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EAGLE, Idaho -- The winning videos produced for its first iTuber contest sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission here made their national debut on at the recent SpudFest, Idaho's unique family film and television festival held every summer in Driggs, Idaho.
Grand prize winners Paul Searle from McMinnville, Ore., John Hill from Orlando, Fla., and Jay Alan Meier from Vancouver, Wash., each received $1000 cash prize.
Searle's video, dubbed "Grown In Idaho," gives viewers a peek into life on an Idaho potato farm. His video depicts how many Idaho potato growing operations are family owned and operated, and how these families take pride in growing their potatoes and in being "grown in Idaho" themselves.
Using original music and lyrics that he wrote for the contest, Jay Alan Meier produced a clever rap song -- "I.D.A.H.O Potato” -- that touts the nutritional aspects of Idaho Potatoes, along with various ways to prepare them.
The third winning video, "Opera Singing Spud," by John Hill, features an Idaho potato recipe that's easy enough for anyone to prepare. Hill used his computer animation talents to create a dancing, opera singing Spuddy Buddy, IPC’s mascot. His original lyrics play perfectly against a well-known opera song, turning this simple recipe demonstration into fun entertainment.
Five runners up were selected, each of whom received an Idaho potato gift basket valued at $150.
SpudFest founder Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island, kicked off the YouTube video contest at SpudFest with her own potato-peeling video. Visit www.ituber.org to see the winning videos.