Sunday, Nov. 2, 2013 the first ever live action YouTube Music Award Show hosted by actor Jason Schwartzmann with musician, Reggie Watts premiered. The theme of the night was "creativity" and the show outdid itself on that end.
It was just as interesting, random and attention-getting as YouTube itself with the hosts being as surprised as the audience as they were only told broad details about the event..
There is no wizard behind the curtain electing the winner of the categories with some unknown algorithms and popularity contests. Over 33 billion YouTube users cast votes to determine the winners.
You can see creative director Spike Jonze's unique influence throughout the show. One of the biggest features of the night was the "live" music videos which were created right in front of the audience's eyes. With musical acts from Arcade Fire to Lindsey Stirling playing her violin on a zip wire to Lady Gaga behind the piano her voice raw with passion to Eminem against a simple backdrop performing "Rap God" the performances can be summed up in one word: amazing.
There was also a live-action romantic scene written by Lena Dunham acted out where the audience was able to chose their own adventure by a show of hands to see how the scene would end.
The show stayed true to the nature of YouTube, where Schwartzmann is given a facepaint job by OkGo, which was reminiscent of all the makeup tutorials on the site. There was music, chalk bombs, babies crying, flying, spontaneous dancers called on stage, the list goes on and on.
They breathed new life into what has become a boring by-the-book annual event- the award show just as the site gave life to the medium of broadcast period. It felt slightly off-kilter, imperfect and beautiful madness. It was like an award ceremony walked through Alice's looking glass and wound up in Wonderland...or on YouTube.
Here are the 2013 YouTube Music Award winners:
Response Of The Year: Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix, "Radioactive"
YouTube Phenomenon: "I Knew You Were Trouble"
Breakthrough Of The Year: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Innovation of the Year: DeStorm, "See Me Standing"
Video Of The Year: Girls' Generation, "I Got A Boy"
Artist Of The Year: Eminem