Teen Choice Awards: Claims of ‘rigged’ winners cause teen meltdown on Twitter

What you don’t expect from Teen Choice Awards: Teachable moments and cries of conspiracy theories.

Yet that’s exactly what happened on Sunday night during Fox’s annual summer awards show, which hands out surfboard trophies to teen favorite movie, music, TV and fashion icons. In an amazing bit of irony, the Teen Choice Awards producers — extremely proud to introduce new social media-themed categories this year — became the target of massive Twitter backlash as the result of some angry young Web stars who didn’t win and then spilled how the “voting” process truly works.

It all started after the award was given out for “Choice Web Star: Male” to YouTube personality Tyler Oakley (age 25 with 2.85 million Twitter followers). Meanwhile, Vine sensation Cameron Dallas (age 18 with 3.1 million followers) was named “Choice Viner” earlier in the night, but was apparently still bitter to lose in the “Web Star” category to Oakley. During the show, Dallas tweeted: “It’s funny how they told me I won the viner award 6 days before the voting ended and made the runners up still vote to tweet for them.” The tweets were deleted, but there were plenty of screengrabs:


Vine star Matt Espinosa (age 16 with 1.91 million followers), also nominated against Oakley, jumped into the fray and seemed upset that producers encouraged him to tell his fans to vote — and therefore plug the show — if they already knew he lost.  “Basically they picked the people almost 6 days before voting was done and used all of us for promotion,” he tweeted.

Vine celebrity Carter Reynolds (age 18 with 1.53 million followers), not nominated but felt his voice needed to be heard, also chimed in. “#TCAs is rigged,” he wrote before adding “#TCAS2014 used all of us for promotion. What a joke.” Along with the hashtag “#TeensDontHaveaChoiceAwards,” which quickly started trending worldwide on Twitter.

Dallas and Espinosa deleted their tweets — hmm, maybe they’re not supposed to share such behind-the-scenes details? (We reached out to Fox to ask how far in advance winners learn they won, but haven’t received a response.) Either way, the damage was done. Twitter blew up with thousands of angry tweets from fans, furious that hours of voting for their idols were a waste of time, especially if the show notified the winners before voting was over.

Not only that, but the anger really caught fire when viewers started tweeting screengrabs of the disclaimer at the end of last year’s show, which stated the winners of each category are essentially decided by a “committee” of producers.

Scandal! Except, not so much. The message is typically shown and it was also featured this year — though given that hugely popular Internet stars were involved in this Twitter mob, it’s no surprise that these screengrabs made more news now than during the 2013 awards.

So, teachable moment No. 1: Hey, teens, none of this is surprising and/or new. Producers of non-prestige award shows (i.e. MTV Movie Awards, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards) frequently have to notify stars in advance that they won or else…well, those celebrities won’t show up. It’s just how it works.

Teachable moment No. 2: Fox, it was a brilliant move to create all these new categories with nominees that have millions of Twitter followers, because when fans are inevitably encouraged to vote, it’s free promotion for the show. But you should also understand  that if something sets off a teen Internet star — regardless of how true or exaggerated it is — guess where they’re going to take their anger? That’s right, to their bazillion followers. Which means you’ll get loads of tweets like this:

Also seen as further proof of a conspiracy: Eagle-eyed One Direction fans who noticed the band members — pictured in a video accepting their win for Choice Summer Tour — wearing outfits that looked suspiciously similar to what they wore to the launch of their fragrance in New York on Tuesday, days before voting officially ended. (Fox said votes closed on Saturday night at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.)


Upside: The controversies spiced up a pretty dull awards ceremony, which was basically “The Fault in Our Stars”  show — the tearjerker drama swept up a bunch of trophies. Below are the winners mentioned on the show:

Pop stars Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande were among the young stars honored at Sunday night’s Teen Choice Awards. (Reuters)

Choice Summer Song
“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX
“Really Don’t Care,” Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd — winner
“Rude,” Magic!
“Summer,” Calvin Harris
“Wiggle,” Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg

Choice Movie Actor: Drama
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”
Russell Crowe, “Noah”
Jason Dohring, “Veronica Mars”
Ansel Elgort, “The Fault in Our Stars” — winner
Jon Hamm, “Million Dollar Arm”

Choice TV: Reality Show
“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”
“Dance Moms”
“Keeping Up With The Kardashians” — winner
“Real Husbands of Hollywood”
“Total Divas”

Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Chris Evans, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Andrew Garfield, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
Chris Hemsworth, “Thor: The Dark World”
Liam Hemsworth, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Josh Hutcherson, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — winner

Choice Movie Actress: Action
Emily Blunt, “Edge of Tomorrow”
Lily Collins, “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”
Elle Fanning, “Maleficent”
Angelina Jolie, “Maleficent”
Shailene Woodley, “Divergent” — winner

Candie’s Choice Style Icon
Iggy Azalea
Ashley Benson
Kendall Jenner
Emma Roberts
Zendaya — winner

Choice TV Actress: Drama
Troian Bellisario, “Pretty Little Liars”
Rachel Bilson, “Hart of Dixie”
Lucy Hale, “Pretty Little Liars” — winner
Maddie Hasson, “Twisted”
Maia Mitchell, “The Fosters”

Choice Movie: Drama
“American Hustle”
“Heaven is for Real”
“Million Dollar Arm”
“The Fault in Our Stars” — winner
“Veronica Mars”

Choice Web Star: Female
Grace Helbig
iJustine
Bethany Mota — winner
Michelle Phan
Andrea Russett
Zoe Sugg (“Zoella”)

Choice Web Star: Male
Cameron Dallas
Connor Franta
Joey Graceffa
Shawn Mendes
Tyler Oakley — winner
Troye Sivan

Choice Movie Villain
Michael Fassbender, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Jamie Foxx, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
Kelsey Grammer, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”
Kate Winslet, “Divergent”
Donald Sutherland, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — winner

Choice Movie Actor: Comedy
Will Ferrell, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”
Kevin Hart, “Ride Along” — winner
Ice Cube, “Ride Along”
Johnny Knoxville, “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”
Adam Sandler, “Blended”

Choice Movie Actress: Comedy
Christina Applegate, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”
Drew Barrymore, “Blended”
Zoey Deutch, “Vampire Academy”
Cameron Diaz, “The Other Woman”
Emma Roberts, “We’re The Millers” — winner

Choice Female Artist
Beyoncé
Miley Cyrus
Ariana Grande — winner
Lorde
Katy Perry
Taylor Swift

Choice Female Country Artist
Jana Kramer
Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Taylor Swift — winner
Carrie Underwood

Choice Movie Breakout Star
Ansel Elgort, “Divergent” and “The Fault in Our Stars” — winner
Theo James, “Divergent”
Elizabeth Olsen, “Godzilla”
Nicola Peltz, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”
Wyatt Russell, “22 Jump Street”

Choice TV Show: Drama
“Hart of Dixie”
“Pretty Little Liars” — winner
“Switched at Birth”
“The Fosters”
“Twisted”

Choice Summer TV Star: Male
Jean-Luc Bilodeau, “Baby Daddy”
Tyler Blackburn, “Pretty Little Liars” — winner
David Lambert, “The Fosters”
Tyler Posey, “Teen Wolf”
Mike Vogel, “Under the Dome”

Choice TV: Breakout Show
“Being Mary Jane”
“Chasing Life”
“Faking It” — winner
“Reign”
“Sleepy Hollow”

Choice TV Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Nina Dobrev, “The Vampire Diaries” — winner
Ginnifer Goodwin, “Once Upon a Time”
Kat Graham, “The Vampire Diaries”
Claire Holt, “The Originals”
Kristin Kreuk, “Beauty and The Beast”

Choice Viner
Cameron Dallas — winner
Matt Espinosa
Jack and Jack
Shawn Mendes
Lele Pons

Choice Movie Scene Stealer
Sam Claflin, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Nicholas Hoult, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Anthony Mackie, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Ellen Page, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Nat Wolff, “The Fault In Our Stars” — winner

Choice Movie Chemistry
Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton, “The Other Woman”
Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff and Shailene Woodley, “The Fault in Our Stars” — winner
Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, “Ride Along”
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, “22 Jump Street”

Choice Movie Liplock
Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter, “We’re The Millers”
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars” — winner

Choice Movie Actress: Drama
Kristen Bell, “Veronica Mars”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Emma Watson, “Noah”
Shailene Woodley, “The Fault in Our Stars” — winner

Choice Summer Tour
Beyonce and Jay-Z, “On The Run Tour”
Justin Timberlake, “The 20/20 Experience World Tour”
Katy Perry, “The Prismatic World Tour”
Luke Bryan, “That’s My Kind of Night Tour”
One Direction, “Where We Are Tour” — winner

Choice Music: Breakout Group
5 Seconds of Summer — winner
Fifth Harmony
MKTO
Rixton
The Vamps

Choice Summer Music Star: Group
5 Seconds of Summer — winner
Fifth Harmony
Florida Georgia Line
Magic!
Rixton

Choice Web Collaboration
Danisnotonfire & AmazingPhil – The Photo Booth Challenge
Alfie Deyes (“Pointless Blog”) and Ariana Grande – Ariana Does My Makeup
PrankvsPrank and Jack & Finn Harries (“Jacksgap”) – Twin Teleport Prank
Anthony Quintal (“Lohanthony”), Jack Baran (“Thatsojack”), Andrew Lowe, Jenn McAllister (“Jennxpenn”) and Rebecca Black – Fab Five in Real Life
Troye Sivan & Tyler Oakley – The “Boyfriend” Tag — winner

Choice Web Star: Comedy
Colleen Ballinger (“Miranda Sings”)
Hannah Hart
Jenn McAllister (“Jennxpenn”)
Our2ndLife — winner
Anthony Quintal (“Lohanthony”)
Brittani Louise Taylor

Choice Web Star: Music
Boyce Avenue
Cimorelli
Christina Grimmie
Megan and Liz
Shawn Mendes –winner
Lindsey Stirling

Choice Web Star: Fashion/Beauty
Elle and Blaire Fowler
Bunny Meyer (“Grav3yardgirl”)
Bethany Mota
Ingrid Nilsen (“Missglamorazzi”)
Michelle Phan
Zoe Sugg (“Zoella”) — winner

Choice TV Actress: Comedy
Kaley Cuoco, “The Big Bang Theory”
Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project”
Laura Marano, “Austin & Ally”
Lea Michele, “Glee” — winner
Debby Ryan, “Jessie”

Choice Comedian
Jimmy Fallon
Kevin Hart — winner
Mindy Kaling
Andy Samberg
Kenan Thompson

 

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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