The online video community YouTube has announced the 2007 YouTube Year End Video Roundup. Through a formula that includes view counts, most shared, most discussed, top rated and general popularity, it is possible to see which YouTube videos people were thinking and talking about most.
"This year, YouTube and its users were at the forefront of politics, music, entertainment and more," said Jamie Byrne, Head of Product Marketing for YouTube. "Every day new videos are created, uploaded, discovered and popularized through the site and the videos in our year end roundup are just some of the ones that made their way into conversations both at work and at home."
Each of the following YouTube videos became a cultural phenomenon this year:
Battle at Kruger – This National Geographic-worthy footage was shot and uploaded to YouTube by a regular guy on safari with his family. The unbelievable confrontation between a herd of water buffalo, a pride of lions and a couple of crocodiles -- along with the surprise ending -- kept people at edge of their seats. Clearly this video captured the world's attention; it's been viewed more then 20 million times on YouTube.
Chocolate Rain Original Song by Tay Zonday – Tay Zonday's "Chocolate Rain" was the underdog smash hit of the summer of 2007. The song, with its unconventional lyrics and delivery, struck a chord with the YouTube community and sparked imitations from everyday people and celebrities alike. Even Green Day's Tre Cool got in the mix! It was clear that Tay and his tune had pop culture a-buzz when he appeared as a guest on both the "Jimmy Kimmel Show" and VH1's "Best Week Ever." Now Tay's popping up in Internet commercials like the one for Dr. Pepper's new Cherry Chocolate beverage and his breath-away-from-the-mic move has become a meme of our time.
LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE! – Chris Crocker became an instant YouTube star when, on September 10, he uploaded his "Leave Britney Alone" video. Crocker's raw, melodramatic emotion captured the attention of YouTube users everywhere and whether people despised, sympathized, or were confused by him, nobody could look away. Today, "Leave Britney Alone" is the #4 Most Responded video of all time; even actor Seth Green created a spoof of it. Crocker has gone on to make several television appearances and has even signed a development deal to star in his own TV show.
Me singing "what goes around Justin Timberlake" – Esmee Denters rose to fame singing songs from her bedroom in Osterbeke, Netherlands. Her beautiful voice captivated everyone who heard it and she became one of the top musicians on YouTube. Then, in May, she shocked fans when she uploaded a video of her singing a Justin Timberlake song and the pop star appeared at the end playing the piano. Denters has since signed on as the first artist on Timberlake's record label and is working on her debut album.
NORA the Piano Playing Cat – Nora the cat proves that paws work just as well as fingers when it comes to banging the ivories. (And she should! One of her "masters" is a musician/composer/teacher.) This adorable video has more than 7 million views and is the #3 Most Watched Pets & Animals clip on the site.
Obama Girl – This catchy video showcases an attractive young woman who feels quite, erm, strongly about a certain Presidential candidate. Created by the political satire group Barely Political, the video not only notched more than four million views, it also caught the attention of bloggers, mainstream media and even those running for office.
Otters holding hands – What is cuter than otters? Otters holding hands, of course! This YouTube video rocketed to fame on the strength of its sheer adorableness, making it the #2 Most Watched Pets & Animals video of all time.
PARIS IN JAIL: The Music Video – Topical humor + girl in a bikini + Paris Hilton = instant video hit! Uploaded on the heels of Paris Hilton's jail sentence, this reggae-lite music video pokes fun at the heiress in a delightfully cheeky way.
Soulja Boy Tellem - How to Crank That - INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO! – There hasn't been a dance craze like the Soulja Boy since the Macarena. Soulja Boy Tellem, a breakout rap artist, made a video in his parents' garage featuring a dance he created for one of his songs. Interest in the dance exploded, so he created a follow up instructional video on how to do it. Now everyone from college football teams to cartoon characters are "cranking that" like Soulja.
UFO Haiti – Echoing Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds," this video purports to have captured footage of alien spaceships flying over Haiti. The authenticity of the video was debated for weeks before the creator came forward and admitted that it was staged. Still, it's a well-made clip that does, for a heartbeat, make people wonder what's going on...