CHICAGO, Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Apartments.com today announced the grand prize winner in its fourth annual Roommate of the Year contest. Besting video entries submitted from coast to coast, Tampa resident Dan Bakst proved he was in tune with what it takes to be Roommate of the Year in his soulful music video entitled The All-Star Roommate Musical. Bakst earned the coveted title, as well as the grand prize of free rent for one year plus $10,000 in cash, by topping the charts with both the online voters and the Apartments.com judging panel. The annual Apartments.com Roommate of the Year contest seeks to find the nation's best roommate who leads by example with the important qualities that make up a good roommate.
"We had some truly outstanding entries in the fourth year of this contest, which made for a heated online voting competition and a difficult judging decision," said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager for Apartments.com. "We are proud of all of our finalists and admire the hard work, creativity and enthusiasm these folks put into their video entries. Dan Bakst's winning video is a standout. The sense of humor, production value and quality of the original song struck a chord during the public vote and with our judging panel."
Entering his video in The All-Star Roomie category, which recognizes those special qualities transcending more than one area of roommate greatness, Bakst wove a musical tale of his roommate talents, ultimately bringing his jaded roommate around to the conclusion that having Dan as a real roommate is better than having a robot created at home. Other contest categories included The Purr-fect Pet Owner, The Environmentalist and The Loveable Compulsive.
Once Bakst and nine other entrants were named as finalists, the public vote was open and America weighed in on who should be named Roommate of the Year. In addition to earning the respect of online voters, Bakst distinguished himself from the field of finalists when his entry was evaluated with equal weight on originality and creativity, overall wow factor, persuasive argument and style and production by the Apartments.com judging panel.
Bakst, who was a second year contest participant, having entered a video in the 2011 Roommate of the Year contest, is a student at the University of South Florida studying television production and resides in Tampa, FL. Because his previous entry was not chosen as a finalist, Dan has said that experience gave him the nudge needed to create an even better video, which took a week of hard work to create. Doing a musical video was Bakst's first choice and he's publicly stated that he's not afraid to admit his inspiration came from watching a lot of films by a movie studio that has a mouse as one of its stars.
In addition to the grand prize winner, four other entrants were named 2012 Roommate of the Year contest runner-up winners. The runner-up winners, each of whom received a cash prize of $500, included Arnold Molano of Baton Rouge, LA who created a silent movie portrait of his roommate skills in Roommate of the Year '12; Jake Tomko of Manassas, VA who set his roommate supportiveness to a soundtrack of his life in The Singing Roommate; Matthew Cooper of Brooklyn, NY whose slice-of-life video sentimentally revealed a glimpse of a special roommate relationship that is more like family in The Son She Never Had; and Charlotte O'Brien of Oviedo, FL who proved herself as a perfect pet owner to her dog Ivy—both her best friend and roommate—in Charlotte & Ivy.
Dan Bakst's grand-prize winning video submission All-Star Roommate Musical, as well as all four runner-up videos, can be viewed at 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 and Android apps, Apartments.com creates easy access to its listings. Providing unmatched exposure to its advertisers through an intuitive name, strategic search engine placements and featured partnerships 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; Rental Homes Plus (http://www.rentalhomesplus.com), an online destination where house hunters who prefer to rent can choose from a robust inventory of houses, condos, town houses, duplexes and apartments from around the country; and Rentfish (http://www.rentfish.com), a national apartment website offering customizable searches by neighborhood, favorite coffee spot, sports arena, famous landmark and more.