Who are the Janoskians?

July 9, 2012, 6:18 pm Tineka Everaardt Today Tonight

They look like a boy band and have thousands of hysterical fans, but the five Melbourne teenagers known as the Janoskians don't sing a note.


They are an internet sensation, producing YouTube clips watched more than 20 million times worlwide, so who are these boys calling themselves the Janoskians?

Move over talent shows - if you want fame, fast, take a tip from The Janoskians, a boy group that can't sing and can't act. They haven't found fame, fame found them.

This weekend Daniel, James, Luke, Jai and Beau were meant to be the backup act for The Voice winner Karise Eden, but they ended up stealing the show. They were greeted in Beatlesque fashion by 3000 screaming fans.

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“When we were getting told by the staff at Westfield that our crowd was bigger than Karise's we were all shocked because she was a national star this year through The Voice but we pulled a bigger crowd that her,” the boys said.

Their YouTube clips have received a whopping 26 million views, and they've got 243,000 subscribers and counting.

“We were bored kids. We always wanted to get ourselves on YouTube, so we did it, and we got pretty successful from there,” they explained.

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It's usually singing sensations who hit the big time with YouTube - teen heartthrob Justin Beiber set the standard, and Aussie Arlene Zelina is the latest, signing a recording contract with US superstar Jason Derulo.

The Janoskians instead created their fan base through a series of short videos, mocumentaries, dares, pranks and what they call 'awkward situations'.

But the success of these Melbourne boys has turned things on their head, and there are those claiming it is setting a dangerous precedent for others to emulate.

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So, are they pushing the boundaries a little bit too far?

“It’s what we want to do. We want to push the boundaries, we just want the reactions out of people,” the boys said.

However media commentator Prue MacSween isn’t a fan. “Their act - if you can call it that - is so juvenile, and I think really irresponsible,” she said.

“It's astounding the power of the internet now. It just tells you that this global audience can be viral and suddenly nobodies with very little talent can suddenly be known by the world.”

The boys deny they're turning into bad role models, arguing everyone realises it's all an act.

“Each single person that we do it to, we go and say ‘sorry this is what we're doing it for, this is the purpose’ and they're cool with it. If they're not we don’t put it up,” they said.

“We are normal children. The clips are just an act at the end of the day, just entertainment.”

They won't stop the entertainment anytime soon, and not being able to sing hasn't stopped these boys either - they've just signed with record company Sony and will be releasing a single soon.

This reporter is on Twitter at @tinekae

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