Gather around and gawk at some once-familiar faces you can’t believe were ever a household name. From a flash-in-the-pan singer, to another flash-in-the-pan singer, to the YouTube star whose career fizzled right before our eyes. See if you can recognize the following 24-hour Internet personalities that were so obnoxious it felt like 24 years.
Though already ‘internet famous’ to a select few for his YouTube channel, which featured the enthusiastic vlogger spouting his views on a variety of topics, Crocker hit the mainstream when one of his seemingly ordinary videos went viral. The puzzling clip showed a mascara-stained Crocker wailing uncontrollably at the negative press and unwarranted paparazzi attention focused on Britney Spears (during her on-the-edge-umbrella-swinging-breakdown era). Viewers new to Crocker’s channel were confused, confounded and cruel. The backlash was intense, but the attention undeniably large—and brief. An attempted career in both music and reality television failed to endear the seemingly misunderstood Crocker to America, who today continues to search for fame in gay porn. Suffice it to say, the above below (which, eight years later, still manages to unleash a tsumani wave of douche chills) will forever be his claim to fame.
The Internet is full of videos that feature everyday folks trying to steal a little bit of musical spotlight, strumming along on a guitar to his or her stripped down version of some Top 40 mainstay. Some even go the extra mile by offering up an original work of untapped creative genius. Enter Rebecca Black. In 2011, the world was introduced to a teenage girl with subpar vocals, non-existent rhythm, and her god-awful composition about everybody’s favourite day of the week. “Friday”, a song that was evidently written in four seconds, was lambasted by critics, while the accompanying YouTube video received the most dislikes ever for an unsigned artist (at the time). However, it was Black who had the last laugh. She won a Teen Choice Award for Favourite Web Star, and made a fleeting cameo in Katy Perry’s equally horrendous “T.G.I.F.” video. Despite her absence from the current landscape, she promises a full-length album of original tracks in late 2015.
Infectious dance moves and nonsense lyrics—hardly a new phenomenon. However, one South Korean rapper with an intriguing style and infectious presence managed to ignite the world into a spasmodic frenzy in 2012. “Gangnam Style” soon reached a number of milestones when it debuted on YouTube, including the “most liked video” and the “first video to be viewed more than two billion times.” While his plans for the future are unknown, the likelihood of repeating the success of the twenty-first century’s version of the Macarena is doubtful.
The genesis of this Internet celebrity began under relatively somber circumstances. The morning after Kelly Dodson narrowly escaped sexual assault in her own bedroom, Alabama news outlets trained their cameras on her flamboyant brother, who vowed swift vengeance on his sister’s would-be attacker. Antoine Dodson’s outfit, unkempt hair, and slack-jawed Southern drawl made this seemingly serious news story a viral hit. Despite multiple attempts to cash in on the video’s viral success, including a follow up track called “Gucci Bag” and a cameo in a Tyler Perry movie, Dodson, who once identified as gay, found religion, married a woman and currently lives a quiet life as a husband and father.
Run and tell that. [Mic drop].
With her exotic looks and good time demeanor, spokesmodel turned centerfold turned Internet sensation Tila Tequila seemed poised for global domination. It wasn’t until the wannabe singer / actress blessed us with the ultimate television trainwreck that was “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila” in 2007, that her notoriety reached its apex. Sixteen hot guys and sixteen hot lesbians were given mindless tasks in an effort to win over the bisexual Tequila. The show was a colossal failure (with critics and viewers), and by the time a second season was proposed, her off-air persona (which included some controversial comments about Hitler, and an alleged addiction to drugs), had completely soured her waning fan-base.