On the Ground at Creators’ Biggest Night – Rolling Stone

What better place than the 2023 Streamys for Dream — the masked Twitch streamer now signed to Republic Records — to do a second face reveal? After struggling to read the teleprompter because of his white, smiley-face mask, the creator let out his wavy hair from behind the mask to present the award. “Dream face reveal? Okay, again. Fine, fine!” he said.

Sunday’s awards show at Century City’s Fairmont Century Plaza welcomed a representative or two from virtually every corner of the internet — and we mean every corner: imagine seeing a flirty Tana Mongeau walking a red carpet while Neil deGrasse Tyson waits to get on it. The Streamys were your typical awards show, except one that featured the endearing awkwardness of chronically online people wearing suits and dresses congregating to see their peers get some trophies for their work online over the last year — and all while content-creating of course. Well, except for Airrack, whose cameraperson wasn’t allowed into the show despite the vlogger’s pleas. (The Streamys are produced by Dick Clark Productions, which is owned by Rolling Stone’s parent company PMC.)

The event was hosted by YouTube veteran MatPat, who successfully captured the goofiness (and often-cringeness) of the internet with some strange segments, like a MrBeast-inspired game of Twister and a failed trophy smoothie tutorial that didn’t quite land. A highlight, however, was a Colleen Ballinger roast at the end of an In Memoriam segment that “honored” Twitter and the Grimace shake trend while a performer played the ukulele before saying the words “I’m sorry” — something Miranda Sings performer in her singing video half-apology for (and half defense against) allegations that she was toxic and exploitative to fans. “Looks like someone knows how to apologize,” MatPat joked.

One of the most touching and meaningful moments of the night was a speech from Dylan Mulvaney, who accepted the award for Breakout Creator. The trans TikTokker — who, because of her mere existence as a trans person and for her love for beer, earlier this year invoked the ire of the right wing — called for increased, more meaningful support of the trans community from her fellow creators. “Allyship needs to look differently,” she said. “You need to support trans people publicly and proudly.” 

Pop star Meghan Trainor arrived mid-event in a black blazer with sparkly silver lapels to take home the trophy for the inaugural Rolling Stone Sound of the Year award for her TikTok-viral hit “Made You Look.” “I’ve been home in post-partum deepness so this is a fun night out, and I won an award,” Trainor, who welcomed a baby less than eight weeks ago, told Rolling Stone. “[TikTok] gave me a little big boost back. It really put the foot on the gas.” The track served as a comeback for the beloved pop star last year, placing Trainor’s music in front of a new generation of listeners.

Prior to Trainor taking home the prize, drag star Shea Coulée — who stood out as the show’s co-host — went off-script to apologize to Trainor for making up a rumor that the pop star had eaten her sandwich (yes, seriously) while Trainor was a judge on her season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. (It was a whole thing in the drag world.) “I made that rumor up… I feel so bad and I said it as a joke once on the mic,” Coulée told Trainor as the singer cackled. “I am not only a gorgeous drag queen but I am a compulsive liar and I’m so sorry. She didn’t eat my sandwich y’all!”

Visibly absent from the awards show were some of the most A-list creators nominated for prizes. Alix Earle, the D’Amelios, and MrBeast — who was referenced multiple times throughout the night and won the Creator of the Year Award — didn’t attend. “Well, you know if you’re going to keep giving him awards” — he’s won the Creator Award four years in a row — he really needs to show up,” said award presenter Link, of Rhett & Link, with a straight face. 


Perhaps not present inside the show, but looming over it, were the strikes taking over Hollywood. No, not the SAG strikes that are affecting creators in unexpected ways — but upon arriving at the venue, attendees were met with the sound of vuvuzelas and matrakas from a picket line of hotel workers protesting the venue’s working conditions. Attendees were encouraged to be dropped off in the hotel’s parking garage to avoid being faced by the workers chanting, “Estamos en la lucha.” (“We’re in this fight.”) 

The Streamys were a good reminder of the vastness of the internet. There’s something there for everyone. Sure, there’s enough categories that it could be several different, more niche presentations, but perhaps that’s the beauty of the awards show? There’s only one place where IShowSpeed can let out a Cristiano Ronaldo-style “Siuuuu” as he takes home an award, comedian Matt Friend can present one while impersonating Donald Trump in front of a green-screen jail cell, and Tana Mongeau can freak out over PinkyDoll’s onstage “yes, yes, yes. Ice cream so good.”

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