2021 XBIZ Cam Awards: Mastering the Art of the Virtual Show

2021 XBIZ Cam Awards: Mastering the Art of the Virtual Show

MIAMI — Thursday night, the 2021 XBIZ Cam Awards, presented by Chaturbate, beamed onto screens around the world on XBIZ.tv, the second-ever virtual edition of adult's biggest night honoring achievement in camming, clip making and premium social media.

The event, preceded by a star-studded pink carpet with international flair, proceeded flawlessly, only a short and tumultuous year after the COVID-19 pandemic compelled XBIZ to go back to the drawing board to reimagine its award shows and conferences for a “socially distanced” new normal — and in real time.

It was truly remarkable how the technical uncertainties of 2020 have now coalesced into a well-oiled machine where live-on-a-soundstage hosts interact seamlessly with nominees and winners Zooming in live from around the globe.

Pink carpet guests in their finery streamed in from vastly different time zones — including Gran Canaria, Alaska, Bucharest, Scotland, London, Siberia, Bali, Vegas, Los Angeles to, yes, Miami and many other locations.

It is not inconceivable that future shows will have a virtual international component even after we all reconvene to mingle and celebrate in Miami, Berlin or Los Angeles.

The aesthetics of the show wove in the themes of virtuality, camming and Miami Summer hedonism perfectly, with vaporwave-like digiscapes transitioning behind the presenters and among the nominees, deploying 1980s-by-way-of-2020s imagery like monitor-headed robots dancing, divine hands giving life to the body electric and a whole “third chakra-meets-I-Want-My-MTV-Behind-the-Black-Mirror” vibe.

The 'Pink Carpet'

Even the traditional red carpet went with a digital-candy-vaporwave theme this year and re-emerged as a pink carpet, hosted by AstroDomina in an impossibly tight white dress. She made the most of her demanding virtual carpet-hosting gig and bantered with nominees about their work, how they had coped with the pandemic year, the situation in the international settings from which they were streaming, and — of course — who they were wearing.

Some wore couture, while others had fans splurge on an outfit for them, and, in the case of Sophia Jade, wore surprisingly va-va-voom gowns from Goodwill (shoutout to those amazing tag-poppers in the community!)

The pink carpet was truly cam and clip star-studded, serving looks (and backdrops) by Annabelle Rogers, Domino Presley (in her full Gucci finery), Vickie Jay, Kayla Kayden, LadyLolita, TSBlondieNYC, Luxury Girl, Cleopatra Sinns (stunning in her black-tressed Italian glamour), a besuited Colby Knox and Mickey Knox (streaming from North Carolina), Thony Grey (in OG Versace black and gold, live from New York), Russia’s colorfully tattoed Karneli Bandi, Scotland's Callum and Cole, Estella Bathory, energy-dynamo Britney Amber and a spectacular London Bunz Bunny in a strapless black number with long gloves and a feathered fan.

Additional nominees gracing the virtual pink carpet were Pablo Cortés and Sebas Cortés, the always-wholesome MySweetApple, cosplayer LikeMyAsh in a brown leather Victorian Gothic/steampunk gown, MiaKinkDD (streaming from a Disney fairy princess fantasy), ThatCoupleJX, porn’s own Dan and Suzanne Ferrari, the thoroughly regal Prince Jean, a ravishing Vegas Valentine, Cruel Alice, Bea York, Cubbi Thompson, Berkley, Chrissy LeBlanc, Latex Barbie, Sara Jay, reigning XBIZ "Gay Performer of the Year" Max Konnor, Romi Chase, Emma Rose, Dante Colle (winner of the inaugural XBIZ "Performer of the Year" in January), Trucifer Deville (bringing on “the Full Miami” vibe), Gaberiella Monroe, Alana Evans, Vicky Vette, Casey Kisses, Alena Croft and many others.

A radiant Destiny Diaz summed it up for everyone. “It’s really Miami,” she said about her nighttime pool terrace party-ready outfit. “I really miss hanging out, so I’m trying to get it wherever I can.”

The Awards Show Begins

At 8 p.m. (PDT), the virtual lights dimmed and a digital countdown indicated it was time for the main event: the 2021 XBIZ Cam Awards.

Following the high-energy, glammed-out, futuristic intro (actually shot on location in Miami), the evening’s co-hosts, the statuesque twosome of Reya Sunshine and SureCakes, were introduced before a digital backdrop that honored creativity in our screen-intensive era.

Standing in front of a vaporwave fantasy of glitched-out spinning heads of Michelangelo’s David floating over a video-game abstraction of palm trees and retro summer vibes, Reya Sunshine and SureCakes stunned in neon outfits (fluorescent pink and lime green-yellow, respectively), reminding the viewers that the traditional XBIZ event honoring indie cam artists, clip performers and premium social media stars left its heart close to the Biscayne Bay.

“Hello, all you sexy people out there!” Sunshine exclaimed. “You’re looking damn cute right now, I can’t handle it!” she told SureCakes. “I just want to give you all my tokens right now.”

“I’m vibing really hard with all that glorious ‘Sunshine’ beaming off you,” her co-host replied.

An evocation of the return of in-person events continued with Sunshine telling the viewers that “even though we can’t all be together in person, soaking up that Miami heat, sipping on a mojito, we’re here together, in spirit, virtually, and so thrilled to be able to honor all of our amazing colleagues tonight.”

SureCakes sincerely acknowledged that “this year has been one hell of a year, there’s no sugarcoating it” and harkened back to the first virtual XBIZ Miami event in 2020, when Molly Stewart took the stage as host and “invited us to take a moment and appreciate how wonderful it is to be part of such a badass and loving community.”

Sunshine then applauded the community of creators — cam models, clip artists and social media stars, the 2021 nominees and beyond — who “put in mad hours to entertain and keep your fans company, not only distracting them from the chaos, but creating those bonds that bring us close.”

When the fan community, SureCakes added, needed “escape, that human warmth, you really listened. You provided a home away from home, a happy place for your fans to leap into a world of fantasy and the intimacy we all crave so very much.”

“What an amazing gift!” she concluded.

The Winners Celebrate

The first award was for Best Cosplay Cam Model, presented by Jenny Blighe. The winner was a shocked Chrissy LeBlanc, who said she didn’t “have anything planned, anything prepared to say” for this first award, and gave everyone thanks (and blew kisses) for “appreciating the fun that I get to have.”

Cam performer Quincy — broadcasting from Ireland from her cam room, waving around white feather fans — presented the award for Best Cosplay Clip Artist to Purple Bitch.

The next presenter was Estella Bathory, who performed an impressively hi-def sketch where the camera caught them on the streets of London’s sex-shop district Soho.

They announced the nominees for Best Fetish Cam Model, which went to FeetGoddesss, who accepted it in a fully immersive goth environment, with black walls, mirrors, an Egyptian cat and decked out in fetish leather. “Oh my God,” she said, “I wasn’t expecting this. I’m so happy. Is this real?”

Ari Dee beamed in from the Miami Beach skyline to present Best Fetish Clip Artist, which went to Countess Jezebeth. At home in front of an on-brand “Will You Suffer For Me?” tapestry, Countess Jezebeth thanked “all of my devotees and all of my cult members” for their support. “You are amazing, and you really show me truly how deep the devotion goes.”

Melody Kush then presented, from Montreal, the Best BBW Cam Model award, which went to Christina Castalia.

Vanniall presented the Best BBW Clip Artist award from a summery rooftop plastic pool among an urban skyscape. The award went to redhead extraordinaire Gwen Adora, who was speechless.

From St. Petersburg, the duo of Sophie & Eva presented BBW Premium Social Media Star, which went to Romi Chase, who declared herself “so honored and so very happy to see that plus-size bodies are celebrated in this way.”

Humor and More Awards

This was followed by the first of the evening’s humor videos, “Tipbox,” where cam performers regaled the audience with stories about the most hilarious thing that has happened to them on cam.

Stories included a model who said that her dog had gotten on cam when she took a break — and her room decided to tip the pooch for treats. Others described a very specific kink that was a bridge too far, a tale of catering to a cheese fetishist and other "real stories of true pro cammery.”

After a commercial break, Johnny Stone presented the award for Best MILF Cam Model, which went to Lacey Bender, who thanked Chaturbate, her husband and her fans.

Domino Presley presented Best MILF Clip Artist, bestowed on Penny Barber, who thanked her publicist, Erika Icon. “I wouldn’t be here at all without you,” she said, before also acknowledging “her favorite photographer,” her husband. “I just turned 36 — this is a great present!” she added.

MelRose Michaels presented the nominees for Best MILF Premium Social Media Star. The award went to Sara Jay, who called it “unexpected.” She thanked Vicky Vette for giving her a platform to start camming, and CamSoda, she said, "because they’ve been nothing but amazing to me."

The Name Game

Reya Sunshine and SureCakes returned with comedy banter about trying to help budding performers to come up with a catchy stage name.

“I mean, look at yours — ‘Reya Sunshine’,” said SureCakes. “That is such a perfect name for you — bright and warm and beautiful. You are a ray... of sunshine! Like, damn!”

“Well, ‘SureCakes’ is a killer name too,” Sunshine replied. “I mean, look at these cakes! Look at ‘em!”

Sunshine offered that newbies should “toss out some crazy ideas, some hilarious combos and you just might inspire something brilliant.”

“So, here’s a game we can play,” she added. “Take the name of your favorite color as your first name, and your favorite animal for your last name. What would yours be?”

SureCakes then said her name would be “Green Sperm Whale,” while Sunshine retorted hers would be “Purple Gerbil.”

Another option, they theorized, would be to combine your favorite body part and your favorite thing to do during sex. The results were “Vagina Cuddle” and “Ass Kiss.”

“I think I’ll stick with ‘Reya Sunshine’,” the performer concluded.

The Industry's Top Celebration of Indie Talent

Destiny Diaz offered the trophy for Best Cam Model Duo, which was awarded to Pablo Cortés and Sebas Cortés, who wore matching shirts and ties as they beamed in from Spain’s Gran Canaria. “Thank you to CAM4, to all our fans, to XBIZ and to all our fans,” they said before hugging and kissing.

Casey Kisses presented the award for Best Clip Artist Duo to Jack & Jill, who said they didn’t expect to win, and thanked their fans and all the performers who “trusted us to come and work with us.”

Lance Hart bestowed the award for Best Trans Cam Model to Casey Kisses, who received it alongside her partner Kylie LeBeau. “I first wanna thank XBIZ for bringing us all together,” Kisses said, and plugged an upcoming feature about her life story as a trans person in a motorcycle club.

Evie Rain emerged, fully clad in a gown, from a swimming pool to present Best Trans Clip Artitst. The award went to Emma Rose, radiant with bright-red tresses, who thanked all her supporters and fans for their encouragement during her first year in adult.

Lindsey Love then presented Trans Premium Social Media Star to Yasmin Lee, who thanked Chaturbate and her followers. “Thank you so much to all the fans out there,” Lee offered. “I love you, I appreciate you, you guys have been following me for more than a decade now and I love you to the heart, to the moon.”

The second humor video of the evening was a cam/clip riff on the popular format of “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets.”

Alena Croft summarized the vibe reading a message from a Twitter troll: “Why don’t you get an education that would give you a life of dignity? Isn’t it better than giving blowjobs for a living?” and definitively answering “No. No, it isn’t.”

Lara Loxley then presented the award for Rising Cam Star, which went to Oh_girl Alice. She thanked the cam community for supporting her and teared up over “her first award.”

The glamorous, barely covered MySweetApple duo presented the award for Rising Female Clip Star to Taylor Noir, who thanked her OG fans. “You guys know who you are,” she quipped, noting she had just gotten back from getting married.

Multitalented Welsh siren Sophie Dee presented Rising Premiun Social Media Star to a visibly shocked Cubbi Thompson, who could not voice anything other than, “Oh my gosh!”

The Final Six Categories

Reya Sunshine and SureCakes reappeared with a “decadent” surprise, announcing that one of the event’s sponsors, BranditScan, had signed on to present a special gift to the content creators who have "gone above and beyond to build up their personal brands, during what has been a year of unprecedented challenges.”

Winners of the final six categories, the co-hosts announced, would "receive a luxurious Versace robe with their brand name stitched on the back” plus two months of premium membership to BranditScan.

Entrepreneurial cam performer Emily Bloom presented the “handsome nominees” for Best Male Premium Social Media Star, an award that went to Reno Gold, who received the accolade at home, wearing a mesh shirt and a tuxedo jacket. “This means the world to me,” he said, and thanked his parents “for giving me a big dick.”

The always-debonair Max Konnor — displaying both his 2021 XBIZ Award for "Gay Performer of the Year" and his 2020 XBIZ Cam Award for "Best Male Cam Model" — presented the trophy for Best Female Premium Social Media Star to pop culture phenomenon Savannah Solo, a favorite of mainstream fans and the sex worker community alike. The “Star Wars” uber-enthusiast was shocked by the reveal, flushing in disbelief and thanking “everyone who subscribed to look at my butthole this year.”

“You changed my life,” Solo added.

Matthew Camp introduced Best Male Clip Artist from an undisclosed woods location where he was allegedly “helping some friends check for ticks” — with his shorts down. The award went to ruddy-bearded Thor Johnson, who thanked his fans for their support.

The award for Best Female Clip Artist was presented by GoAskAlex — in her best “Love Witch” cult-movie splendor — to Eva Elfie, who thanked XBIZ from the headquarters of her unstoppable Russian content empire. “It’s the best present for my birthday,” Elfie added. “I’m so thankful.”

BlondeRider presented the first of the final two awards of the night.

Best Male Cam Model was awarded to Maximus787, who thanked his fans and his girlfriend and especially “those that keep my room going and make it a fun place to be.”

All-around erotic MVP Romi Rain — in her current blonde glory and skintight snakeskin — introduced the nominees for Best Female Cam Model.

The award went to an elated Brielle Day, who thanked XBIZ and called the accolade “truly a career highlight for me, a total honor.”

The co-hosts then congratulated all the night's winners and bid a fond adieu to the virtual worldwide audience.

The 2021 XBIZ Awards was presented by Chaturbate, along with Diamond sponsors BranditScan and Satisfyer, Platinum sponsor Certus Finance and Gold sponsor Adult Time.

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Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

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