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'Pants' becomes first viral video of 2010

By Doug Gross, CNN
"Pants on the Ground" has more than 1 million Facebook fans and about 5 million views on YouTube in less than a week.
"Pants on the Ground" has more than 1 million Facebook fans and about 5 million views on YouTube in less than a week.
  • "Pants on the Ground" is 2010's first viral video sensation
  • Tune from "American Idol" has 1 million Facebook fans, about 5 million views on YouTube
  • Atlanta's "General" Larry Platt says he likes online remixes of his song, plans to record it
  • "Pants" has long way to catch Susan Boyle and her 120 million YouTube views

(CNN) -- A 62-year-old's rhythmic fashion review has become the Internet's first viral sensation of the new decade.

"Pants on the Ground," an atonal and repetitive condemnation of baggy jeans by "General" Larry Platt of Atlanta, Georgia, capped last Wednesday's episode of "American Idol."

And in less than a week, it's earning buzz worth online status that could one day rival such famous, if artistically questionable, offerings as "Numa Numa" and "Chocolate Rain."

The performance has hit the two magic millions of online fame -- more than 1 million fans on Facebook and 1 million-plus views on YouTube.

Way more than 1 million views, in fact.

As of Tuesday afternoon, several versions of "Pants on the Ground" had together tallied somewhere around 5 million clicks on YouTube. The most popular had more than 1.8 million views, and another had about 1.5 million.

Adam Ostrow, editor of the social-media blog Mashable, on Tuesday declared "Pants" to be "the year's first mega viral hit" -- even as dozens rushed to record remixes of it, including one using the guitar riff from Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."

The tune caught the attention of late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon, who performed the song while impersonating rock legend Neil Young, and even Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre -- who chanted the song's chorus with teammates to celebrate a playoff win Sunday.

Platt told CNN last week that he'd seen some of the other versions of his song on YouTube and he liked them.

I have a horrible feeling that song could be a hit.
--"American Idol" judge Simon Cowell

The military veteran said there are plans to record the song -- which consists mostly of the lyrics -- "Pants on the ground, pants on the ground/looking like a fool with your pants on the ground."

The buzz was all but predicted by "American Idol's"
Simon Cowell, the savvy music-industry maven who launched last year's viral darling -- Susan Boyle from "Britain's Got Talent."

Video: Pants on the ground mania

"I have a horrible feeling that song could be a hit ...," Cowell said on the show after telling Platt that his age made him ineligible to advance in the competition. "I don't think this is going to be the last we hear about you."

But Platt still has a long way to go to catch up with Boyle -- who surprised viewers, if not show producers, by following an awkward introduction with a powerhouse vocal performance.

Boyle was far and away the most watched performer on YouTube last year, with more than 120 million views, according to the site.