CHICAGO, June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Apartments.com today unveiled 12 terrific roommates who have been chosen as finalists in the third annual nationwide Apartments.com Roommate of the Year Contest. After receiving entries from around the country, Apartments.com is now inviting America to weigh in by voting for their favorite roommate at http://www.roommateoftheyear.com. The voting stage is open now through July 31, 2011 when the votes will be tabulated, narrowing down the competition to the top five standouts. From those five, one lucky—and outstanding—roomie will be named the Apartments.com Roommate of the Year and win the grand prize of free rent for one year plus $10,000 and a one year membership to freecreditscore.com. The four runner-up winners will each receive $500. When casting their vote, the public is asked to judge the finalists' videos with equal weight on originality and creativity, overall wow factor, persuasive argument and style and production.
According to a recent Apartments.com survey, 45 percent of renters currently live with a roommate or plan to move in with one, which makes this contest applicable and appealing to almost half the renters out there. Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager for Apartments.com, says, "Due to socio-economic factors, finding and being a good roommate is a concept that's really important to renters today. This year the videos we received across the board featured more creativity and higher production values. Choosing 12 finalists was not an easy task, and selecting just one winner will be even more difficult."
Last year, Andrew Prestler of Kokomo, Indiana and a student at Ball State beat out stiff competition to be named the 2010 Roommate of the Year by Apartments.com. To capture those unique qualities that make a great roommate exceptional, Prestler composed an original rap and created an eye-catching video, singling him out as "Da Best" and securing his title as the Apartments.com Roommate of the Year.
"As our 2010 Roommate of the Year can attest, this contest can be life changing," Kotula continues. "Andrew Prestler has been interviewed on national radio programs in addition to making appearances on national TV and on more than 40 different TV stations across the country during his tenure. This, combined with the valuable grand prize, means there will be heated competition among our finalists getting out there to drum up public votes and support for their entries!"
The public can view videos and vote for their favorite roommate now through July 31, 2011 at www.roommateoftheyear.com. Visitors to the website can vote for their favorite video once a day every day until the end of the voting stage. Upon conclusion of the public voting stage, one grand prize and four runner-up winners will be determined—by a combination of public vote (60%) and a third-party judging panel (40%).
Meet the 2011 Apartment.com Roommate of the Year Finalists:
One of these fantastic finalists will become the Roommate of the Year, winning the grand prize of free rent for a year plus $10,000 and a one year membership to freecreditscore.com. Four other loveable roomies will take home runner-up prizes of $500 each. The 2011 finalists for Apartments.com Roommate of the Year are:
The All-Star Roomie Category
This category celebrates all-around roommate greatness for those roomies whose special qualities don't fit into just one category.
Title of Entry
If the thought of a roommate who is so great that the landlord pays him to stay seems too good to be true, think again! Listen as Mike Giancola flexes his musical muscle (and his killer abs!) describing why he's an All-Star Roomie. Mike can sing a sweet serenade as easily as he can help with physics and math homework, making him the All-Star Roomie to beat. Log on, listen and vote for Mike Giancola of Farmingdale, NY.
Wakey wakey eggs and bakey! Bryce MacManamy loves to cook breakfast for his roommate each morning, until one tragic day when his roommate goes missing. MacManamy must now scour the globe, from the Statue of Liberty to the Egyptian pyramids in search of his beloved roommate. Chop! Bam! Pow! This action-packed, adventure-filled video finds brave MacManamy fighting off a gang of roommate-snatching bad guys to restore roommate bliss. Cast a vote for courage; log on and vote for Bryce MacManamy of Fort Worth, TX.
DeWayne Stevenson has some serious skills…not only can he break it down in a wicked rap, but he cooks, irons clothes, unclogs the toilet, makes breakfast in bed, babysits and even separates candy by color! Seriously, what more could a roommate ask for? Did you say waffles? Well, he's got that covered too! Take a listen and cast your vote today. Submitted by DeWayne Stevenson of Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Amy Harvey may be busy college student, but she still has time to make sure she's the best roommate ever. When the alarm doesn't go off on exam day, she will be a personal morning rooster. Amy also steps in saving her roommate from sour milk, folding towels into swans and teaching the latest dance moves! She even goes so far as to plant pennies in her roomie's path to ensure good luck. To hear Amy rap more reasons why it's never gloomy when she's the roomie, log on and cast your vote today! Submitted by Amy Harvey of McKinney, TX, a student at Austin College in Sherman, TX.
The dogged reporter is on the hunt for the purported world's best roommate. In one-on-one interviews with roommates, both past and present, the stellar roommate qualities of Ryan Andersen are exposed. Ryan once broke up with Carlos' girlfriend for him, reenacted Chris's favorite 80s television show for him when the power went out, and even got mani-pedis and watched chick flicks with Lisa when she got dumped. (Awww!). Will they ever find Ryan Andersen or is the world doomed to live in lackluster roommate land from here to eternity? Log on to see and cast your vote! Submitted by Ryan Andersen of Scottsdale, AZ.
Hey sports fans, tune in to Jesse McLaughlin's Roommating MVP! video to get the play-by-play on why McLaughlin should be Roommate of the Year. Watch him assist with paying for the pizza delivery, make bananas foster, and – BOOM! Goes the dynamite! – even perform the two minute clean-up drill that he's practiced all week (including instant replay!). Be a team player and cast your vote today! Submitted by Jesse McLaughlin of Arlington, VA.
The disco ball may be out, but Kyle Griffin is up-to-date in his roommate greatness. Kyle's catchy tune showcases his nightly cooking, his "never complain" mantra and his excellent chart making skills, among other amazing acts of roommate wonderment. Throughout the music video, Kyle proves he is in tune with what it takes to make a great roommate. View and vote today! Submitted by Kyle Griffin of Philadelphia, PA.
Look at your roommate, now back to William, now back to your roommate. Sadly, he isn't William. Step into William Sherrod's spotless apartment, courtesy of the roommate you wish your roommate could be, filled with fresh linens, a state-of-the-art home theater, a five- star meal with the dessert you love AND a present for your mom when you forget her birthday! Log on and vote today! Submitted by William Sherrod of Casselberry, FL.
Aaron Harlan is no ordinary roommate. When vacuuming, he makes art in the carpet, vacuuming with one hand while lifting the couch with the other. He does the dishes at lightning speed and can clean the gutters in one breath—guaranteed to blow your mind! Aaron fights crime in the neighborhood and pets adore him. But don't just take Aaron's word for it, get the scoop straight from his current roommate in this earnest video showcasing why Aaron is SuperRoommate of the Year 2011. Log on and vote today! Submitted by Aaron Harlan of Lufkin, TX.
Your room just found a mate! Alex Goldstein, who got his PhD in roommate etiquette, sings a catchy song about why he is better than a bestest friend and a mommy combined! Super-charged with energy, Alex offers to dab your pizza grease and even share his Valentines. If you think Alex deserves to be Roommate of the Year, log on and cast your vote! Submitted by Alex Goldstein of Scarsdale, NY.
The Purr-fect Pet Owner Category
This roomie makes her four-legged cohabiter feel right at home by being a best roommate—and friend—to her pet.
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Take this illustrated trip through the adventures of Archie, a loveable dog, and his owner/roommate, Rocio Nunez, as they make the big move from Philly to NYC. Sensing this relocation will rock Archie's world, Rocio explains how she is going to help Archie embrace his new hometown. From playing together and walking in Central Park, to taking care of all the chores and paying rent on time, Rocio demonstrates how being a purr-fect pet owner will ease the transition for her beloved Archie. If you are drawn to people who adore their pets, log on and cast your vote for Rocio Nunez of New York, NY.
The Environmentalist Category
This category is for the roommate who takes unique measures to make living green a priority.
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Seeking a model roommate? Check out Michelle Gersten—2011's environmentalist roommate. Take a trip back in time to see how Michelle is the Domestic Dream –complete with Eco Sheen. She's tidy and environmentally conscious, cleaning with eco-friendly products and recycling. This bubbly environmentalist keeps a watchful eye on the thermostat and uses energy-saving CFL light bulbs. If the idea of having a green roommate makes you with green envy, cast your vote for Michelle today! Submitted by Michelle Gersten Of Tampa, FL.
To view the finalists' videos and cast a vote for the Apartments.com Roommate of the Year Contest, visit www.roommateoftheyear.com.
Apartments.com (http://www.apartments.com) is a leading national apartment Internet listing subscription service with more than 50,000 unique addresses representing millions of rental units from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner properties. By incorporating the most relevant products to reach renters including personalized searches and highly visual ads featuring live chat, real-time rent, online video walk-through demonstrations, professional photography, a mobile website and iPhone app, Apartments.com creates easy access to its listings. Providing unmatched exposure to its advertisers through an intuitive name, strategic search engine placements, featured partnerships including Yahoo! Real Estate, Univision and more than 120 newspaper websites and innovative emerging media, Apartments.com reaches millions of renters nationwide, driving both qualified traffic and highly-engaged renters to leasing offices nationwide. Apartments.com is a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC. The Apartments.com network of apartment rental websites includes Apartment Home Living (http://www.apartmenthomeliving.com), a leading social media apartment website distinguished by a "live for fun" community experience, proprietary lifestyle matching and local living guides to help renters find their perfect place to live.