Let’s be realistic here. Darren’s fans aren’t nearly as numerous as they make themselves out to be. Otherwise the record label would have had more confidence in releasing Darren’s album instead of shelving it. Or his concert shows would actually have been sold out. They are noisy, that’s for sure. And they have an oversized on-line presence, but actual numbers? Not nearly as many as they think there are.
They had several chances to get some kind of halfway legidimate win for Darren. Last year Darren was in multiple categories for the PCAs and didn’t win a single one. He was up for a TCA and didn’t make the top group (which knocked him out of eligibility). Even with bots and outright cheating, they couldn’t squeak out a win. This year they had the chance to write him in for a PCA and didn’t do it. Chris winning doesn’t change the fact that they have been unable to get Darren any kind of award in ages.
As far as the critical acclaim (along with the professional opportunities it gained Chris), nothing was stopping Darren from upping his acting game except his own laziness. Chris getting good notice didn’t make it impossible for Darren not to as well. He didn’t because he didn’t earn it. The critics aren’t a bunch of screaming fangirls with pink sunglasses. They are adults who are relied upon to help weed out the really good stuff from the trash. If Darren’s fans want him to be respected for more than just being the generic cute guy of the moment (which he’s falling out of fast), then they need to be more discerning and demanding that he take his profession seriously and start giving the performances that will get him the good reviews. But since they think he’s perfect, that’s not going to happen. Instead they’ll hate on Chris and his fans for doing what Darren and they couldn’t.