Australia’s ‘TikTok of the Year’ has officially been named – and Aussies haven’t held back with their brutal reactions.
On Wednesday night, TikTok Australia held its 2023 awards at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion, which was attended by more than 1500 people.
Ten awards were handed out, including the prize for the TikTok video of the year, which went to the creators behind the infamous Fitzroy garage party.
To refresh your memory, the video consists of a group of young men posing for their phones as they have a “sesh” in a garage in Fitzroy, the art and night-life hub of Melbourne.
They dance awkwardly to music blaring out in the garage and spill out onto the laneway, make prayer signs, vape, and even give someone a haircut on the street.
All the attendees are dressed in classic Melbourne “hipster” clothing, with many vests, baggy pants, silver chains and, of course, multiple mullets.
The video sparked an enormous response when it was posted in late December 2022, so much so that people even created parody videos and dedicated their time to trying to unpack what everyone finds so outrageous about the party.
The award was accepted by two of the key players in the video, Andrew Davie and Jordan Menadue.
When accepting the award, Andrew thanked their friends, family and the “people who saw the video in a positive light”.
“Who knew that a video of a bunch of lads having pre’s could go off like this,” he said.
“If there is anything we can take away from it, its is that no matter what you post there is going to be somebody who says something negative about it, so just post that video, it can take you to unimaginable heights.”
Jordan labelled the experience “pretty crazy”, revealing they didn’t think the video would go as viral as it did.
“But it brought us all closer together as mates and we definitely learnt some things along the way,” he said.
“Don’t let other people’s comments or opinions stop you from being yourself. Just keep doing what you love and that’s all that matters.”
Now, if you’re still wondering why an 11-second clip of a bunch of inner-city Melbourne men dancing in a back lane was deemed to be the absolute best video Aussie TikTok had to offer, then you’re not alone.
While the video undeniably sparked a major reaction at the time it was posted, many people have been left scratching their heads at the decision to crown it the TikTok of the Year.
Social media users were quick to share their reactions, branding the decision “embarrassing”, “cringe” and “a joke”.
“Award for getting the piss taken out of them worldwide,” one person claimed.
“I genuinely don’t get it,” another wrote.
Many other commenters claimed that another nominee, creator @unkowndazza, should have taken out the award for his video where he used a 3D printer to create a home for the frogs in his backyard.
“Just started watching the TikTok live awards in Australia and the Fitzroy Garage Party won over the guy who 3D printed a frog house. So I am out, I’m done, sorry, bye,” user @miss-janeHF said in a video.
She wasn’t the only one who felt this way, with people rushing to the comments to share their fury that the frog video wasn’t crowned number one.
“Am I missing something with the garage vid? What was so good? Frog was the BEST!” one person said.
“I was team frog house,” another claimed
Another commenter said she was “devo” and had voted for the frog house video “every day”.
A single one of Dazza’s frog videos was viewed 61.3 million times, compared to the garage party video, which racked up 7.3 million views.
However, there were plenty of people defending the garage party boys, with one commenter saying the win was “rightfully theirs”.
“From a party with friends, that spawned many copycat tiktoks all for fun. It was great. Well done mate,” another said.
One person claimed they voted for the video to win every day because they knew it would “piss people off if you guys won”.
When the Fitzroy video was first posted and the conversation about it was in full swing, Sydney-based solicitor Jahan Kalantar endeavoured to explain why some people had taken such as issue with the clip.
He claimed some of the backlash was due to the history of Fitzroy as a traditionally working class suburb that had been “substantially” gentrified.
“The reason the comments are so vitriolic is that a lot of people are saying that this house party represents everything that’s wrong with house parties,” Mr Kalantar said.
“It’s wealthy people playing it poor – colloquially what we call champagne socialists. People from wealthy suburbs who play it being poor for some sort of brownie points.
“It’s that engagement with this particular dialogue, and the commodification of poverty, that’s made it so popular.”
However, there were many defending the men involved in the video, with overseas TikTok users even claiming it was making them want to “book a trip to Australia”.
One young Melbourne resident made a video defending the clip, acknowledging that while it was embarrassing to watch, people shouldn’t be so quick to judge.
TikToker @livhalliwell said: “As much as it is cringe, I think because they are male we are just not used to men making content like this. If girls (and we do), do this, no-one says anything. I can say with no shame if the vibes look sh*t I will literally tell my friends to ‘look’ more fun.”