worked with Sheeran on videos for ‘Shape of You,’ ‘Perfect,’ and ‘Galway Girl’), tells a spy-themed story using all of the elements that are usually included in a good spy flick. It has fight scenes, a car chase, a possible romance, and even ends with a huge twist.
The video begins when Ren slips a drug into Sheeran’s drink, causing him to pass out. When he finally wakes up he finds himself blindfolded and tied to a chair in the library. Ren then finds a valuable ruby necklace hidden in a book and steals it. Karmiryan immediately is on the case, but loses Ren in a high-speed car chase that takes his search to south of the border in Mexico. Here, he meets Cabello who tries to seduce him while sharing a dance on the beach, but fails when Karmiryan spots Ren again wearing the ruby necklace.
After a second chase, this time in a pool with an underwater tunnel, Cabello ends up capturing Karmiryan. Now, the story shifts to Cardi B tied up with Karmiryan and Ren, but she escapes and helps Ren escape, despite being watched by Sheeran and Cabello.
The video for ‘South of the Border’ was released on Oct. 4 and has already racked up over 13 million views and 745,000 likes on YouTube. As previously mentioned, the last time Karmiryan teamed up with Sheeran was to give him dance training for his ‘Thinking Out Loud’ (2014) video, which also starred DWTS and SYTYCD alum Brittany Cherry and was produced by NappyTabs. To date, that video has over 2 billion views on YouTube.
It’s so good to see dancers like Karmiryan having successful careers outside of being involved in competition dance shows. He is showing other aspiring dancers that a career in entertainment really does have depth if you take full advantage of your opportunities and form meaningful relationships in the business, which is exactly what Karmiryan did with his relationship with Sheeran. During their last collaboration in 2014, Karmiryan worked strictly behind-the-scenes, and now for ‘South of the Border,’ he is front and center for everyone to appreciate the dancer and actor he has become since SYTYCD brought him to our TVs in 2013.