Fox is known as the network of American Idol. But where does it go to pick nominees for its Teen Choice Awards? YouTube.
The finalists for Choice Web Star, announced earlier this week, all got Internet famous thanks to their YouTube videos. The Teen Choice organization didn’t respond to an inquiry about its nomination process. Why don’t they just call the category YouTube Star? That seems easier.
Here are the nominees:
Rebecca Black shot to Web infamy with her “Friday” song and music video, which has seen countless parodies and skits. Before the video was taken down because of a copyright dispute with Black’s previously obscure label, Ark Music Factory, it’s unclear how many people have viewed Black’s work, but it’s safe to assume it’s in the hundreds of millions. She’s now back with a new song and video, “My Moment.” At 14, Black is the youngest Web Star nominee this year.
Keenan Cahill, who became famous for his lip-sync videos, has received almost 300 million views on his work. Cahill has become quite the celebrity mingler, with stars either performing with him, or in his videos (including 50 Cent, and Katy Perry). Cahill is known for having Maroteaux–Lamy syndrome.
Blair Fowler and her sister Elle began their YouTube careers in July 2008, and have amassed 140 million views on their beauty tutorials since. Even so, the Fowler sisters are the least known of the nominees—perhaps that’s because YouTube’s beauty tips remain a poorly understood phenomenon.
Sgt. Scott Moore, who started the phenomenon of Marine Corps Ball invitations to celebrities by asking out Mila Kunis, has also been nominated for this year’s Web Star. His date request video has been viewed more than 3 million times, and featured on TV and in countless news articles and blog posts. Moore has only made one video for the Web, but perhaps patriotism and ingenuity will prevail.
Shane Dawson, known for his wacky cross-dressing skits and self-deprecating humor, has amassed more than 500 million views since he began his YouTube career three years ago. As last year’s winner, you’d think he wouldn’t qualify again, but he's still funny. It's not clear if Teen Choice allows repeats and the organization didn't respond to a request for clarification.
So go out and vote for your favorite, kiddies! If you're 19 or under, you can vote every day until August 5, and the award ceremony airs August 7, 8 pm Eastern.