Award shows have looked a little different this year. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, most celebrities have traded their ball gowns for sweatpants, with acceptance speeches being made from couches. But glamour and beauty will finally return to an awards show when Trixie Mattel and Katya host the 10th annual Streamy Awards on YouTube this weekend.
The Streamys honor the best of YouTube and the creators behind the content. Since Trixie and Katya are two of the most popular RuPaul's Drag Race queens on the video site, it was only natural that the skinny legends would host the star-studded, socially distant event.
NewNowNext chatted with Trixie and Katya about their love for YouTube, hosting the ceremony from a party bus, and why this year's Streamys will be "the best ever."
Talk to me about hosting the Streamy Awards! Trixie, I watched your video when you were getting ready for the hosting gig and getting into drag at 7am.
Trixie: Can you believe that? Like, what the hell? And by the way, it's also recording the video at that time. It's too much. And then we talked all day.
Katya: I don't know. It's definitely being made more clear that she's the type of person who suffers in order for the sympathy. Like when that woman smothered eight of her children in order to just get all the outpouring of support from friends and family — that's really what's going on here.
Trixie: But you know what? It's not that hard to be one of the hardest working drag queens in show business because half these whores aren't up before noon.
Katya: Yeah, the bar is quite low.
Well, yeah. Katya, were you up at that time too?
Katya: I certainly was. Not making a video, just struggling with keeping my eyes open and my brain invested in reality. I will say, when that alarm went off at 5:30am, getting in drag was not the impetus.
Trixie: Wasn't the move. It wasn't the instinct.
Trixie: We're good yin and yang, though, because I'm always like, "What do you mean? Of course we have to get up at 4:30am and get in drag and run laps." She's a little more like, "No, what if we quit?" We meet in the middle, and we have a normal work ethic.
For the Streamys, you're driving around in a bus called the Glamtram. Did you say yes to that right away, or did you have to be pitched that? Like, "Wait, we're in a bus?"
Katya: I wanted a tractor, but I guess there's not enough room to fit all the crew on there.
Trixie: To be honest, if we're being vulnerable, at a normal Streamys, it's a car to the Streamys, waiting to get in the red carpet. Then you go sit at a table, and then the award show. Taping it takes a little longer than the real thing. Usually it just takes a little longer. This was not harder than attending and presenting in a real Streamys, I don't think.
Katya: And it was more enjoyable, to be honest, because I don't really thrive in that kind of environment.
Trixie: I've been to a lot of award shows with this person, and it is a little bit—
Katya: Well, you can't smoke and you don't get paid, so what's the point?
Trixie: She got to smoke, and we got paid. Best Streamys ever.
Katya: Yeah. Incredible.
Trixie: That's the big 10-year reveal of the Streamys hitting their 10 year mark was that they hire cross-dressers who are allowed to smoke.
Katya: And we might even win an award. So that would just be the cream cheese frosting on top of this already delicious cake.
Trixie: Can you believe it, Christopher? They want to give us an award. I'm ready to sweep this hoe like Lupita Nyong'o and just take it all. I'm ready to take the house.
Was it a party bus vibe in there? What was happening?
Katya: It certainly was. It certainly was.
Trixie: It was a big, big bus that you know a couple of bachelorettes have puked in.
Katya: Puked and peed on. And then us.
Have you done a party bus in real life?
Trixie: I have.
Katya: I have not, I don't think.
Trixie: In Milwaukee, when I go on tour, we usually get a party bus to take us from the venue after the show, to my home gay bar.
Also, what about these Creator Honors?
Trixie: It's pretty cool. For the first time ever in Streamy history, they're going to have creators basically honoring and lifting up other creators. So there's things like Creator of the Year, etc. It's just a little bit more like passing the baton because on YouTube, especially, it's always kind of self collaborative. You are the lighting person. You are the recorder, you are the sound person.
When you showed up to people's houses, did they know you were coming? What was that whole situation like?
Trixie: There's a lot of surprises. There were things hidden from us, even, that we didn't know. We made the influencers and the nominees think one thing was happening and then something totally different would happen because we want genuine. And if we learned from apology videos, I want tears.
Katya: I want tears. I want to see sincere emotional distress. Otherwise, what's the point? Plus I want a physical challenge myself. So they set up some barbed wire and some smoke bombs just to keep me interested in the process. And I was grateful for that.
Trixie: We walked under the bus and it was mousetraps every square inch. With my rough skin—
Katya: It didn't make a difference.
Trixie: Exfoliating. And the trail of mice that follow her, the rats, it was actually really convenient. But the bus was really glam. And luckily, because of the event, the lighting was very, very adequate.
Katya: Yes, I was surprised. I was pleasantly surprised about that.
Trixie: Because, as drag queens, I have to walk into everything like Val Garland with a magnifying glass, checking out the lighting.
The Frock Destroyers' new album has a song called "How's the Lighting," and it's really good.
Katya: There you go. Relevant.
Trixie: Way to hit me where I live. How many lights do we have turned on in front of us, 75? And this is just in my house. It was cool, though. Because, again, YouTube is like the DIY hub. So there were drones, there were cameras mounted on the bus windows. It's still a very high gloss award show, even though we did it remotely.
Trixie: So it is a little bit of like a who's who, and I know a lot of them because I'm a YouTube—
Katya: You were about to say celebrity.
Trixie: No. Purveyor of YouTube content. I watch a lot of YouTube. She's more of a PornHub gal [points to Katya].
Katya: Yeah. PornHub, X videos...
I mean, YouTube celebrity... I saw your one million subscribers golden play button.
Trixie: Can you believe? It's on the wall over here.
I was about to ask, where is it? It's on the wall? It looks nice.
Trixie: On the wall. I have the silver one, and I didn't know the gold one was going to be so big so it's under it. It's giant. But when I was at James Charles' house, he had the 10 million, which is I think diamond.
Trixie: I think they just send you The Hope Diamond at that point.
So, Trixie, you're a YouTube celebrity. But Katya, you don't post to YouTube.
Katya: All that changed about two weeks ago, Christopher, let me just tell you and give you an update. I'm feeling a little bit pulled, persuaded to get into that YouTube game just because I didn't know that when you post a video and a lot of people watch it, that translates into dollar signs. It's happening. But I posted a music video. It just got a million views, and I thought that was fun.
Trixie: All my favorite people are YouTubers. I was very excited to present at the show because I do think YouTube Streamys people, they are some of the most talented and scrappy. They make good content from their house with a camera. These are people who learn Final Cut in order to make other people laugh. That's amazing to me.
Katya: It's that can-do attitude, Christopher, that really reinforces the wonder that is the American dream.
I've been watching so much more YouTube this year have. Have you two been watching more YouTube, and what videos have you been watching?
Katya: Absolutely, yes I have. And let me tell you what I do. I subscribe to YouTube premium. Because I can't stand those advertisements. I won't stand for that. I really won't because my time is valuable.
Trixie: That being said, thank you for watching the advertisements so people like us can get paid. But, to me, the world of YouTube is worth the YouTube premium.
Katya: Absolutely. Hey, I'd pay $15 a video if I didn't have to watch ads.
Trixie: Same. YouTube should be paid by the minute like a porn site.
Katya: [Looks worried] Porn sites are paid by the minute?
Trixie: Some are. Right? You're like, "Oh God."
Katya: Oh God.
Trixie: "That's where all my money went."
Katya, you mentioned how you were starting YouTube channel. What can fans expect?
Katya: Fans can expect the kind of content that I have been known to deliver, which is not very much.
Trixie: On my own terms.
Katya: On my own terms, at my own pace, on my own timeline.
Trixie: On my own budget.
Katya: Yes, budget. And they can expect the kind of communication that I've been known to foster, which is unreliable and spotty. I set a very, very high bar for myself that starts in the basement. It doesn't go up to the first floor. We're going to be, on a truthful note, we're releasing another ... I, not, we. The royal "we," I guess. I'm releasing another music video for the song I did with Alaska called "Come in Brazil."
Trixie: But on the Streamys, there are a lot of celebrities, a lot of surprises. There are things that they didn't even tell us that they have us experienced in real life. They wanted us all surprised a lot of the day, because let's just say, for example, some of the people we meet with, some of the people who win...
Katya: Some of the people who lose.
Trixie: They think they're there doing one thing, and boom — we change the script. But it's going to be well-received because as we all know, YouTube is not a place where we foster drama.
Katya: Madness, chaos, confusion.
Trixie: YouTube isn't a place where people retaliate, engage in feuds, cry.
Katya: No, it's about level-headed maturity and articulate common sense.
Trixie: Yeah. Streamys though is Saturday, December 12, live premiere on YouTube. Can you believe it? And that's where you can see us in great drag. We look great.
Katya: Yeah. We look good.
Trixie: For 8am in the direct sunlight, we look like fucking Dakota Fanning and Kate Moss.
Katya: Kate Moss, yeah, that would be me.
Trixie: A woman named Kate covered in moss. And a woman named Dakota who's fanning herself.
The Streamy Awards premiere Saturday, December 12 at 9pm ET/6pm PT on YouTube.