Simon Cowell Who? James Charles Is The New Millennial Judge To Beat

Hi Sisters!


James Charles is no stranger to getting heat from online haters and while it seems like he can’t seem to do anything without a measure of hate thrown his way (case in point: his recent controversial “mugshot challenge” look), his new Youtube Original series says otherwise. Since bouncing back from one of the biggest makeup guru feuds we’ve seen in a while – he really be throwing the UNO reverse card to save himself there –  the premiere episode of “Instant Influencer,” a four-part reality beauty competition series hosted by the 20-year-old has blown up on socials. Since it’s premiere on the 24th of April, it’s already accumulated almost 4.5 million views. The show is very much like “Project Runway” and “America’s Next Top Model” but simpler – after multiple elimination challenges, a winner is chosen as the next “Instant Influencer”.



But what makes Charles’ show different is just how relevant it is to those who ,one day, dream of making money off Youtube – whether or not it’s through makeup. The show wastes no time focusing on James Charles, but right off the bat, you’re introduced to the six eclectic contestants (Kailin Chase, Christian Perez, Britany Renteria, Gabriel Garcia, Ashley Strong, and Benny Cera) who are competing to become the next “BeauTuber” Influencer. They are immediately judged based on a challenge given to them ahead of time and there is no sugarcoating from Charles. He delivers a perfect balance of positive notes and honest, constructive criticism that is immediately recognisable as valuable insider tips from a content creating/marketing genius. After all, the winner of the show will be given a prize of $50,000, a filming/production set up exactly like the kind James Charles uses on his channel (valued at $10,000) and a collaboration with him on his channel before they are expected to use their experience to catapult themselves to Youtube stardom.


Words like “branding”, “marketing”, “review”, “vlog”, “advertise”, “personality”, “content”, “creativity”, “angles” are thrown around a lot to highlight just how multifaceted a Youtube star needs to be – ugh, my one brain cell is cramping thinking about it all. The insider look that “Instant Influencer” gives to those of us on the outside leaves us wondering if it’s time for us to start up our own channels. The show is enticing in its ability to make us believe that anyone can be an “Instant Influencer” with the right knowledge. This is shown in how the first thing that the participants will be eliminated on is their skills (or lack thereof) to sell a product. Within three hours, the contestants are asked to shoot, edit and then present their video on a product that they’ve been “asked to sell”. There’s nothing that screams “socmed influencer” as much as a good product marketer, after all.


The show has no problem staying true to the reasoning behind what James himself says is the purpose of the show:


 Not for drama, not stupid eliminations but to give you guys information and the resources to get better at what you do.”


And with that, James leads the show in a way that is a perfect balance of compliments to boost morale and confidence, and critique to ensure that the contestants know what they need to improve on without having to bring them down.



Not exactly a Gordon Ramsay/Simon Cowell trait but the one thing they do share, is the no holds barred reactions and honesty when it comes to telling it as it is. James isn’t snobby, nor does he come off as fake and right off the bat you’re going to think, “Damn, sister knows what’s up!”. And in teaming up with Paris Hilton and Anastasia Beverly Hills president Norvina, the first panel of judges seems to work. Paris commenting on everything but the makeup techniques (on a makeup show? I know, but trust me – her presence helps), James’s critiques on connecting with the audience and Norvina’s knowledge on how to sell products make the first judging really easy to consume. But, everyone agrees that the real star guest of the show is none other than…



Paris Hilton’s dog!! IN A SPARKLY TURTLENECK SWEATER VEST!! And truth be told, more people are talking about Paris Hilton’s dog than Paris herself and I’m not surprised because – LOOK.AT.THAT.BLOOP.



Needless to say, the 42-minute show is over before you can decide if Paris’s dog is real or just really tired because that’s how engrossed we are.



Was I expecting more drama?Yes. This is The James Charles we’re talking about. But in all honest, there will probably be more drama outside the show than in. But was I disappointed? No. It really is interesting to understand what it took for James Charles to get to where he is today and while watching, you’d definitely find yourself nodding along as his advice resonates with you. The one thing I wish they’d not done? That very last shoot at the end. It was cringy, unnecessary and just plain uncomfortable.


Needless to say, I’m going to go ahead and click “turn on notifications” for the next episode.