My favorite freak show of the year, the VMA’s, returns September 12, but the nominations were just released yesterday with some not so shocking revelations. Lady Gaga leads the field with 13 nominations. In all likelihood, she walks away with more than half of those — the VMA’s have a way of picking favorites. I usually do a live diary Bill Simmons-style for the show, but will give a preliminary break down of all the categories, nominees, and worthy winners for your entertainment consumption.

My trouble with the VMA’s is, I never know what exactly MTV is asking us to vote on. Should the moonman be given out to the best video in that category? Or artist or song? It is the VIDEO awards after all. Anyways, without further ado, here are the nominees:

Best Collaboration

3OH!3 ft. Ke$ha – “My First Kiss”

B.o.B. ft. Hayley Williams -“Airplanes”

Beyonce ft. Lady Gaga – “Video Phone”

Jay-Z & Alicia Keys – “Empire State of Mind”

Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce – “Telephone”

Who should win: Jay-Z & Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” for the simple reason that this is the only category the song/video is nominated.

Who will win: It’s hard to figure how “Telephone” will play out in all of this. It’s a 9 minute epic starring the two largest female performers of the year. Part of me thinks it’ll be like what they did last year when they gave Taylor Swift “Best Female Video” over Beyonce, and Beyonce then got video of the year. If that’s the case, then I can see it going to B.o.B. ft. Hayley Williams. It’s nominated a few times, and if it’s going to win one, I’d rather it be this one.

Best Dance Video

Cascada – “Evacuate The Dancefloor”

David Guetta ft. Akon – “Sexy Chick”

Enrique Iglesias ft. Pitbull – “I Like It”

Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

Usher – “OMG”

Who should win: This is where video and song clash, because “Sexy Chick” and “OMG” are clearly the club hits of the year.

Who will win: I was going to say “I like It” because of this MTV description “The cast of “Jersey Shore” sneaks into an Enrique Iglesias video shoot and totally crash the party for a fist-pumping good time.” But the cast of Jersey Shore isn’t really in the video at all, so I say “OMG” takes it.

Best Female Video

Beyonce ft Lady Gaga – “Video Phone”

Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg – “California Gurls”

Ke$ha – “Tik Tok”

Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

Taylor Swift – “Fifteen”

Who should win: Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” video is so freaking twisted and bizarre that it might be perfect for an awards show as off the wall as this one.

Who will win: “Video Phone” is nominated too many times to walk away empty handed. Gaga seems WAY out of place in it, but that opening sequence might be enough to land them the prize.

Best Hip-Hop Video

B.o.B. ft. Hayley Williams – “Airplanes”

Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Eminem – “Forever”

Eminem – “Not Afraid”

Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz – “On To The Next One”

Kid Cudi ft. MGMT and Ratatat – “Pursuit of Happiness”

Who should win: “Not Afraid” may be the most impressive video this year, but I think it gets Em Best Male, not this.

Who will win: There’s a high potential for teeny-bopper sway and Drake or Cudi to take this category. It all depends on whether people are choosing the best Hip-Hop video or the best Hip-Hop video that also doubles as Best Pop Video. The winner should be, and hopefully will be, “On To The Next One.”

Best Male Video

B.o.B. ft. Hayley Williams – “Airplanes”

Drake – “Find Your Love”

Eminem – “Not Afraid”

Jason Derulo – “In My Head”

Usher – “OMG”

Who should/will win: Seeing as i already told you my pick for this category, I won’t draw the suspense out. Jason Derulo is the clear charity nom here, and according to my predictions, Usher already got his recognition. Watch “Not Afraid” and tell me he doesn’t win this one easily. It’s like “I Am Legend” if a superman Eminem replaced Will Smith.

Best New Artist

Broken Bells – “The Ghost Inside”

Jason Derulo – “In My Head”

Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris – “Baby”

Ke$ha – “Tik Tok”

Nicki Minaj ft. Sean Garrett – “Massive Attack”

Who should win: I’m a fan of “Massive Attack” even if its already been marked up as a loss for Nicki. In terms of best artist, Broken Bells is probably the most talented of this bunch.

Who will win: It’s gonna be a tussle between Ke$ha and Bieber. She’ll be sure to get votes from the MTV crowd, but you got to believe Biebers got more minions than anyone out there.

Best Pop Video

B.o.B. ft. Bruno Mars – “Nothin On You”

Beyonce ft. Lady Gaga – “Video Phone”

Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg – “California Gurls”

Ke$ha – “Tik Tok”

Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

Who should win: This category’s wide open. I suppose Ke$ha should get a bone thrown her way. A glittery hollowed out bone devoid of any nutritional value.

Who will win: Lady Gaga is way past due, and this video has got costumes reminiscent of one of her 2009 VMA costumes. By the way, that picture is hysterical, I won’t encourage you to click on many links, but try that one out.

Best Rock Video

30 Seconds to Mars – “Kings and Queens”

Florence + The Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”

MGMT – “Flash Delirium”

Muse – “Uprising”

Paramore – “Ignorance”

Who should win: Muse has the most familiar song here, and while I’m a bigger MGMT fan, and love the fact that the 30 Seconds to Mars video was directed by somebody named Bartholomew Cubbins, the statuette should go to Muse.

Who will win: If you’ve never heard of 30 Seconds to Mars, that’s probably because you just know them as “Jared Leto’s Band,” which is good explanation for their nominations. Attractive movie star is the lead man? Let’s put them up for as many VMAs as Jay-Z! But they will not win, Paramore will, and it’s because of “Airplanes.” You know, some radio stations even call it a Hayley Williams song.

Video of the Year

30 Seconds to Mars – “Kings and Queens”

B.o.B. ft. Hayley Williams – “Airplanes”

Eminem – “Not Afraid”

Florence + The Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”

Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce – “Telephone”

Who should/will win: It’s not even fair. It’s as if MTV loaded this category with two no-chancers (you know who) then put two Gaga videos in there, so the only person she really has to beat is Eminem. I don’t see why they didn’t just nominate five Lady Gaga videos. Anything other than a “Telephone” victory here would shock me.

Other predictions:

  • Kanye will make an appearance, but it will be a complete and total surprise. My guess: He closes the show with “Power.”
  • I will be satisfied with approximately 10% of the award winners and 50% of the performances.
  • If Justin Bieber doesn’t win Best New Artist, a herd of imbalanced pre-teens will stampede the stages, take over the show, and throw MTV into a state of anarchy. (That is, if that hasn’t happened already.)
  • Thanks to no less than five awards and a controversial performance, this will be dubbed “The Night of Lady Gaga” and then, my relationship with MTV will grow even more strained.
  • Drake will walk away empty-handed, but won’t care, because he will have performed a medley of “Over,” “Find Your Love,” and “Miss Me,” made a shout-out to Lil’ Wayne and then walk off the stage feeling like a champ.
  • Somebody will “pull a Kanye,” and I wouldn’t be surprised if MTV has something in the works to guarantee it.
  • There will be some portion of the show dedicated to “Twilight,” and after I fight the urge to throw up everywhere, I will blog something hatefully cynical.

Other thoughts:

  • No Rihanna nominations? Pretty sure, “So Hard” and “Rude Boy” were just as big as any Lady Gaga records.
  • Maybe it’s my own bias, but how is “Empire State of Mind” not nominated for Video of the Year? Are you telling me “Kings and Queens” was a bigger record this year? And I suppose we’re ignoring R&B all together. Lord knows “Unthinkable” wasn’t a top 10 record of the year or anything.
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