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YouTuber Who Hugged Elon Musk in Stunt Video Elected to European Parliament

Fidias Panayiotou, a YouTuber from Cyprus known for weird stunts, has been elected to the European Parliament, according to the Cyprus Mail on Monday. The 24-year-old secured third place in his election with 19.4% of the vote, as reported by the BBC, which means he’ll become one of the six Members of the European Parliament to represent Cyprus.

Panayiotou has over 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube, where he posts stunt videos like getting buried alive in a coffin for 10 days and spending 10 days wearing a VR headset. Another popular video from 2023 shows Panayiotou flying to Texas to meet (and hug) his hero, Elon Musk, at SpaceX. The YouTuber’s video hugging Mr. Beast has over 15 million views.

Panayiotou appears to be having fun on his YouTube channel with some outrageous stunts, but he was forced to apologize last year after trying to travel across Japan by train without paying.

How I Forced Elon Musk To Hug Me

Panayiotou has no previous political experience and reportedly never voted before this year’s election. Local media in Cyprus spoke with an elections expert in the country who noted the social media star’s victory was historic, if only because it was so unusual in many respects.

“This is maybe the first time a completely independent candidate has been elected, without having any relation whatsoever with a political party, but with social media as his only weapon, and nothing else,” Yiannis Mavris is quoted as saying by the Cyprus Mail.

Young people were a huge part of the YouTuber’s election to the European Parliament. Panayiotou won 40% of the votes from voters aged 18-24, according to the BBC, and 28% of votes from people aged 25-34, helping him secure a seat. Turnout in Cyprus was roughly 59%, up from just 45% in 2019, and the BBC credits Panayiotou with the big uptick.

It will obviously be interesting to see if any relatively apolitical YouTubers try to follow in Panayiotou’s footsteps in the United States. There’s been speculation in the past that Mr. Beast (real name Jimmy Donaldson) might be interested in running for president in the future. When Donaldson was asked directly about it back in 2022 he simply said “We’ll see” and “Maybe in like 20 years.”

Will people be voting for Mr. Beast to become president in 2040? Weirder things have happened, obviously, like the election of a neo-fascist reality TV star who’s currently running neck-and-neck in the polls with Joe Biden to become president again. Honestly, many Americans would probably consider a Beast presidency preferable to the current U.S. political landscape. Even if he stages a bizarre Saw-like game every night for his own amusement.

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