Canadian content in the form of a "talking" German Shepherd and a talented young Lady Gaga fan from Winnipeg made the cut for YouTube's most-watched videos of 2011, joining such viral hits like the universally mocked Rebecca Black music video Friday.
The video-sharing site unveiled on Tuesday its YouTube Rewind 2011 feature, an annual review that details its most popular videos of the year.
The reviled music video Friday, created by production company Ark Music Factory for the young pop singer wannabe Black, topped YouTube's tally of the world's most-watched videos as well as the list specifically focusing on Canadians — who happen to be the largest per-capita consumers of YouTube on the planet, organizers said.
However, landing in second place for both the world and Canada lists is Ultimate Dog Tease by Halifax's Andrew Grantham, a video watched by 74 million people, according to YouTube.
Grantham, who adds witty voiceovers to home videos of family pets, found a winner with Ultimate Dog Tease, which imagines a German Shepherd frustrated by his owner's food-related taunting. His videos have become so popular, he has turned to making them full-time for the YouTube channel Talking Animals.
In February, a video of Winnipeg girl Maria Aragon singing Lady Gaga's Born This Way — while accompanying herself on keyboard — spread like wildfire online, quickly catching the attention of the pop superstar herself. A local radio station ultimately put Aragon in touch with her idol and she also got to take the stage with the singer when Gaga's tour stopped in Toronto. The pre-teen singer has since been featured in several commercials and also sang for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Her video was Canada's third most-watched YouTube video of the 2011 and landed eighth on the global list. Maria Aragon and Born This Way were also the most search-for YouTube terms by Canadians in February.
Squeezing into 10th place on the top videos for Canadians list was an adorable baby named Emerson, who appears to find it alternately horrifying and hilarious when his mother (off-camera) blows her nose.
Other terms Canadians searched for most in 2011 reflected both world international and national news events — for instance the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan (March), the death of Osama bin Laden (May) and the riots in Vancouver (June). Still, entertainment and pop culture dominated the list: from performers Bruno Mars (April), Lil Wayne and Drake (August), Justin Bieber (October), Rihanna and Drake (November) and Amy Winehouse (July) to homeless former announcer Ted Williams (January) and TV's X-Factor (September).
A popular Volkswagen commercial starring a pint-sized Darth Vader, a Pirates of the Caribbean spoof song from comedy troupe The Lonely Island (hilariously featuring crooner Michael Bolton) and an animated cat flying through space were also among the top videos that captured public attention.
"The 10 most-watched YouTube videos of 2011 show that around the world, whatever language we speak, there are certain things that bring us all together around a computer screen or mobile phone — adorable babies, talented performers and clever advertising," YouTube trends manager Kevin Allocca said in a statement.
LMFAO, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry were among the professional acts whose music videos scored the most views online.
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