Streamy Awards: Winners List (Updating)

18 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 Reasons We’re Losing Our Chill Over the Streamy Awards.

There are many ways in which a person – celebrity or mere mortal – can confront one’s haters. This might be the first year that the Streamy Awards will be broadcast live on television, but that doesn’t mean the online video award show has forgotten its roots.LOS ANGELES — The minds behind the most-popular Internet videos that make you laugh, cry and think are assembling Thursday for the 5th Streamy Awards.The multiplatform awards show, which is designed to honor excellence in online video and those who create it, will take place at the Hollywood Palladium on Sept. 17 and will air on VH1.

To the delight of YouTube fanatics worldwide (ourselves included), The 2015 Streamy Awards – otherwise known as the Oscars of YouTube – is just around the corner. Hosted by Grace Helbig and Tyler Oakley, the Streamys has a star-studded lineup of presenters, including Paula Abdul, Ciara, Sean Kingston and Michelle Phan. Amass over 20 million fans across various platforms, have an audience with Barack Obama, and appear on the cover of a major magazine and still leave most of the country hearing your name and wondering, “Who?” But with YouTube supernova Tyler Oakley leading the way—his luminescent shock of white-gold hair and megawatt Cheshire Cat grin surely the guiding lights—#TeamInternet, as he affectionately calls his peers and their loyal fans, is steadily marching towards legitimacy.

By being the Internet, says YouTube star Grace Helbig, a former Streamy winner and this year’s co-host. “The Streamys are the Internet personified,” she says. “Every person who comes out on stage is so unexpected, but so wonderfully welcome. Here are five reasons why we’re canceling all our Thursday plans, buying a pizza and watching the broadcast curled up to our phone (for tweeting purposes, obviously).

The 26-year-old openly gay Michigan native posted his first video on YouTube eight years ago, an awkwardly shot greeting card meant for just his close friends that accidentally amassed around 100 views. It really feels like you’re clicking through a bunch of tabs in real life.” Take this year’s eclectic lineup of announcers and performers, for example. Mashable’s Brian Anthony Hernandez and Annie Park will be on scene, so follow Mashable’s live Snapchat story under the app’s “Stories” tab to see their exclusive photos and videos of Internet celebrities and musical performances from A Great Big World featuring Futuristic, Future, OMI, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Hailee Steinfeld.

Now you can really be in charge of your own trajectory.” For Oakley, that means an unexpected career as the gay BFF of millions of hashtag-wielding Internet fiends, the majority of whom might be found beaming with their glistening orthodontics at the two “vlogs”—video blogs—Oakley posts each week. If that sounds overwhelming, Streamys co-founder Drew Baldwin says the awards aim to sift through, as he puts it, “this seemingly infinite sea of content.” “On YouTube alone, every minute, there’s 300 hours of video uploaded,” he tells EW. “I think there’s definitely a need for a curator, and in many ways, the Streamys serves as a discovery platform for new audiences.” To do that curating, the awards, which began five years ago, focuses on content creators who do what they do intentionally, Baldwin explains, helping to narrow things down from the “accidental viral videos.” Then again, the web is constantly changing, and to Helbig, that means the Streamys will, too. I am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful night celebrating the talents and accomplishments of online creators and #TeamInternet as a whole,” Oakley said in a statement announcing his hosting gig. It’s a following that’s led to Oakley being named one of TIME’s Most Influential People on the Internet and described by OUT magazine as the leader of “The Cult of Oversharing.” With his name garnering a bit of media omnipresence and Oakley himself appearing on traditional TV outlets and even as a guest on Ellen—Oakley refers to DeGeneres as “my queen and also my doppelganger and we are twinsies for life”—it’s hard to shake a feeling that #TeamInternet is on the cusp of a mainstream crossover.

The star talked to EW about what she’s anticipating for this year’s ceremony and the Internet’s future, and dishes on the mainstream pop culture celebrity she would love to see join YouTube. Here’s just a sampling of our favorites up for awards: Jenna Marbles and Miranda Sings are nominated in the comedy category, James Franco and James Van Der Beek (!!!) are up for acting awards and Austin Mahone, Pentatonix and “Weird Al” Yankovic are all up for music awards. With their large social media following and down-to-earth personalities, the two are essentially YouTube royalty, making them perfect picks for the hosting gig. There is a growing list of digital stars making the leap into the traditional entertainment space, but there are also many traditional stars who dabble in digital.

For people that have some idea of what happens online, it’s just a really wonderful night for content creators across YouTube and other areas of online video to be celebrated for the content they’ve created throughout the year. Oakley, who won Entertainer of the Year at last year’s ceremony, will co-host the proceedings with fellow YouTube-to-mainstream crossover success Grace Helbig. Well the co-host has changed. [Laughs] Tyler [Oakley] and I are good friends, but we’ve never done something like this together, so I think it’ll be really fun for us on a personal level to be able to co-host with each other.

And the timing of the awards is certainly noteworthy, too, taking place just days before the 2015 Emmy Awards, which honors more traditional television entertainers. Every year, it gets bigger and better, and the room feels warmer, and this year it’s on TV and it’s streaming online at the same time, so it’s a real kind of new frontier. Are we on the verge of an old vs. new turf war? “I think that it’s been pretty evident for a while now how traditional [media] has wanted to go a little digital and digital has wanted to go a little bit traditional,” Oakley says about the awards shows’ timing. “I think we’re all meeting in the middle. The lines are getting blurred, and the fact that the Streamys are on TV this year shows how much that audience is there.” As a pure numbers game, it should make total sense that the Streamys are getting a telecast as legitimate as the Emmy Awards. For example, R&B artist Ciara and beauty mogul Michelle Phan are co-presenting and Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox (known for their YouTube moniker Smosh) are sitting at a table next to Kat Graham (from The CW’s popular show “Vampire Diaries”).

The Streamys already announced 35 winners at an awards reception earlier this week at the YouTube Space in Playa Vista. (Check out the list of winners so far). The Streamys honor so many different types of Internet personalities and content creators, it almost seems impossible to distill that variety down to a single, annual awards show. But numbers don’t always add up to credibility. (Donald Trump is leading the GOP polls, after all.) Despite his millions of followers, sphere of influence, and validation in various business pursuits—Oakley has a book, Binge, set to be released next month and turned his predilection for Taco Bell into a legit business relationship—there are still hurdles to jump before he’s taken seriously, at least in some circles.

Perhaps a modicum of skepticism from “traditionals,” as Oakley refers to those who are dubious of the influence of digital media stars, is justifiable when one considers how hard it is to really describe what exactly he and hordes of YouTube personalities like him do for a living. He’s a self-described “professional fangirl,” with many of his vlogs dedicated to quick-witted and ebullient gushing over his favorite celebrities, chiefly Darren Criss and One Direction. I think the Streamys does a great job each year, trying to incorporate categories that feel relevant for the time, and also with the amount of crossover that’s happening now, which I think can get really sensitive sometimes. Oakley’s videos alternate between breathless recaps of his week and Q&As with his followers about everything from whether he will see a movie coming out the next weekend to what age he was when he lost his virginity—he was 18 and it was on St. Basically, it’s just giddy talking, but with a candor, accessibility, and sunniness that vacillates wildly between silly and serious with nimble ease.

It’s a quality that online communities clearly crave from role models and weren’t getting from the PR-controlled TV and movie stars who stand on glamorous pedestals. I mean, I really said everything I wanted to say about it in the video that I posted to my channel. [Pauses] But I have been watching the conversations that have been continuing to happen, and it’s all very interesting, everything that’s happening. Sure, it’s nice to have the Tiger Beat poster pulled out of the magazine and plastered onto your wall, but it’s even better when the person on the poster will talk to you—like, directly to you and share, or at least be willing to talk about, all of your concerns.

In a video uploaded just last week, Oakley posits, “me being me may have even helped some of you guys be you.” It’s almost insufferably cheesy, were it not completely accurate. (Again, this guy has an international tour to prove this.) It’s an influence he takes seriously, too, having parlayed his YouTube influence into advocacy for the Trevor Project, not just speaking on behalf of the organization, which fights bullying and prevents suicide of LGBTQ teens, but often fundraising for it through his channels. Two years in a row, he raised $500,000 for the organization. “I understand that with the audience comes a sense of responsibility,” he says. “Although I’m there to entertain, I also want to make sure I’m using my opportunity in the best way possible. The Streamys also honors some of those mainstream personalities, like this year’s nomination for James Franco for his AOL series Making a Scene With James Franco.

Because although I don’t have an obligation, necessarily, I feel like it would be a missed opportunity if I didn’t try using it for good.” That’s especially true when it comes to young gay people. There may have been no opportunity to seek guidance from an openly gay person then. “Nowadays if somebody in America is feeling alone and wants to find a coming out story, they just search ‘coming out’ and they’ll find millions of first-person examples of people telling their story,” Oakley’s included. I think I would love … I mean, my taste in television is questionable, but I would really love for the cast of Real Housewives, of all of them everywhere, to create, like, beauty guru YouTube channels. Further proof of this community’s influence on the culture at large—not just the thriving online community that turned these personalities into stars—is the conversations the content created by these people are starting.

I can get away from you by walking at a reasonable pace.”) Arbour has since defended the video, which seems a cardinal sin according to the Bible of positivity and anti-bullying that #TeamInternet seems to worship and live by. The medium is a red-hot conflagration kindled by all the ambitions that seem to drive young people today: confession, community, candor, self-branding, and self-marketing. He invited Oakley to the White House as part of a group of YouTube influencers he hoped would help his administration get more young Americans signed up for the Affordable Care Act. But more visibility breeds even more criticism, as Oakley has learned throughout his ascent (he says he’s been accused of “acting gay and putting on a lisp” for views), and so his White House visit brought even more scrutiny to the idea that he should be taken seriously. “To me it was like, oh my god, the most powerful person in the world cares about me and my peers and what we do and how we connect with our audiences and is wanting to learn from us?

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