Smule — the startup behind iPhone application Ocarina, which transforms your phone into a musical instrument — just announced the winners of “This Contest Blows,” who will receive $1,000 each for delivering the best Ocarina performances and sharing the videos on YouTube. While there aren’t any mind-blowing displays of unimpeachable musical talent, it’s definitely a nice showcase of what users can do with the app.

Here are the winners:

* Hardrockgrl’s “Oh Shenandoah
* David Choi’s cover of “Hot N Cold ” (see video below)
* “Sadness and Sorrow
* Monkey Head
* Good sleep, fast sleep
* Greetings from Hungary
* “Whistle Stop
* “Carol of the Bells
* “Song of Storms
* “Music of the Nose.” (This is the nose-blowing performance of “Music of the Night” that I previously posted; Smule says this winner will get a box of Kleenex and a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer, too.)

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To this list, I’d probably add the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra‘s stirring cover of “Stairway to Heaven” at this year’s Crunchies, led by Smule co-founder Ge Wang.

Of course, as with any YouTube contest, there were some odd entries too. Sometimes, the oddness transcended the purely eccentric into true awesomeness (see: “Music of the Nose”), and sometimes it remained merely odd. For example, users submitted videos of a cat playing the Ocarina and someone playing the Ocarina with his, um, posterior.


Smule’s most recent product (which isn’t quite as cool as Ocarina) is a holiday-themed app called Zephyr.