News: Openly gay YouTuber Chris Crocker signed a TV deal with 44 Blue Productions. The show will follow his life as a gay male in a small town. Crocker recently made a name for himself by defending–in a passionate, teary-eyed rant–Britney Spears from her detractors for her MTV flop. Crocker’s video got over 8 million views. More.
Two drama students in Singapore: Rebecca (“Bec,” her real name is Rebecca Louise Burch) and Rossalina (“Ross” for Rossalina Nasir). The best amateur duet I’ve heard so far on YouTube. They haven’t posted on YouTube in a while, but here are their videos. Their most popular song is this fantastic cover of Torn.
UPDATE: The more I listen to this duo, the more amazing I think they are. Great voices, but they are controlled and never over-sing. Some label should sign them! (Where’s Justin Timberlake?) Here’s a moving rendition of Linger, sung with some friends before graduation, and a soft, sweet duet of Leaving on a Jet Plane. If you live in Singapore, you can see The Bec and Ross show weekly on Wednesday at a bar called “Hideout” at 31b Circular Road and other places. If you don’t live in Singapore, they say that they’ll be back posting on YouTube soon.
News: OK, she’s only hosting a talk show about user-generated videos on the CW network (yes, exactly, where’s that?), but it’s still big news when YouTube users migrate over to the big media world. More here
Stevie’s got several different characters on YouTube — stevieryan, littleloca, The Real Paris, and Oolalaa.
Top Favorites (Today) in All
News: It’s easy to tell these days when someone on American Idol has given a spectacular, show-stopping performance. Multiple clips of the performance end up on YouTube and it becomes a “Top Favorite” among users. Yesterday, Blake Lewis gave a mind-blowing, beatbox rendition of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” (video) and now Blake Lewis owns 6 of the Top 12 Favorited videos on YouTube (in the past 24 hours), all for that one performance, which has generated hundreds of thousands of views, thousands of comments, and 4 or 5 stars.
Analysis: A lot of people have been complaining how boring American Idol has become this year. This one performance by Blake Lewis may have just saved the season from absolute boredom. The creativity of this guy is completely off the charts. That was the most original performance on Idol, ever.
And my guess is that the Idol format has been limiting Blake from showing off his full repertoire of musical talents. It would be scary to see what this guy could really do.
On a blog post on January 22, I predicted “it won’t be long before Esmee [Denters] signs her first recording contract.” Well, Esmee revealed today she’s coming to the U.S. to record music with people who have worked with some great artists. She credits her success to YouTube and her subscribers.
To start off the New Year, I thought it would be fitting to write about hope and possibility. Terra Naomi is a singer and songwriter whose success provides hope to all wannabe singers and musicians hoping to be discovered on YouTube. (Esmee Denters, are you listening?) Not too long ago, Terra, too, was undiscovered. But then Terra performed her original song, aptly titled “Say It’s Possible,” on YouTube on June 16, 2006. Later that month, YouTube stuck it on its homepage as its featured video. The video now has over 1 million views, and, the rest is, shall we say, history. Just this past month, Terra signed a recording contract with music label Island Records (who produce The Killers, Hoobastank, Melissa Etheridge, Bon Jovi, and others).
But what’s great about Terra Naomi — besides her amazing, angelic voice — is that she has shared her song with other YouTube users, allowing them to cover it and even teaching them how to play the chords in this video. And many, many people from all parts of the world have. Here’s one of the more endearing covers:
That’s not all. Even with her success, Terra makes videos and stays a part of the YouTube community. She made a video of her trip to YouTube’s offices, where she gave an “unplugged” performance of sorts. She also just made a new “official” video of “Say it’s possible,” which she put together from videos sent in to her by YouTubers who answered her question in 3 words or less, “What would you do/want if anything were possible?” Here’s the new video, just posted yesterday — Enjoy: