The mogul, who conducted an online search for an assistant, makes his choice

By Tim Nudd
Updated November 06, 2007 07:00 PM
George Burns/Harpo Studios INC

As part of Oprah Winfrey‘s YouTube-themed show, Sean “Diddy” Combs – who has been running a contest online to find a new personal assistant – made his choice on the program Tuesday.

With the three finalists sitting in the front row and Winfrey to his left, Diddy chose lawyer Heather Thompson.

“It was just a passion, it was the way she articulated herself,” the 38-year-old hip-hop mogul explained of why he picked Thompson. “I think [she] understood what the job entailed. She had a background that was stellar. It was just the way she came across.”

Winfrey, a self-described “YouTube virgin,” made up for lost time, devoting her hour-long talk show to celebrating the video-sharing site – with a little help from the music mogul, Patrick Swayze and a skateboarding bulldog.

Nobody Puts YouTube Stars in the Corner

Winfrey, 53, brought some of the biggest YouTube stars into her studio, including Julia Boggio and James Derbyshire, the British couple whose wedding video showing them re-enacting the final dance from Dirty Dancing has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.

Winfrey asked the couple to dance, then surprised them by bringing Patrick Swayze – the original Johnny Castle from the 1987 movie – out from backstage. Swayze gave Boggio a few spins and a dip, bringing tears to her eyes as she laughed with shock.

While the couple were left speechless, Swayze, 55, told Winfrey that Dirty Dancing changed his life – and is the gift that keeps on giving.

“If I have to hear ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’ one more time,” he said.

Winfrey also brought to the stage the goofy dancer Judson Laipply (whose clip, with more than 63 million views, is the most-watched YouTube video of all time), the opera-singing British sensation Paul Potts, Tyson the skateboarding dog, and YouTube’s billionaire cofounders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen.

Winfrey last week launched her own YouTube channel, which she will use to post bonus behind-the-scenes footage and other extras from the show.