After weeks of speculation about who he would choose to succeed him in the role that made him an internet star, Ray William Johnson has announced in an interview with Variety that Robby Motz would take over hosting duties on the popular web show “Equals Three.” Motz, a 20-year-old college student and actor, has no notable prior experience on YouTube. The selection comes as a surprise to many fans of the viral video clip show who speculated about familiar faces ranging from Jenna Marbles and DeStorm Power to Jack Douglass of JacksFilmsTV.
Though Johnson initially put out the call for a replacement host online, receiving dozens of audition videos from YouTube hopefuls, it was a call to talent agencies that ultimately produced Motz. A college student from Los Angeles, Motz just wrapped up his freshman year at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania and will take a leave of absence from school to fulfill his one-year contract with “Equals Three”
The bold decision to place a virtual unknown in the driver’s seat of his signature web series is another indication of Johnson’s willingness to experiment with the show and the format. In his initial videos discussing the revival of the show Johnson expressed ambivalence about its continuation and a sink or swim attitude toward the new host. While that might be rough news for “Equals Three” fans it’s great news for Robby Motz, who will be given relatively free reign to make the show his own. However, for the time being, Johnson will continue to write and direct while the new host acclimates himself. However, according to Johnson, while the format “is not going to change … it may evolve with (Motz) sense of humor.”
In a fairly poetic twist for a show about viral videos, Motz is likely to experience some sudden viral fame himself. The show will also continue to air on Johnson’s personal YouTube channel, meaning that Motz, who has a relatively small internet presence (550 Twitter followers at last count) will be thrown in front of Johnson’s audience of 10.6 million subscribers. Perhaps the experience of being thrust into the upper echelon of YouTube fame will be just the spark needed to help Robby Motz recapture the magic that made Johnson a star.
The new “Equals Three” was meant to premier on July 15, but in true YouTuber fashion there were some holdups in the editing process. Johnson tweeted about delays in the training of a new editor and promised the promised a premier by later today.
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