"Harry Potter", "Chocolate Rain" win YouTube awards

LOS ANGELES Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:46pm EDT

A screenshot of YouTube.com, taken on March 12, 2008. REUTERS/www.youtube.com

A screenshot of YouTube.com, taken on March 12, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/www.youtube.com

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A puppet show version of "Harry Potter" featuring a naked Dumbledore and an enigmatic song called "Chocolate Rain" by a Minnesota graduate student were among the winners of YouTube's second annual video awards, the Web site said on Friday.

Tay Zonday, a 25-year-old baritone PhD student in American Studies, won best music with his original song "Chocolate Rain," a rhythmic electric keyboard-backed number whose curious lyrics could be a political statement -- or humorous nonsense.

The song, one of about 30 videos Zonday has posted, has been covered by singer John Mayer and rockers Green Day, and he has performed it live on Jimmy Kimmel's late night talk show.

"I would say basically (I started) just like millions of other people making videos in their living rooms," Zonday told Reuters. "That's become so much a part of our lives."

A homemade version of the special effects-laden Harry Potter movies, called "The Potter Puppet Pals in 'The Mysterious Ticking Noise'" captured the comedy award.

The puppet show features an a capella song with an appearance by a naked, but not anatomically correct, Professor Dumbledore and an explosive ending.

Despite a huge number of views and worldwide media attention, "I Got a Crush on Obama" lost the politics award to "Stop the Clash of Civilizations," about prejudices in the Islamic and Western worlds, by the "global web movement" Avaaz.org.

The short film winner, "My Name is Lisa" by Shelton Films, focuses on a teenager coping with a mentally ill mother, while commentary winner "LonelyGirl15 is Dead!" by "What the Buck Show" gave a gossipy, arch review of the demise of the popular Web character.

Winners were chosen from among six nominees in 12 categories, including "Adorable," commentary, eyewitness, instructional, politics, short film, comedy, creative, inspirational, music, series and sports.

Nominees and winners were selected by a combination of means including the number of people who viewed and selected the short, user-generated videos and "general buzz," YouTube spokesman Aaron Ferstman said.

The videos in this year's contest received a quarter-billion views, Ferstman said.

(Reporting by Gina Keating, editing by Todd Eastham)

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