Music

Here’s Who Will Win, And Who *Should* Win, At The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards

The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards air Sunday night on MTV, and like every other award show, they will probably get some things wrong. Oftentimes, the awards at these ceremonies are divvied out not in a meritocracy, but via industry politics, who actually showed up, and other backstage bullsh*t.

So, what we wanted to do is put on our predicting caps and guess who will win, as well as who deserves to win. Of course, we only are predicting the artist awards and not the production awards — sorry hardworking directors, choreographers and visual effects people!

Video Of The Year

Beyoncé – “7/11″
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

Should Win: “Alright”
Will Win: “Bad Blood”

Moreso than any of its competitors in this category, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” will leave a lasting impact, especially considering the times in which it was created. It’s rare that such a daring, political, and emotionally honest clip would even get nominated for an award like this — which means it will probably end up losing to Taylor Swift. The “Bad Blood” video is basically the pop-culture version of The Avengers; who could compete with that?

Best Male Video

Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
The Weeknd – “Earned It”
Nick Jonas – “Chains”

Should Win: “Uptown Funk”
Will Win: “Thinking Out Loud”

Uptown Funk” has been on the minds and lips of the American public for the better part of a year now. It’s an undeniable pop-funk classic at this point, and the video is a perfect homage to the Morris Days and James Browns of yesteryear. Still, sometimes when a video is too popular or too obvious, it loses. That’s why we think MTV will go with fan-favorite Ed Sheeran and “Thinking Out Loud,” a great song and video, but not the clear-cut winner.

Best Female Video

Beyoncé – “7/11″
Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Sia – “Elastic Heart”
Ellie Goulding – “Love Me Like You Do”

Should Win: “Elastic Heart”
Will Win: “Anaconda”

All the videos are pretty great in this category, but the artistry and emotion involved in “Elastic Heart” is impossible to ignore, even with Shia LaBeouf there. But “Anaconda” will probably take this one home, as Nicki is performing at the show, she performed the track last year, and it’s a pretty great video on its own merits. It’s unlikely they would give Sia this award, or that she’s even there.

Best Hip-Hop Video

Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”
Big Sean ft. E-40 – “I Don’t F–k With You”

Should Win: “Anaconda”
Will Win: “Alright”

Nicki Minaj is probably the biggest draw in hip-hop, certainly one of the biggest, but rarely does she get the respect for it, as she pointed out earlier this summer. She can be serious, hard, funny, introspective, all of it, but she’s still boxed in a separate category. Her video for “Anaconda” was by far the most watched of the nominees, and she should be awarded for her hard work in hip-hop and given a moment in the spotlight. But since “Alright” won’t likely win Video of the Year, it will be given the Best Hip-Hop Video, which honestly is a double insult to the artistry of both these rappers. Out of all the categories, we truly hope we’re wrong on this one.

Best Pop Video

Beyoncé – “7/11″
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Maroon 5 – “Sugar”

Should Win: “Blank Space”
Will Win: “Blank Space”

This seems like the easiest shoo-in. “Blank Space” is a fun, self-deprecating clip for Taylor and should handily win this category. Maroon 5’s “Sugar” is a dark horse, but “Blank Space” should and will take it.

Best Rock Video

Hozier – “Take Me To Church”
Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”
Florence + the Machine – “Ship To Wreck”
Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”
Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

Should Win: “Ship To Wreck”
Will Win: “Shut Up And Dance”

Beside nominating an Arctic Monkeys video from two years ago, it feels like we know exactly what MTV is doing in this category. Walk The Moon, a former MTV Artist To Watch, has crazily crossed over with their enormous hit “Shut Up and Dance,” which they will be performing at the show. While “Ship To Wreck” was a video that was a little more ambitious and emotionally raw, Walk The Moon will win here.

Artist To Watch

Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Vance Joy – “Riptide”
George Ezra – “Budapest”
James Bay – “Hold Back The River”
FKA Twigs – “Pendulum”

Should Win: Fetty Wap
Will Win: George Ezra

This is also one of those “the obvious answer never wins” scenarios. Fetty Wap is a bonafide star at this point. He’s got four singles in the top 10 of the Billboard Rap Charts. The others in this category all may emerge, but can’t even come close to that yet. George Ezra’s “Budapest” has been a low-simmering hit all summer, and he seems like the kind of artist they’d like to reward and latch onto.

Best Collaboration

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”
Ariana Grande & The Weeknd – “Love Me Harder”
Jessie J + Ariana Grande + Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

Should Win: “See You Again”
Will Win: “See You Again”

Here’s another layup for MTV. Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” was absolutely everywhere this year and would not go away. “Bang Bang” is from last summer, barely fresh on anyone’s minds. “Uptown Funk,” while technically a collaboration, isn’t really seen as one, and “Bad Blood” is only a collaboration in the video. So that basically leaves “Love Me Harder” as the sole competition for Wiz and Charlie. Both great tracks, but you’ve gotta feel that they would give this to “See You Again.”

Video With A Social Message

Jennifer Hudson – “I Still Love You”
Colbie Caillat – “Try”
Big Sean ft. Kanye West and John Legend – “One Man Can Change the World”
Rihanna – “American Oxygen”
Wale – “The White Shoes”

Should Win: “One Man Can Change The World”
Will Win: “American Oxygen”

One Man Can Change The World” was an unexpected turn for Big Sean. The video, made in honor of his late grandmother, was a truly affecting piece that went far with a lot of people who doubted he was capable of such serious work. This category is rarely aired, so that makes us think they would give it quietly to Rihanna as a gift, but if it actually is on television, we may expect Sean to pull out the win.

Song of the Summer

5 Seconds of Summer — “She’s Kinda Hot”
Fetty Wap — “My Way”
Fifth Harmony — “Worth It”
Selena Gomez (featuring ASAP Rocky) — “Good for You”
David Guetta (featuring Nicki Minaj) — “Hey Mama”
Demi Lovato — “Cool for the Summer”
Major Lazer — “Lean On”
OMI — “Cheerleader”
Silento — “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)”
Skrillex and Diplo (featuring Justin Bieber) — “Where Are U Now”
Taylor Swift — “Bad Blood”
The Weeknd — “Can’t Feel My Face”

Should Win: “Where Are U Now”
Will Win: “Bad Blood”

This is the category that is purely in the hands of the fans. While our song of the summer, Best Coast’s “California Nights,” is shamefully not included, there are some pretty great videos here. But honestly, this will probably boil down to fan armies and who will show up with the most numbers. With that in mind Jack Ü and Justin Bieber’s “Where Are U Now” video is artistic, chaotic, and perfectly captures the infectious summer track. But Taylor’s got the most fans, so she’ll probably win.

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