MIAMI — The Indie Revolution was in full display during the 2019 XBIZ Cam Awards show, presented by MyFreeCams at one of South Beach’s most stylish venues, the Faena Forum.
This revolution was the subject of the XBIZ World cover story timed with this year’s Miami show. The current unstoppable rise of cam and clip performers of all kinds represents perhaps the most diverse group of body types, backgrounds and life experiences to claim their place among other erotic entertainers.
The positive energy at the Faena Hotel’s domed ballroom, which combines a Renaissance-like classicism — the cupola resembles a Miami-white version of Rome’s Pantheon — with the slick minimalism of top South Beach glamour, was palpable.
Without any conspiracy of fashion, most of the women, including presenters, nominees, winners and those just partying, had opted for fully blinged-out looks, which they were serving without any sense of haughtiness.
Once again, adult industry models showed that, sartorially speaking, they can run style circles around their mainstream counterparts at galas like the Academy Awards or the Met Ball.
The other theme of the evening, besides celebratory, unpretentious glitz and the Zeitgeist-ready momentum of the cam and clip communities, was on everyone’s lips by the end of the efficiently run ceremony: the consensus was that the 2019 XBIZ Miami Cam Awards show was one for the books in terms of fun having been had.
“It was the most positive atmosphere I have been a part of in my entire life,” Ginger Banks told XBIZ. “I was astonished by the organization of the event and how the show moved so smoothly,” added Lauren Phillips.
“That was the most polished awards show I have ever been to,” agreed presenter Reya Sunshine. “It was so streamlined and the acceptance speeches of just ‘thank you’ made the whole process go by so quickly. It was honestly comical because it’s so out of character for an awards show to not drag on!”
Every winner, though, made sure to thank their fans, without whose support their victories would not have been possible.
“Those were perfect speeches—short and to the point!” said an overjoyed Dani Daniels at a festive table full of recognizable porn stars who also happen to be extremely proud to call themselves cam models and clip artists.
Not even two hours after the opening video — which showed them cavorting in lingerie and driving a sick Lambo around South Beach with Thelma-and-Louise-like intensity but in leather pants and bikini tops — hosts Ella Silver and Elisa Laurenne wrapped up the proceedings and it was on to afterparties and further raucous merriment.
After the customary red carpet action (with interviews by the captivating Catjira), everyone entered the Faena Forum ballroom and mingled around the tables and the full bar within it — a setup which greatly contributed to the celebratory atmosphere and camaraderie.
“This year the awards felt so exclusive, and everyone who attended was so positive and excited for all the winners it really was something special,” Catjira told XBIZ.
The mood was relaxed even at the red carpet line. “I arrived on the red carpet and I was greeted with so many familiar faces!” Casey Kisses told XBIZ.
The stage lights went down for the aforementioned Ella & Elisa & Lambo video (produced by XBIZ’s event mastermind extraordinaire and ringmaster Moe Helmy and shot by top talent from the mainstream music video world), and went up again to welcome the two hosts, fully blinged out in contrastingly styled gold gowns.
“We’re so proud to join XBIZ and turn the spotlight on — you!” Laurenne told the crowd. “This year you’ve been so prolific, so creative,” added Silver, to the crowd’s applause.
The first presenters were Reya Sunshine and Ari Dee, who announced the first award, for Best Cosplay Cam Model. It went to a genuinely shocked Elise Laurenne, who came in from backstage visibly moved in her bustier-topped gold dress.
“Thank you, I like being creative and shit. Thank you so much,” was her short, informal, heartfelt acknowledgement, which set the tone for the evening. Everyone wondered if people had been told to keep the acceptances speeches short, but they had not — it just worked out perfectly.
Sunshine and Dee then presented Best Cosplay Clip Artist to Princess Berpl, who strode onstage with the pink hair and Big Geek Attitude that you’re most likely to find at cam-centric award shows like XBIZ Miami. Trophy Girls Mary Moody and UKDreamX welcomed her to the stage with the warmth they displayed towards all winners.
Next came the fetish awards, presented by Natasha Nice and Zoey Taylor. Nice — one of the two dates (with Brenna Sparks) who attended with XBIZ’s own Managing Editor and Maestro of Magick (Don) Alejandro Freixes — and Taylor announced that the awards went to two fetish deities: GoddessValora (Best Fetish Cam Model) and Divine Goddess Jessica (Best Fetish Clip Artist).
It was then the turn for Alaskan Pre-Raphaelite beauty AKGingerSnaps — looking Grecian in a pink tunic gown with hip-length slits by Dion Atelier, her signature red bob ornamented by a crown of golden flowers — and Lacey Bender, to announce the popular BBW awards.
Best BBW Cam Model went to gorgeous bombshell FitSidney. Wearing a black bodysuit with a transparent skirt, Sidney shouted out “all the BBWs!,” pointing at them with such energy that one of her boobs popped fully out, shocking trophy girl Mary Moody and causing the crowd to give her, and her totally spontaneous wardrobe malfunction, an ovation.
Best BBW went to Destiny Diaz. “On stage I just thanked all of the members and models who voted for me,” Diaz told XBIZ afterwards. “But what I really wanted to say was that I felt so lucky to be in a room filled with some of the most beautiful people on the planet. Winning Best BBW Clip Artist means so much to me, especially because over the last year I’ve really stepped outside of my comfort zone and reinvented myself, my content and my brand. I’m so lucky to have as much support as I do in this community. And I really appreciate XBIZ for adding all of the clip artist categories, and continuing to support the BBW community in both cam and clips and not just throwing us all in one category for BBWs.”
“I’m seriously fucking honored,” Diaz added.
Everyone’s favorite rapping performer couple, TrueStoriez, took the stage to award the MILF trophies. “We are about to introduce the next tasty treats,” said Tru Luv Hefner, before he and epic-legged partner Bunz Bunny named classic blonde adult beauty Alena Croft as Best MILF Cam Model, and Sofia Rose as Best MILF Clip Artist.
Sofia Rose was overwhelmed by the occasion, but later shared with XBIZ her deep feelings about her award.
“I feel like with all the accolades I’ve gotten over my amazing career, that I have said and expressed all I could say with my gratitude to this industry, to my friends and to my fans,” Rose told us. “I don’t know what else I can say but ‘thank you.'”
“Being recognized as a MILF and being in my BBW body, just proved to me that the world is ready for diversity outside of the comfortable labels and subniches,” Rose added. “I am proud to be a body positive role model and to show you what someone grateful looks like. What someone flawed looks like. What someone strong looks like. What a fighter looks like. And what a survivor looks like.”
“I hope the world continues to see us. Now and forever,” concluded this year’s Best MILF Clip Artist.
Ariana Marie and cam model and cryptocurrency evangelist Allie Eve Knox announced the Inked awards next, which went to a pink-haired Melissa Dawson (for Best Inked Cam Model) and Ari Dee (for Best Inked Clip Artist). Dawson thanked her tattoo artist, Skip Sampson from the 1603 shop in Tampa’s Ybor City.
“This is my fifth and sixth nomination between XBIZ Cam and regular XBIZ so thank you,” said Dee, stunning in a sultry red number. “When I started being nominated for XBIZ, independent solo girls were not even in consideration, so — holy shit! Thank you so much!”
A totally glammed up Ashanti Aleyce and 420-friendly sweetheart Chronic Love announced the duo awards. Best Cam Model Duo went to the uniquely named Whaaaaaaaat (Lacey & Jeff) and Best Clip Artist Duo went to Lindsey Love & Mike Love.
Totally amped Lacey and Jeff, the eight-voweled ones who have developed their own patented blend of adult content and broadcasting/podcasting, came onstage looking like the swingingest couple at an evening mixer at a clothing-optional resort in the Caribbean. Then they proceeded to make out like hot’n’heavy teenagers.
Alas, Mike Love (not to be confused with his namesake, the controversial Beach Boy) was not in attendance. “Thank you guys so much from both Michael and I!” said his partner-in-clips (and life) Lindsey. “He couldn’t make it today. He stayed home to take care of our pets and put our new house together. I wish he could’ve been here!”
The man responsible for the awards show (aka, “The Friendliest Man in Adult”), Moe Helmy, took the stage with the characteristic bonhomie that has made the limited-edition coffee mug that features his face (#MoeMug) a coveted collectors’ item.
XBIZ Moe announced that the coveted award for Community Figure would go to unstoppable businesswoman and engaging XBIZ event moderator Vicky Vette.
The Norwegian Nymph, wearing a shockingly short, shiny, green camo dress, shared her feelings about this special honor. “I’ve been in this industry for 16 years,” Vette revealed, “so it’s safe to say that when I started most of you were only two or three years old. But this is possibly the best time to be in adult. We’re finally in the driver’s seat, we’re in control and this is because of you guys!”
After the cheers, Vette added that the XBIZ Community Figure trophy was “the most special award that I ever could win” and vowed “to continue to strive to shine a positive light on this industry that I love.”
Right before the intermission, Moe Helmy asked the audience to honor the late Dave Slick, a much beloved cam performer who died tragically last year, and whose life was celebrated by his fellow performers in a moving, intimate ceremony on the first day of the 2019 XBIZ Miami.
“It was really nice of Moe to come on stage and speak a few words about Dave Slick,” said Slick’s friend, cam model Veronika Rose. “That was really a nice thing to do.”
After the intermission, two amazing women — both of whom truly put the “star” in Porn Star — Ana Foxxx and reigning XBIZ Performer of the Year Abigail Mac, announced the two Trans awards. Presenter Ashanti Aleyce returned to the stage to receive the Best Trans Cam Model trophy, and uber-creative camshow performer and producer TsBlondieNYC (in a transparent red dress that showcased her boobs, blinged out in electric patterns) was crowned Best Trans Clip Artist.
The audience could feel the positive vibrations. “This is my first XBIZ Cam Awards,” adult star Lauren Phillips told XBIZ, “and it really excites me to see how the porn, cam and fetish worlds have mixed together so well. There are so many amazing people out there. I’m just very lucky to be in an industry that accepts people for who they are and cherishes them for their unique qualities.”
“I myself started as an exotic dancer and cam girl,” added Romi Rain, “and couldn’t be happier that the lines between types of entertainers are blurring, and we can all respect and appreciate each other to such a degree. It’s a great time to be a badass independent performer in the adult business and I’m so grateful!
The stage welcomed 2019 XBIZ Awards indie Cam Model of the Year Emily Bloom, in a classic, wine-colored gown. Bloom was visibly thrilled to announce that the trophy for Social Media Influencer, would go to the OG master of viral content, the brilliant Chris Crocker.
Crocker could not attend, but he sent a video emphasizing the struggles faced by the community in a time of unfair attacks against sex workers. Sex Worker Twitter’s breakout adult performer, humorist and social commentator praised the community’s use of social media which had let “everyone know the difference between empowered sex workers vs. victims.” Crocker, who often educates his viewers about mental health issues and sex worker stigma, dedicated his award “to everyone who is speaking out.”
“Yeahhh, tell’em. Bless this home!”—someone yelled during the ovation that followed Crocker’s video.
HaileyonCam presented the Industry Crossover Star award to another amazing woman — the multitalented Dani Daniels. Diversifying her activities between cam and clip work, her art, photography books (she recently shot with Mick Rock, the man responsible for some of the most iconic images of Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop!), clothing lines and even a popular talk show (“Dinner with Dani”), Daniels has shown that even after reaching the pinnacle of the porn industry, a performer can leverage her popularity into a rich artistic and commercial life as an indie creator.
Catherine Tayler presented the award for male Rising Clip Star to one-of-a-kind Vegas entrepreneur and category-busting performer Lance Hart.
“About nine years ago I took a big gamble,” Hart told the audience in one of the evening’s longest speeches. “I bought a handycam from Walmart at 3 a.m., put an ad on Backpage looking for fetish models and gave all my rent money to the first girl that showed up for letting me film her while she jerked me off onto her pantyhose,” said Hart. “I put the clips on clips4sale, tripled my money and I’ve been letting it ride ever since. It’s been a hell of a ride. This award means a lot to me. We’re all on the same team as sex workers. We have good lives and I hope we remember that”
“To get see my friends Lindsey Love and Lance Hart take home achievements they’ve worked so hard towards, totally made my night,” a cheering Casey Kisses told XBIZ from the audience.
SureCakes presented the female Rising Clip Star award to the irrepressible Kit Mercer, who has set to prove that a stunning fitness model with classic porn star looks also has a place in the indie-friendly clips and cam landscape. Mercer lifted her arms, stretching her blessed physique and flashing a satisfied smile with a “mission accomplished” gleam in her eyes.
Johnny Stone gave the trophy to fellow pretty man Liam Jacobs for male Rising Cam Star, with both of them doubling the dose of smirking, cocksure confidence on the Faena Forum stage.
NikkiNight presented the female Rising Cam Star, award to single-named UK model Quincy, who has been turning her XBIZ award show appearances into showcases for her totally baller gown collection. With a rowdy “I love you ! You wankers!,” an admittedly tipsy (by that point of the evening) Quincy thanked the crowd and her fans.
Dani Daniels returned to the stage to present Best Male Clip Artist to a white-tuxedoed Sam Shock, who, surname be damned, looked relaxed and confident while accepting his award.
Korina Kova received the trophy for Best Female Clip Artist from the legend herself, Romi Rain, who had her table (including this reporter) cracking up when she joked that she was going to Postmate some Chinese food to go with the drinks. Except she wasn’t joking and a few minutes later the table was the envy of the rest of the attendees with everyone passing around spring rolls and shrimp fried rice.
“I am so happy that the gorgeous Korina Kova won,” Rain told XBIZ. “I have to say that this night overall has some of the best energy I’ve encountered at an award show. The crowd is cheering loud for absolutely everything, I didn’t witness side-eye once, which is saying something!”
It was getting close to the final, most anxiously expected awards for best male and female cam models. Presenters Ginger Banks and XBIZ Miami red carpet interviewer Catjira, wearing a blinged-out jumpsuit with a peek-a-boo top, named Thony_grey as the 2019 Best Male Cam Model.
“I just want to say thank you to all my fans! Thanks everybody! And… I did it !” a triumphant Thony_grey screamed at the mic.
Catjira and Banks then announced the last award of the evening: Best Female Cam Model. And the trophy went to… Hannah James!
Wearing an almost demure, sophisticated black dress, the top brunette cam girl tried to start a traditional speech (“When I started camming, 4 years ago…”) but was quickly overcome by her emotions with an audible “oh my gosh.”
“Literally I thought I’d never get to this point,” she improvised. “Thank you to everyone… for clicking that fucking button and almost getting arthritis!”
The awards part of the revels had now ended.
It was time to let loose, or even looser, at the afterparties. But that’s a story for another occasion.