The Merrell Twins
Living in Awesomeness
by Kayla Marra
Identical twins and YouTube stars Vanessa and Veronica Merrell have been taking the internet by storm since they began creating videos in 2009. The twins grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and later moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to pursue their YouTube and acting careers. Over the years, Vanessa and Veronica have gained an impressive following of 5.1 million devotees on their YouTube channel “MerrellTwins.” Other than gaining huge amounts of dedicated fans, the twins have earned themselves Streamy, Shorty, Cynopsis, and Kids’ Choice awards and nominations.
In 2019, the girls teamed up with widely popular AwesomenessTV YouTube channel to star in and produce their very own show Twin My Heart. The YouTube series follows Vanessa and Veronica as they invite seven guys to compete in challenges set up by the twins to see who can win Vanessa’s heart. The first season of the show garnered a total of 14.6 million views, which was a surprise to the twins when I shared that stat with them. With the release of the first episode of season two, also on AwesomenessTV, I was able to chat with the girls about everything from their series, to working with AwesomenessTV, and some exciting things for fans to look forward to in the future.
Hi! I’m Kayla with Pop Entertainment and we are so happy to talk with you girls! First and foremost, could you introduce yourselves?
Vanessa Merrell: Hi, I’m Vanessa Merrell.
Veronica Merrell: And I’m Veronica Merrell.
Both: (laughing) We’re the Merrell Twins!
Congratulations on your Streamy, Shorty, and Cynopsis Award wins and nominations! What was going through your heads when you ladies got the news that you had won your first Shorty award for “YouNower of the Year” in 2016?
Veronica Merrell: Oh, wow! You’re pulling on memories really far in my brain! It was a really awesome, amazing time. It was the first ever award for live streaming, and so the fact that my sister and I won that award, we were very honored. It was a crazy time.
Yeah, that’s super crazy and amazing. The Kids’ Choice Awards are coming up and you two are nominated, congratulations on that, as well! What does getting nominated for a Kids’ Choice Award mean for you ladies, and who and what are you looking forward to seeing at the awards?
Vanessa Merrell: Being nominated for a Kids’ Choice Award is absolutely a really big honor. We’ve been nominated for Teen Choice Awards, but we’ve never been nominated for a Kids’ Choice Award. I guess it just really shows the big impact we have through our channel. We love kids. We love that demographic. We really hope that we’re being inspirations to many kids around the world. It’s just a really big honor to be nominated. I really can’t wait to go to The Kids’ Choice Awards. I’m hoping to see the cast of the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, because I think some of the guys are cute! That’s what I’m looking forward to seeing!
Veronica Merrell: We’ve grown up watching The Kids’ Choice Awards, so just to be nominated, like Nessa said, is an amazing honor. I’m looking forward to seeing which celebrities are there and hopefully we might get slimed!
That’s the goal!
Veronica Merrell: (laughs) Yes, that’s the goal!
In 2019 you worked with AwesomenessTV and released the first season of Twin My Heart. In season one, Veronica, you tried to find a boy for Vanessa through games and challenges. So, could you ladies explain what that whole experience was like on either end?
Veronica Merrell: We’ve always loved working with AwesomenessTV. They have been such a huge part of our growth on YouTube. The family that is over there, we really enjoy it. There is nothing like it. When we went to AwesomenessTV to pitch the idea for Twin My Heart, we had the idea for a dating show for a long time. We just didn’t know which direction to take it in. Nessa and I came up with the Twin My Heart idea where I find my sister a boyfriend, or someone to love. AwesomenessTV is the first place we thought of. We could have done it on our channel, but I don’t think we could have done it without the team that AwesomenessTV has. They were so helpful, and the collaborative process was amazing.
Vanessa Merrell: Adding on to what my sister just said, it was absolutely a crazy experience. It’s like the weirdest, craziest way to find love. We had a week, and ten boys going after you! I can’t even explain it, because I know a lot of people have not experienced this before – very few people have experienced a dating show. It was dramatic, it was stressful, it was fun, exciting, I’ve never felt that many emotions that fast in a week.
Veronica Merrell: Since we are executive producers, I got to help choose what was going on throughout the episodes and help test the guys. It’s very different compared to what we do on our normal channel, where we both write sketches and it’s not so much reality. It was very awesome to experience what reality TV is like.
Yeah, I bet! This is a question for both of you: what has it been like working with your twin sister and have so much success with it?
Vanessa Merrell: Working with my twin has been an incredible journey. We’ve been best friends since we were kids. If you would have told me when we were five years old that we would be working together, making videos, and doing fun skits I would have been like, “What? That’s crazy!” I would have been so excited just because we are so close, and we are best friends. It’s like a dream job. Honestly in the last few years I have seriously considered YouTube as a job because it’s so much fun, especially because we work together, and our parents are involved. Our dad, Paul Merrell, he produces and edits our videos. Our mom, she’s like our personal assistant and helps us run our emails and all that stuff. She helps us stay organized. Without her we wouldn’t be anything. It’s a really cool family thing that we have going on. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. We just have so much fun and we laugh pretty much all the time. It’s just a crazy thing we’ve got going on.
Veronica Merrell: I don’t know how I can top that answer, but ya know! It’s really fun working with your siblings and your family. Some people might see it as a bad thing, but it’s really what you make of it, to be honest. I love doing what we do, and I would have never dreamed of it.
I’m an only child so that sounds amazing! Season one of Twin My Heart has gained a total of 14.6 million views, which is insane, congratulations on that!
Both: Wow, thank you!
Veronica Merrell: I didn’t even know that!
Did you ladies have a favorite episode, favorite challenge, or favorite date from season one?
Vanessa Merrell: I think my favorite date I went on was with Christian at the Cat Cafe. That was my favorite date!
That was so cute. I watched the show and I was like wow, that’s some cute stuff right there.
Veronica Merrell: I think one of my favorite episodes, even though I hated the challenge, it was the twin-swap challenge, where we switched on the guys. Nessa and I have always been that type of twins to not really switch on people. We don’t really prank people with our looks, because we’re identical, but this is the first time we had ever done that. I was so nervous, but the outcome was so funny to see who would be able to tell us apart and if they could tell the difference.
In season two, you are working with Nezza and Franny Arietta. What has it been like working with them and what can we look forward to in the upcoming season?
Vanessa Merrell: Franny and Nezza are two of our best friends. We thought it would be perfect for us to help them find love. I think the thing that you can look forward to the most is that there’s going to be a lot more drama. There’s a lot more drama this season and a lot more challenges.
Veronica Merrell: For season one, we’re best friends and we get along. We’re sisters, at the end of the day we have to be kind to each other because the next day we’re seeing each other and we’re living with each other. When you add two other girls to the mix, things do get very crazy and dramatic and sometimes you can’t overstep boundaries and things like that. The upcoming season of Twin My Heart is very dramatic, and I think there is a big lesson that people can take from it, and it’s a positive lesson. That’s something to look forward to.
I can’t wait to see how season two plays out! Before the release of Twin My Heart in 2019, you launched your clothing line True IMG in 2018. Could you tell us a bit about your line, and can we expect some new pieces in the future?
Veronica Merrell: We started our clothing line called True IMG and it was so much fun. It’s a passion for us. As YouTubers, we can pretty much do whatever we want when we set our minds to something. If we want to do this and that, we can. Right now, we’re just fixing up holes in our clothing line. We’ll have a meeting about it this year and see if we can come up with bigger stuff and things we want to do – maybe jewelry, shoes, more stuff like that. It’s still in the talks. Right now, we’re focusing on merch, too. It gets confusing when you’re promoting so much stuff to your audience!
For sure! Since you’re already acting and doing some clothing design, what other career path are you interested in trying in the future?
Veronica Merrell: Nessa and I have been working to really get our production company going. We would really love to create a movie in the future. Right now, we are working on a series on our channel with a production company. All of our videos are technically produced by our production company, but in this series, we are bringing a bunch of crew and props people, we’re getting producers, it’s a big set! That’s what we would like to try and do more of in the future. Focus on making more series and more production, maybe a movie or TV show. It’s kind of hard to go to production companies and networks to pitch yourself because sometimes they don’t see your ideas – so why not create them yourself?
Vanessa Merrell: I think that’s what I want to do, too! We’re really excited for our series coming up. I think this year and, in the future,, I want to focus on making more music for me and my sister and focus on acting, as well, along with making YouTube videos every week. We have some big plans for the future.
Veronica Merrell: An example of what we’ve been doing with our production company is the collaboration with AwesomenessTV, that was such a dream collaboration. They understand our ideas and they get the platform. It was just the perfect way to get our foot in the door with the production company.
Your YouTube channel is very popular. Who comes up with the ideas and what is your creative process like?
Vanessa Merrell: Basically, it’s a team effort when it comes to creating ideas. Either Ronnie will think of an idea and be like, “Hey! Let’s create a skit around this subject!” and we’ll collaborate together. Or maybe one of us comes up with an entire idea and the other one puts in their ideas here and there. For the most part, it’s really a team effort. Sometimes our dad pitches in ideas, sometimes they’re good and sometimes they’re “eh.” It is a family effort. We’re always looking at what’s trending and what’s popular. That’s how we come up with our parodies sometimes. We take songs and we turn them into silly things.
Veronica Merrell: An example of how our creative process works – we were watching A Double Shot at Love on MTV and we were like “Oh my gosh! What if we did a show like this but on YouTube, for you, Nessa!” So, a month later we came up with the pitch and went to AwesomenessTV and that’s how that idea happened. It’s literally as little as watching something on TV and going “Oh my gosh, what if we did that?” or looking at the trends as they happen.
Who would you say inspires you ladies the most – whether it be in your personal life, other YouTubers, celebrities?
Vanessa Merrell: There are so many people that inspire us, it’s so hard to pick just one person. I believe that we should have a lot of inspirations in life because everyone has different ways they go about their lifestyle. It’s always really nice to look and see how people are doing their own thing and get inspiration from that. For the most part, there’s so many YouTubers that we look up to, like Liza Koshy, Ryan Higa, Rhett and Link. Mr. Beast is a huge inspiration to watch, too. When it comes to our personal lives, I think our parents really inspire us to be the best people we can be. When it comes to acting and music there’s so many other people we love. Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Vanessa Hudgens has always been a big inspiration, Audrey Hepburn has been a big inspiration, too. The way they live their lives in their career. We’re inspired by a lot of people.
That’s a very good thing. Could you tell us something about you that even your biggest fans wouldn’t know – whether it be a special talent or anything?
Vanessa Merrell: It’s kind of crazy because being a YouTuber you put a lot of yourself out there. Especially because we live stream every week, we talk about our lives a lot. It’s hard to think of something that our fans don’t know about us because they know quite a bit!
Do you have any secret talents?
Veronica Merrell: Well, Nessa has been learning to produce her own music. Some of our fans know that, only the ones that watch the live stream.
Vanessa Merrell: Thank you! I think something a lot of people don’t know about Veronica is that she can crochet! (Both laugh)
Veronica Merrell: My fact about you was so much cooler than that!
Vanessa Merrell: Another fact that people don’t know about Veronica is that she is a really, really good writer. She writes amazing poems and lyrics. She is the main writer for our skits and stuff.
Veronica Merrell: Crocheting has been a very neat skillset to have.
It’s a useful one! Did you ladies have a message you’d like to say to your fans?
Veronica Merrell: A message I would like to send to our fans, or anyone who is reading this, is just to not give up. Life can be so hard and there’s so many things that are sad and depressing in this world. The big thing we can all do is to not give up, try to stay inspired, love everyone and be kind.
Vanessa Merrell: I think the quote “never give up” is kind of cheesy sometimes, but when you actually think about it and not give up, it’s more about the payoff in the future rather than the now. When you don’t give up and when you look down the road – two, three years from now – and you think “Wow, the fact that I didn’t give up on this situation makes me really proud of myself.” That’s what not giving up is all about, being able to overcome something and looking back and being proud of yourself. Whether it’s something as simple as losing or continuing a friendship, or the really big things in life that happen, just always stay positive so in the future you can be proud of yourself and look back and say “I did that and overcame it.”
It was awesome getting to chat with Veronica and Vanessa! Be sure to check out season two of Twin My Heart on AwesomenessTV on YouTube, out now!
Copyright ©2020 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 26, 2020.
Photos © 2020. Courtesy of AwesomenessTV. All rights reserved.