There is a tempest brewing in the teacup of the latest contest hosted by Ryan Seacrest. A seemingly harmless competition for the best YouTube beauty guru caused quite a stir. Vivacious Nicole Guerriero was firmly in the lead, followed by stunning Carli Bybel. It seemed that Guerriero’s victory was imminent, as she continued to dominate the contest well into the semi finals. It all changed today.
Just as this harmless popularity contest entered the home stretch, it suddenly turned into the proverbial battle of the beauties. Bybel made a chess move that changed the status quo. She started a big giveaway on her YouTube page. Bybel urged all participants to vote for her in the Ryan Seacrest contest. All of a sudden, the votes started pouring in, accompanied by comments from those who hoped to win free beauty goods.
As Bybel took the lead in the competition, the reactions were mixed. Some believed that the move demonstrated her good business sense. Others saw it as cheating and demanded Bybel’s disqualification.
So far, both Nicole Guerriero and Carli Bybel are doing their best to stay classy. While Guerriero was seemingly stunned by her friend’s gutsy move, she maintained her cool. On her Twitter page, Guerriero urged her followers not to be rude or “bash anyone.” She also rebuffed suggestions to initiate her own giveaway, calmly stating that she does not intend to “bribe people for votes.”
In an apparent response to the controversy, Bybel modified the rules to her giveaway, adding that people should vote for her only if they want her to win and sending love “to 99%” of the population.
Ryan Seacrest and his PR team did not respond to press inquiries about the contest. Nicole Guerriero and Carli Bybel did not wish to be interviewed.
Outraged contest voters are not as reserved as the girls themselves. Comments favoring each side’s position continue pouring in. Some believe that all is fair in love and war, as well as an online contest without formal rules. Others exclaim that lack of good sportsmanship can make even a beauty guru contest turn ugly. What do you think?
*Update: On April 22, 2013 Nicole Guerriero was announced as the winner of the Ryan Seacrest Best YouTube Beauty Guru contest.