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They’re hitting the teen mainstream.
YouTube stars continue to extend their influence in mainstream media with their innagural appearance at the Teen Choice Awards Sunday night. Online stars were given their own digital awards section, with multiple nominated categories, from catchall Choice Web Star categories to specific awards for Comedy, Beauty and Gaming, as well as an award for a top Vine star.
“This is the first ever award show to nominate all these digital stars,” said Hunter March of AwesomenessTV on the red carpet livestream that he partially hosted. “This is all something they never expected. For them and for myself I want to thank Teen Choice Awards, this is amazing.”
YouTube stars turned out in droves for the event, from nominees to invited guests, and in typical digital star fashion, they documented their night extensively.
— Fullscreen, Inc. (@Fullscreen) August 10, 2014
— Ricky Dillon (@RickyPDillon) August 10, 2014
Despite Variety’s recent report that YouTube stars are eclipsing traditional media stars in recognition for teen viewers, reactions were mixed in the digital viewing audience who spent their afternoon watching the “blue carpet” pre-show. Some were excited to see their favorite YouTubers grace the carpet and were anxious for their idols to make interview appearances, while others bemoaned the lack of “real celebrities” on the stream.
WHERE ARE ALL THE CELEBRITIES DAMMIT I SEE THESE INTERNET PEOPLE ALL THE TIME SHOW ME A TV STAR #TeenChoiceAwards
— Kayla (@TWERKlNTOMMO) August 10, 2014
This year’s TCAs = Social Media Awards #TeenChoiceAwards
— lananas (@twochainly) August 10, 2014}
WHY ARE YOUTUBERS ATTENDING THE #TeenChoiceAwards AND NOT ONE DIRECTION IT’S UNFAIR
— orange pie !! (@nouiskey) August 10, 2014
Annoyed bc all I see are people from social media and no celebrities #TeenChoiceAwards
— Kayla (@TWERKlNTOMMO) August 10, 2014
RT if you’re sick of hearing words like ‘viner’, ‘youtuber’, ‘vlogger’ etc. #TeenChoiceAwards
— Taylor Swift (@sIaylorswift) August 10, 2014
just having #TeamInternet be a thing at the TCA this year is such a big deal WHO CARES WHO EVEN WON TBH
— kat ♔ #TRXYE (@xtroye) August 11, 2014
that’s a couple small steps (literally) for some content creators, one giant leap for #TeamInternet. congrats to everyone once more🎈🎉
— fran (@ohhhfrances) August 11, 2014
— YouTubeGurlz (@YouTubeGurlz) August 11, 2014
The night’s big web winners included fashion icon Bethany Mota, vlogging supergroup Our Second Life and Tyler Oakley, who is the only web star to snag two awards, one for a collaboration with Troye Sivan and another as Choice Web Star: Male. He snagged the latter over Viner Cameron Dallas, inciting some infighting among fan groups. Dallas himself tweeted about how the event was a set up and winners knew in advance, throwing shade on Oakley. He quickly deleted, but not before enterprising fans screenshotted the incident. His “smh” Tweet in response to Oakley’s win remains. Oakley had previously tweeted about meeting Dallas in the bathroom at the event. “Just met @camerondallas in the bathroom at the #TCAs. Normal. Casual,” he tweeted. The tension between the two might stem from Oakley calling out homophobic Vines by Dallas’ friend Nash Grier earlier this year.
If YouTubers are getting play on major national award shows, it’s only a matter of time before their feuds start making the pages of US Weekly. With the mainstream invasion of digital stars comes the good and the bad of widespread fame. A full list of web winners is below:
Choice Web Star: Female – Bethany Mota
Choice Web Star: Male – Tyler Oakley
Choice Web Star: Comedy – Our2ndLife
Choice Web Star: Music – Shawn Mendes
Choice Web Star: Fashion/Beauty – Zoe Sugg (“Zoella”)
Choice Web Star: Gaming – PewDiePie
Choice Web Collaboration – Troye Sivan & Tyler Oakley – The “Boyfriend” Tag
Choice Viner – Cameron Dallas
Screenshots via Teen Choice Awards | Illustration by Jason Reed
A former YouTube reporter for the Daily Dot, Rae Votta has more than a decade of experience in the digital and entertainment industries. Her work has appeared on AOL, Huffington Post, Out Magazine, Logo, VH1, Current TV, Billboard, and NYMag. She joined Netflix in 2016.