Who is Miranda Sings and why is she the first YoutTuber to get her own scripted TV show? It’s a pertinent question, as 29-year-old Los Angeles-based YouTube star Colleen Evans has recently signed to Netflix for an eight-episode programme scripted by in-house writers, reportedly a sitcom named Haters Back Off and hooked around her deluded, obnoxious fictional character Miranda Sings.
The persona has found massive online popularity through scrappy webcam vignettes broadcast on YouTube since 2008. Looking permanently dishevelled thanks to her smeary lipstick, Miranda longs to be a singer and entertainer but is no triple-threat, as her performances are routinely appalling. Her grim rendition of Adele’s ‘Hello’ has racked up eight-and-a-half million views. Her nasal intonation of Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do You Mean?’ is currently on more than three million. (It’s been reported that Evans doesn’t make as much money as other famous YouTubers, because the songs she uses are subject to copyright)
Miranda Sings is a bizarrely engaging spectacle, at once sort-of endearing but also quite troubling. Here’s everything you need to know about the unbearably annoying yet incredibly watchable YouTube star, who’s likely to be all up in your grill over the coming 12 months.
The Internet Is Obsessed With Her
Some sobering stats for you: Miranda Sings has almost six million subscribers on YouTube and her channel has clocked up more than 830 million views. She has more 2.19m Twitter followers. It’s Miranda’s world, we just post memes on it.
Colleen Evans Is More Talented Than People Think
Like James Corden, but in reverse. Evans is a classically trained musician having studied classical music at Azusa Pacific University near Los Angeles, majoring in vocal performance. As The Guardian pointed out (in an admittedly less-than-glowing review of Miranda Sings’ show at the Edinburgh Fringe 2014): “Her incompetent singing is the work of someone who knows which bum notes to hit and when.”
And She Does More Than Just Sing Badly
In comic skits that exhibit the near-tragic extent of Miranda’s idiocy, she gets outraged that children are on the swings at a local park, grapples with Snapchat and commentates hysterically on the video for Ariana Grande’s song ‘Focus’. Who said YouTubers aren’t versatile?
Yet She Never Meant To Get Famous
Evans has said that Miranda was created as an in-joke for the benefit of her musical theatre friends. It was about 18 months, she reckons, before the world began to take notice.
And Now She’s So Beloved Her Fans Have A Pet Name
The true mark of a superstar. Mir-fan-das are legion, a loyal group that seems to largely of teenage girls, whose feelings are perhaps epitomised by YouTube user OneandonlyAngie, who commented on that Snapchat video: “MirandaSings might be my spirit animal…”
Other YouTubers Love Her
Cross-pollination: YouTubers love it. Trading on the implied endorsement of appearing in one another’s videos, famous vloggers broaden their audiences. This works especially well when the YouTubers hail from different countries. Here is their chance to go international. So it’s not by accident that Miranda invites shiny-happy Brightonian Alfie Deyes (almost five million subscribers) round to smell her tongue or challenges his girlfriend Zoella (over nine million subscribers) to complete random tasks within a seven-second timeframe.
Oh, And So Does Jerry Seinfeld
You know, one of the most famous comedians of all time and creator of one of the most influential TV shows ever made. So if you don’t trust the ringing endorsements of Alfie and Zoella (to be fair, they’re usually trying to flog something), maybe Jerry can convince you. After being introduced to her work by his 13-year-old daughter, he invited Miranda onto his improv web show Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee – the format’s in the title – and sang her praises in a subsequent Vulture interview: “She’s a very special character. It’s a rich character, and it definitely can grow into a different container.” Readers, that container is Netflix.
Miranda Sings Walks Among Us
As was alluded to earlier, Evans performs live shows as Miranda and has done so all over the world. So that’s a nice change from the bland meet-‘n’-greet fans usually get with their favourite YouTubers, eh?
More YouTubers Are Coming For The TV Mainstream
LA-based joker and vine star Andrew Bachelor is developing a pilot for Fox and New York comedian and Youtuber Issa Rae is creating a HBO show (while our homegrown vloggers tend to document the minutae of their daily routines, US Youtubers are more in characters and creativity), so Miranda’s success is no one-off.