u look haute is not so hot—so far
“u look haute” is so hot right now, and for all the wrong reasons. Blame Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp.
The new original YouTube channel, “u look haute,” launched with a “bang” on April 3, but following the premiere episode of channel’s first show, Beauty Blogger Boot Camp, many fans are left whimpering.
Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp, an online Web reality competition, is “U look haute’s” first major project. u look haute is one of YouTube’s original content channels funded by the Google-owned company’s $100 million initiative aimed at original programming.
When the reality show launched last week, the two hosts, sisters Elle and Blair Fowler, known for their bubbly personalities, received a storm of good press. Forbes even called the duo “YouTube’s Newest Darlings” in a segment about the show.
Since 2008, Blair Fowler’s work, alone, has been viewed more than 189 million times, and she’s collected an impressive fan base of 967,776 subscribers. The Fowlers’s beauty career really took off in 2010, when they began racking up big bucks with makeup endorsements and multiple TV appearances.
But if the reaction across the Web following the duo’s first episode is any indication, the two sisters left much to be desired.
“Emilie,” a fan of the show and of the beauty guru sisters, tactfully broached the criticism in a comment on Blair Fowler’s blog post announcing the first episode: “The show is pretty cool but your presenting personalities and your youtube personalities are worlds apart.”
Other fans have been less subtle. Common critiques of the show, which outnumber praise, include calling the duo “bitchy,” “awkward,” “fake,” and “rude,” and the show “unprofessional.”
The first episode of Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp, at just over 8 minutes long, tests the ten contestants’s ability to apply a full face of make-up in three minutes—without the use of a mirror. The ten contestants were presumably just pulled out of bed, as they were all in sleeping attire. The Fowler sisters then critiqued, at times with attitude, each contestant’s efforts. One particular moment that rubbed fans the wrong way: when both sisters were so disappointed in one contestants efforts they simply stared at her, and then walked away.
At press time, the first episode sits at just over 250,000 views, not a paltry sum, but not as successful as comparable YouTube celebrity Philip DeFranco’s new venture, SourceFed.
“I just watched the first episode and it made me want to unsubscribe from both Elle and Blair,” wrote RaspberryRocker10 in a comment liked more than 100 times. “All in all, this sucks. [T]hey suck. [I] have never felt this way about them before but [I] just have to say this.”
RaspberryRocker10’s level of disappointment was echoed elsewhere.
“The girls already have a rep for being a bit fake and lacking in genuineness (is that a word?) and this has just backed it up and then added "bitchy" to the list of negative traits,” lamented cherrybomb, who then wondered why the show wasn’t more “tasteful” in a popular forum dedicated to YouTube beauty gurus.
“I think people are taking this show WAY out of proportion” wrote jbee33 in an attempt to quell the angry fanbase on the forum. “It's just a youtube show people, its not some official TV competition. And yeah the girls are going to be bitchy and slightly rude because as the name says its a BOOT CAMP.”
The fan Tumblr, “Elle and Blair News,” even defended the sisters in a post on April 8, writing,
“I don’t understand why everyone is saying Elle and Blair were being rude and snooty when they weren’t. They have to critique the contestants, and faking a compliment would be insincere... Everyone saying that they were being rude and snobby obviously hate the idea of the show because they don’t want to see them succeed!”
TVCriticArmy’s main issue with the show, she explained in a vlog, is that she doesn’t understand the prize: “it’s a really peculiar prize, because anyone can become a beauty vlogger... anyone can upload videos to YouTube.”
As one Beauty Vlogger Bootcamp contestant, Giselle Ugarte, pointed out in a vlog, the sisters criticisms could have been “a lot worse.” Ugarte also addressed TVCriticArmy’s confusion, by saying being on the show would put them in the Fowler network, which includes “partnerships with brands and celebrities.”
Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp airs every Tuesday. Will the Fowler fanbase be able to handle the second episode, or will it be a hot mess, as some are already predicting?