Whenever any award show finishes up and the credits begin to roll, the same conversation is had in every living room (or illegally streaming bedroom) in the nation: “UGH (insert loser) SHOULD HAVE WON. THIS IS TOTAL BS.” Well, our frustrated friends, sometimes that is true. The true winners don’t always win. And the same was the case at the 2016 VMAs, so with that in mind, here are a few of the losers who should have truly taken home the moonman.
Everyone in the Best Male Video category
Calvin Harris is someone who I’m willing to give a lot of slack to as far as DJs go. A lot of folks give sh*t to modern EDM artists for being simplistic button pushers, but in addition to being an excellent producer, Calvin Harris actually does vocals on a lot of his songs. But on “This Is What You Came For,” he doesn’t sing and in the video, he barely appears. So, how does this win Best Male Video over world dominators like Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” Bryson Tiller’s “Don’t,” The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” or Kanye West’s “Famous”? It sincerely seems like everyone forgot what they were voting for.
Rihanna and Drake in the Best Collaboration category
This was probably more because Rihanna is receiving the Video Vanguard award and Drake being in gridlock on the Brooklyn Bridge, but “Work” is the collaboration of the past five years, not just this year. And Fifth Harmony deserves all the props in the world, they are fantastic and should get some credit, doubly so for the far-too-unheralded Ty Dolla $ign. But just not in this specific case.
Bryson Tiller falls to DNCE in the Best New Artist category
Look, I love eating cake by the ocean (literally and whatever the euphemism means) as much as the next person, but it’s clear that Bryson Tiller should have won over DNCE. It’s strange enough that they would announce that the other three nominees were eliminated early in the show — keep the illusion that it’s not fixed at least a little alive — but then for a group that feels like they’re a vanity project that Joe Jonas will abandon when he gets bored of them to win over someone who has captivated an entire genre feels… off. But frankly, it could have gone a worse way, so maybe we should just be happy with what we got.
Adele going 0 for all night
Maybe it’s just a judge of demographic, but it’s pretty surprising that Adele, who moves the Earth with her little finger, couldn’t manage to steal one of her eight (yes, EIGHT) nominations. The powerhouse singer lost to David Bowie, Coldplay, and Beyonce six different times. Somehow, it doesn’t seem like she would be too miffed, seeing as how she’s a huge fan of Queen Bey, but she probably could have snagged at least one of those moonmen. We’ll see how this showdown goes when they meet again come Grammys time.
The Weeknd’s total non-presence
This was more of a question for a few months ago, but it’s still worth mentioning for how staggering it is. How was one of the biggest songs of 2015 only nominated twice? Beauty Behind The Madness hosted several creative and captivating videos that were among the most popular things going in music last year. Feels like “Can’t Feel My Face” could have picked up a few wins at least. But you know, all these things are contrived and determined by money or other shady favors anyway. Enjoy what you can!