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Thumbs up or thumbs down? CultureMap ranks YouTube's top 10 videos of 2011

Thumbs up or thumbs down? CultureMap ranks YouTube's top 10 videos of 2011

YouTube — the end-all be-all of what you watch on the Internet — has unleashed its definitive list of 2011's 10 most popular videos on hungry viewers worldwide.

That high honor means you tweeted, you posted, and you clicked on the following 10 videos for everyone to see.

But were they worthy of all the views they garnered? We'll give you our executive opinion on the supposed cream of the crop.

10. Mama cat hugs baby kitten

Analysis: A teeny baby kitten shakes and shivers while sleeping — caused by a nightmare of a world devoid of catnip? — and the mama cat pulls the kitten close in a warm, safe embrace. 

Who doesn't love when we can attribute human emotions to the fuzzy animals?

Verdict: Thumbs up.


9. Darth Vader kid starts dad's Volkswagen with "magic powers"

Analysis: While we support the preservation of the wonderment of childhood (even when aided by modern technology), we're not sure that Volkswagen earned its spot on the list fairly. Big bucks clearly bought the viewership here, and it aired initially during advertising's prime time of year — the Super Bowl.

But damn, it really is a clever video.

Verdict: Thumbs up.


8. Young girl covers Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"

Analysis: If Gaga doesn't ask this mini-songstress to tour with her next go 'round, we're going to strike. This little lady has more talent in her hair barrette than most pop stars with record deals.

Verdict: Thumbs up.


7. "The Creep" with Nicki Minaj and John Waters

Analysis: We hate videos that "disable embedding by request," by hey, we digress.

Like car accidents and train wrecks, human beings have a natural tendency to gravitate toward the macabre. This latest gross-out attempt is no exception. We want to look away, but . . .

Verdict: Thumbs up.


6. Karmin covers Busta Rhymes, Chris Brown, and Lil' Wayne's "Look at Me Now"

Analysis: Adorable rockabilly babe goes ghetto rap, sidled up next to her strong-armed supporting man — all with a smile. We'd watch this high energy duo animatedly bounce over a keyboard any day.

Verdict: Thumbs up.


5. Nyan Cat / Pop Tart Cat

Analysis: Oh, come on. How mindless have our memes gotten? An 8-bit flying pop tart cat spewing rainbow gas in its wake, whining, "Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!" for almost four minutes?

Really? Come on, people!

Verdict: Thumbs down.


4.  Twin babies talking to each other

Analysis: At first, you're probably thinking, "How on earth could this one have garnered so many views?" But as you stay and watch awhile, you'll find yourself starting to wonder, "What are they saying? Are they really understanding each other?"

And then you begin to marvel at the magnificent phenomenon that occurs after two percolating lives have shared one uterus for nine months.

Verdict: Thumbs up.


3. "Jack Sparrow" with Lonely Island and Michael Bolton

Analysis: We swear we never thought we'd say this, but Michael Bolton is awesome.

Verdict: Thumbs up.


2. The Ultimate Dog Tease

Analysis: Have you ever wanted to know exactly what your canine is thinking when he gives you those eager puppy dog eyes? Have you ever thought your dog understands you when he perks up his ears at the mention of bacon?

This video cuts to the chase: He does.

Verdict: Thumbs up.


1. "Friday" with Rebecca Black

Analysis: DEAR GOD WHY?

Verdict: Thumbs down.

nyan cat
Do the top 10 most popular YouTube videos of 2011 make sense? We'll make that decision for you.