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The 2017 Streamy Awards last night honoured YouTube’s best and brightest — but if you’re feeling out of the loop, here’s a quick guide to the evening’s winners.
Show of the Year: Sugar Pine 7
Steven Suptic used to create Minecraft videos. He was then a host on Sourcefed, before the rug was ripped from under the company and all employees were given short notice of their retrenchment.
Suptic began vlogging — but it wasn’t your regular point, shoot, and talk to the camera. He used freeze frames and voice overs to blend real-life with scripted comedy and improv. The style evolved and eventually hit its sweet spot with the video his team now deem their first: Sugar Pine 7.
Now Sugar Pine 7 create what they call “alternative lifestyle” vlogs that blur reality and fiction into entertaining videos. Including characters like vaping idiot Cib, editor extraordinaire Autumn, water warrior James, and cryptoid creep Alfredo, the show’s eagerness to try out new ideas is what keeps its audience on their toes and excited for new content.
Creator of the Year: Dolan Twins
Ethan and Grayson Dolan are 17-year-old American twins who started out their careers on Vine (RIP) — but now they’re kicking butt on YouTube.
The duo does a mix of challenge videos, vlogging, and sit-down chats that entertain while also letting their viewers in on some more personal aspects of their lives. In the past month, their videos have included the likes of the Guess the Body Part challenge, a beautifully cinematic road trip vlog, and an explainer on their tattoos.
The Twins currently have 4.4-million subscribers, and their success has even landed them a gig as correspondents for MTV’s upcoming TRL return.
Lauren Riihimaki — better known as LaurDIY — joined YouTube in December 2011, and has since amassed over 6.6-million subscribers.
In her bio, the 24-year-old Canadian describes herself as “your DIY-obsessed bestie” and it nails her online persona — friendly, energetic, open and informative.
Riihimaki posts bubbly vlogs with her boyfriend, collab DIY videos with YouTube superstars, and sometimes even rap videos.
Comedy: Liza Koshy
Liza Koshy is only 21, but she’s already amassed 11-million subscribers on YouTube, starred in the Hulu series Freakish, and hosted the live 2017 Golden Globes Awards pre-show.
The comedian is known for her loud facial expressions, quick pace, and her commitment to looking as ridiculous as possible as the joke demands.
Food: Worth It
Buzzfeed’s Worth It follows food lovers Steven Lim and Andrew as they decide whether rich people are paying for the likes of R10 000 wines because they’re good, or, because they can.
The series is currently on its third season, and has amassed over 4-million views in total.
If you’re looking to grow both hungry and angry at capitalism, then it’s time to give Worth It a try.
Patrick Simondac — known online as PatrickStarrr — is a professional makeup artist who says he wants to see “boys in beauty”.
His love of makeup was borne out of his use of Photoshop, when he realised he could edit out blemishes and reshape brows.
Feature: This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous
Giselle Lazzarato — better known as Gigi Gorgeous — is a trans beauty vlogger whose open grappling with her identity has earned her a committed fanbase and a feature documentary that premiered at Sundance Film Festival.
This is Everything details Lazzarato’s life as she tells her family she’s transitioning and welcomes her YouTube viewers along for the ride. It is available for viewing on YouTube Red.
Dance: Alyson Stoner
Remember Channing Tatum’s little sister in Step Up? Or Taylor Lautner’s love interest in Cheaper by the Dozen 2?
Well, she’s busy killing it on YouTube, dancing for 470 000 subscribers weekly.
Alyson Stoner’s videos consist of her own choreography, music and covers — with some more serious sit-down chats sprinkled in.
Storyteller: King Bach
King Bach basically does everything. He, too, came from Vine (RIP) where he racked up over 6-billion loops.
His vlogging channel is unabashedly clickbait-y, and features videos with such titles as “I GOT SHOT IN THE HEAD!” and “SHE IS READY TO SMASH” — but, hey, he’s doing something right with 1.4-million subscribers.
Breakout Creator: David Dobrik
David Dobrik is yet another unashamed clickbaiter — but it’s accrued him over 5-million subscribers in his three years since joining YouTube.
Dobrik can attribute some of his popularity to girlfriend Liza Koshy — and their vlogging group of friends — but his channel stands on its own and is now garnering support from the broader YouTube community.
Breakthrough Artist: Poppy
Poppy is an ambient electronic musician who uses her art to make astute (if eerie) commentary on the digital age.
The young performer has been on YouTube since 2011 — and was known for a time as That Poppy — but only signed with a label in 2014.
She released her EP Bubblebath last year, and her first studio album Poppy.Computer is scheduled for release next month.
First Person: Lilly Singh
If you know about YouTube personalities, chances are you know about Lilly Singh (or iiSuperwomanii). The 29-year-old Canadian has been making videos since 2010 — and now has over 12-million subscribers.
Singh makes satirical videos about everyday annoyances like “What School Should Really Teach You” and “Stupid Things I’ve Done While Drunk” — though she’s best known for the series that features her “parents” (both played by Singh herself) reacting to trending videos.
Not one to shy away from serious issues, Singh also focuses on her Punjabi heritage and feminist ideals.
Live: SMOSH Live
SMOSH Live was a once-off live sketch comedy show that aired on SMOSH’s channel. It featured a pre-show, new sketches (a la Saturday Night Live) and a truth-and-dare game.
The full show can be watched here.
This is not a complete list of winners. The full list can be found here.