By ERIN CARLSON, Associated Press Writer Thu Mar 20, 5:11 PM ET
YouTube will announce the 12 winners in the video-sharing site's awards on Friday, recognizing the top-user created videos of 2007. There were six nominees for each category: music, sports, comedy, instructional, short film, inspirational, commentary, creative, politics, series, eyewitness and "adorable."
The nominees can been viewed at http://www.youtube.com/ytawards07.
YouTube spokesman Aaron Ferstman said the winners, voted on by users, will score "notoriety" and a trophy he described as "very heavy with a metal base" supporting a "big glass `play' button."
Ferstman said: "These are the (videos) that really will stand out and over time, you know, you'll say, `Hey do you remember the Laughing Baby'?"
The music category includes Tay Zonday's "Chocolate Rain," an amateur clip of the Minneapolis musician-turned-Internet superstar crooning in a low baritone that has garnered nearly 16 million views since going viral last year.
Zonday's competition: Comely singer-songwriter Mia Rose; R&B chanteuse Lisa Lavie; a beat-boxing harmonica player; the "Scraper Bike" rappers; and "the vegetable orchestra," featuring a jam session with a carrot flute and squash drum.
Amber Lee Ettinger, also known as Obama Girl, whose "I Got A Crush On Obama" clip has been seen more than 7 million times, is up for best political video, along with a dorm room interview with Ron Paul and one dude's plea to college students to "wake up" and join campus protests.
Ferstman said there was a close race within the political and commentary categories.
Chris Crocker, who shot to stardom in his video freak-out over Spears' public meltdown, is nominated as in commentary, along with Michael Buckley of the popular online series "What the Buck?"
The clip of a University of Florida student pleading "Don't tase me, bro!" as police removed him from a John Kerry forum is nominated for best eyewitness video. It has staunch competition in the epic "Battle at Kruger," which has drawn more than 26 million views to its astonishing footage of a baby water buffalo surviving an attack by lions and a crocodile! in the African prairie.
"The nominees were viewed nearly a quarter-billion times," said Ferstman, who noted the site considered the "watercooler effect" when selecting this year's finalists.
He said YouTube might one day hand out the awards at an actual ceremony.
"We're kinda thinking about maybe doing (that) in the future," he said. "It's been two years and it's been really successful online, but who knows what the future might hold?"
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