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Posted at 7:04 AM ET, 12/13/2010

YouTube releases 2010 top-10 list

By Rob Pegoraro

The year isn't done, but a site devoted to short-form videos may not have the attention span to wait until Dec. 31 to tally up its most popular clips. YouTube released its top-10 list for 2010 this morning.


In a blog post announcing the results, YouTube community manager Mia Quagliarello also ticked off the most-viewed major-label music videos (Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga accounted for six of the top 10) and the most common search terms for each month (from "haiti" in January to "firework" in November). She then attempted to quantify what a colossal time-suck this Google subsidiary has become: "During 2010, you all watched more than 700 billion YouTube videos, and uploaded more than 13 million hours of video."

(Another way to look at YouTube's impact on our lives came in an e-mail from publicist Annie Baxter: In the middle of 2007, the site's users were uploading an average of 6 hours of video every minute; that rate has soared to 35 hours of video per minute.)

Read on for links to those top ten clips, plus my comments on each. For your avoiding-work-on-a-Monday-morning pleasure, embedded versions follow after the jump.

"BED INTRUDER SONG!!! (now on iTunes)": Proves you can make a song out of anything--here, a young man's anger at the attempted rape of his sister by some creep who crawled in through a window--if you add a catchy backing track and digitally tweak the vocals beyond recognition. The song sped up the charts after it went on sale at the iTunes Store.

"TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke - Key of Awe$ome #13": This sendup of Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" was better on the first viewing than on the second. (I should confess here that, being old and in the way, I hadn't seen the original video until after viewing this clip.)

"Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi": Sixth-grader performs Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" at a talent festival. He is, in fact, quite good, as a host testifies afterwards: "In my opinion, he just taught Lady Gaga a lesson."

"Annoying Orange Wazzup": Somewhat creepy talking fruits reenact the Budweiser "Wassup" commercial that aired during the 2000 Super Bowl, adding one moderately clever plot twist halfway through. I still prefer the original Bud ad.

"Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like": Speaking of Super Bowl ads, this is another example of how a clever commercial with high production values can provide entertainment value in its own right. Also, he's on a horse!

"Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10": This trippy, tearful, quasi-orgasmic description of a double rainbow sighting had viewers wondering "what was this dude smoking, and can I have some?" It made enough of a dent in pop culture to get a shout-out during the Presidents' Race in Nationals Park in an Aug. 29 game, amusing me but possibly confusing fans who don't make a habit of following Internet memes.

"OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine version - Official": If you don't like watching pointlessly complicated Rube Goldberg assemblages at work, you probably hate puppy dogs and America too. OK Go (led by native Washingtonian Damian Kulash) has made a music video worth replaying, which isn't something I've said too often since high school.

"Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan": And here I thought that covering technology would insulate me from having to write about Justin Bieber. In this clip, talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel (whose tweet made the double-rainbow clip famous months after its uploading) introduces the teenage singer to his biggest little fan.

"THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE - Trailer": And here I thought that covering technology would insulate me from having to write about Twilight. This trailer promotes the movie, in which Bella must choose between Edward and Jacob... uh, can we please move on to the next clip?

"Ken Block's Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l'Autodrome, France": Man drives tricked-out car at unsafe speeds, executing precise maneuvers with little room for error. The engine races, the wheels spin, the tires smoke, merriment is had by all. At close to eight minutes, this is also by far the longest clip in YouTube's top 10; all the others run less than four minutes, and most are under three minutes long.

Of the Top 10, the two I'd enjoy watching again would be the OK Go and Ken Block clips--and I'd give the edge to the former, since it has so many details to discover in repeat viewings. Which one tops your best-of list? Which one has you ready to complain to my editors for inflicting it upon you?

By Rob Pegoraro  | December 13, 2010; 7:04 AM ET
Categories:  Digital culture, Video  
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Next: Another top ten: The Twitter year in review


Sorry, Rob. Can't share any favorites. I seldom watch You Tube.

Posted by: docchari | December 13, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see schmoyoho make it on there twice. I hope more people watch their Autotune the News segments--the one with Steve Buyer warning people not to smoke lettuce was amazing.

Posted by: dkp01 | December 13, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Also, I can't see or hear mention of Tik Tok without being reminded of the Star Trek video someone made to it.

Posted by: dkp01 | December 13, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Good Lord, Ken Block! He's hell on tires, though.

Posted by: justmike | December 13, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@dkp01: That Trek mash-up is genius! I guess I'd forgotten how much drinking takes place in TOS.

- RP

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | December 13, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

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