There’s no better feeling than proving someone wrong after they’ve told you that you’re no good. That’s why YouTube’s dubstep violin darling Lindsey Stirling must be feeling pretty great right now. It’s been four years since she was booted from “America’s Got Talent” with some unkind words about her talent and style from the judges. Recently Lindsey made a return to the AGT stage, this time as a featured performer. Apparently, two successful albums, including her recent “Shatter Me” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts, will do that for you.
Lindsey joined YouTube way back in 2007 posting violin covers of popular songs. In 2010, her stint on “America’s Got Talent” earned her a bit more attention, but ironically it was her failure on the show that spurred her to greater success.
On YouTube, talent shines brightest when combined with a personal story; Lindsey’s determination to carry on after her TV defeat was the narrative that launched her to stardom. Since leaving the show, she has amassed more than 5 million subscribers and over 700 million views. With two albums and a world tour under her belt, she returned to the show and was typically gracious, thanking the show and judges for the initial push it gave her.
Lindsey Stirling’s career arc is a prime example of what makes YouTube fundamentally different from television. With millions on the line, traditional media has a huge incentive to play it safe and go with what has worked before. YouTube allows its creators to break from existing formulas for success. The phrase “bypassing traditional gatekeepers” is often used to describe the path to YouTube stardom. However YouTube is not without gatekeepers, rather, the viewers are the gatekeepers. It’s a medium without tastemakers, which provides everyone a fair shot at winning over the audience.
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