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As their fame spread, Demi and Selena started posting YouTube videos to keep in touch with fans. “Selena and I were noticing how hard it can be to write messages and comments to every single fan that you have,” Demi says. “On YouTube, even though you’re not speaking to them personally, you can at least say ‘Hey, this is what I’m doing,’ and you’re getting to reach out to all of them. So, we made a video and all of a sudden it became this huge thing that other people were doing, too.”
Each vlog shows Demi and Selena sitting in front of a webcam, up close and personal, while chatting about what’s going on in their lives and just horsing around. Friends like the Jonas Brothers make guest appearances. Selena told radio host Ryan Seacrest, “We just want to show kids that we’re probably the biggest nerds out there… .We just want to show that we’re normal and like to do silly things.”
The girls were bowled over by the response they received from fans. Millions of viewers watch Demi and Selena’s videos, making them one of the hottest destinations on YouTube.
Many of those viewers were shocked when Miley Cyrus and her friend Mandy Jiroux posted a video of their own that parodied one of Demi and Selena’s YouTube missives. In the original video, Demi and Selena chitchat about Demi’s makeup, Selena’s Power Rangers T–shirts, among other ordinary girl stuff. Miley and Mandy use the same language and show off their Tshirts and joke about a pretend gap marked on Mandy’s teeth, while frequently dissolving into laughter. A notice appears at the end of the parody, stating “Check out our friends’ YouTube!!!!! XOXOXO M & M.”
Miley claims the spoof was just a silly joke and has said she’s “super sorry” if the girls were offended. She told Popstar! Magazine: “We were just having fun … They have a YouTube account, and so at the end of our video we did put ‘Go to their YouTube’ … We were kind of supporting their channel, but also being silly because they were being funny, and that’s our thing — to be funny.” She added, “Elvis says, ‘Imitation is the greatest form of flattery,’ so we were imitating them being funny.”
The resulting media storm took months to blow over, despite Miley’s apology. Selena and Demi knew Miley, and said they took the video to be exactly what Miley said it was — just having fun. Selena tried to be Zen about it. “Dealing with the press is something that you’ve gotta start getting used to,” she told MTV News, “and you know people want something to talk about, so they’re going to have the two Disney girls —or three Disney girls—kind of feuding. “There’s no feud — there’s nothing to feud about, so why start a fight?” she continued. “It’s something that we all have to live with, and unfortunately it involves friends.”
Demi also brushed off the gossip, even joked about it.“I really don’t know Miley that well. We didn’t take offense or think it was a negative or a positive. It was just like, ‘Okay, cool, Hannah Montana knows who I am’!”