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BYU, UVU students' Miley Cyrus tribute a big YouTube hit

PROVO — The joke these days between Mac Marsh and his friends is that Miley Cyrus just called to ask them out on a date after watching their music video.

"It's gotta be one of our top dreams ever, a phone call from her," the 19-year-old BYU freshman from Houston, Texas, said.

Marsh, Rowan Jones, Ryne Simmons and many of their dorm-mates have become YouTube sensations with their video: "Miley Cyrus Virus Rap," featuring their friend and UVU student Phaya Rapha.

"I don't think any of us (really) followed any of the Disney star's career," said freshman Jones, 18, from San Diego. "But we were all together when we saw the 'Party in the USA' video and it was like, 'Oh my gosh, we're in love.' "

Miley Cyrus is the star of Disney Channel's television show, "Hannah Montana," in which she plays a double life as a normal teen and a singing superstar.

Cyrus also performed at Provo's Stadium of Fire on July 4, 2008, as part of America's Freedom Festival.

When the group of BYU freshmen boys with their not-so-secret crushes learned Cyrus had been voted "Worst Celebrity Influence of 2009" by a poll on AOL's JSYK.com, (Just So You Know,) they decided they had to do something.

Several days of songwriting, three days of filming in Provo and Orem, and at least 10 hours of video editing, and the boys had a YouTube proclamation of support.

Along with their overt declarations of love, the boys also included subtle spoofs of Cyrus's video, stepping out of their car the way she does, doing similar flips off the backs of trucks and shaking their hips just like the 17-year-old star.

The video went online Nov. 13 and had nearly 94,000 hits as of Friday afternoon.

The guys know Cyrus has seen their video. The day she posted it to her Web site, they got around 20,000 hits, Jones said.

But it's not the first time the rap group, Thirty100, has created a YouTube favorite. Their other video, "Farmville Rap," talks about a Facebook application that simulates real-time farming. That video has nearly 140,000 hits, Jones said.

The name Thirty100 comes from the floor the boys share in their Helaman Halls dorm.

Jones said it's still a bit surreal to walk around campus and have people stop him and say, "I know you guys, you made that video."

The students said that even though they've loudly proclaimed their love for Miley Cyrus, no one has teased them about it or mocked their rap.

In fact, even Marsh's mom liked the video, he said.

"I think she was surprised that we actually pulled something off this good," he said.

Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=keNwCgdiAJk to watch the video.

email: sisraelsen@desnews.com