MTV VMAs 2012 – Who Should Win?

The MTV Video Music Awards take place tonight at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. Hosted by comedian Kevin Hart (anyone?) the ceremony will see performances from Rihanna, Taylor Swift, P!nk, One Direction and Green Day, vomit permitting.

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The prizes are all awarded for videos – confusing for three reasons: one: because I haven’t the foggiest whether you’re meant to be judging the video, the music or both; two: when was the last time MTV showed a video? And three: because if this is a video awards where the hell is Grimes’ nomination for the amazing ‘Oblivion’?

But forget all that. The VMAs are great because they’re the home of artists doing crazy shit, just like The Brits were before James Corden came along and turned into an arena-sized yawn soundtracked by Adele. The VMAs gave us Kanye’s stage invasion, The Britney-Madonna-Xtina meta-kiss, Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses butting horns, Gaga’s meat dress… It’s a pop circus of the most colourful variety.

Check out our gallery of the wildest moments in VMA history and check out NME.com tomorrow for news of the happenings at the awards. Here, meanwhile, are our predictions of who should win – and who will win – tonight.

Best New Artist

Carly Rae Jepsen – ‘Call Me Maybe’
Frank Ocean – ‘Swim Good’
fun. f/ Janelle Monáe – ‘We Are Young’
One Direction – ‘What Makes You Beautiful’
The Wanted – ‘Glad You Came’

Should win: Frank Ocean. A unique new voice with an intriguing video.
Will win: Carly Rae Jepsen. The song is HUGE. Totally massive. Video’s crap though.

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Best Pop Video

fun. f/ Janelle Monáe – ‘We Are Young’
Justin Bieber – ‘Boyfriend’
Maroon 5 f/ Wiz Khalifa – ‘Payphone’
One Direction – ‘What Makes You Beautiful’
Rihanna f/ Calvin Harris – ‘We Found Love’

Should win: Maroon 5. OK, the song is horrible, but the video – featuring a bungled heist – is like a tiny action movie.
Will win: One Direction. Because if they don’t win, the fans will mobilise, Twitter will collapse and everyone will have to endure an evening without the ability to post a snarky comment on the internet.

Best Rock Video

The Black Keys – ‘Lonely Boy’
Coldplay – ‘Paradise’
Imagine Dragons – ‘It’s Time’
Jack White – ‘Sixteen Saltines’
Linkin Park – ‘BURN IT DOWN’

Should win: Jack White. Great track and a cool video featuring White in a Lord Of The Flies-like world run by children.
Will win: The Black Keys. They’re the rock band of the moment and the video features a guy miming and doing a funny dance. It’s like the whole of YouTube distilled into three minutes.

Best Hip Hop Video

Childish Gambino – ‘Heartbeat’
Drake feat. Lil Wayne – ‘HYFR’
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz – ‘Mercy’
Watch the Throne – ‘Paris’
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz – ‘Beez In The Trap’

Should win: Nicki Minaj. Firstly, she’s performing at the ceremony and she’ll be expecting some silverware. Secondly, it’ll be hilarious to watch Kanye lose out twice in one category.
Will win: Watch The Throne. It’s big, epic and it increases the chances of getting Kanye and Jay-Z to turn up.

Best Female Video

Rihanna – ‘We Found Love’
Katy Perry – ‘Part of Me’
Beyoncé – ‘Love on Top’
Nicki Minaj – ‘Starships’
Selena Gomez & The Scene – ‘Love You Like a Love Song’

Should win: Katy Perry. It’s the latest in her high concept video series, this time involving some sort of GI Jane-type plot. Plus, you know, she’s had a tough year, the poor lamb.
Will win: Nicki Minaj. Big tune, and the kind of eye-catchingly fithy video your teenage brother can’t stand up after watching.

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Best Male Video

Justin Bieber – ‘Boyfriend’
Frank Ocean – ‘Swim Good’
Drake feat. Rihanna – ‘Take Care’
Chris Brown – ‘Turn Up the Music’
Usher – ‘Climax’

Should win: Frank Ocean. A unique new voice with an intriguing video that evokes the song’s deperate lyrics.
Will win: Justin Bieber. Let’s face it, pixie-boy is going to go home with something.

Best Electronic Dance Music Video

Duck Sauce – ‘Big Bad Wolf’
Calvin Harris – ‘Feel So Close’
Skrillex – ‘First of the Year (Equinox)’
Martin Solveig – ‘The Night Out’
Avicii – ‘Le7els’

Should win: Duck Sauce – ‘Big Bad Wolf’. It’s probably the most inventive, funny and gross video of the last 12 months. Two words: crotch-heads.
Will win: Skrillex. He’s the man of the moment, and it’s a great video.

Best Video With A Message

Demi Lovato – ‘Skyscraper’
Rise Against – ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’
Kelly Clarkson – ‘Dark Side’
Gym Class Heroes – ‘The Fighter’
K’Naan feat. Nelly Furtado – ‘Is Anybody Out There?’
Lil Wayne – ‘How to Love’

Should win: Rise Against. It’s the only pop video I’ve ever seen that challenges a country’s agricultural policy. But really, what’s this category all about? There’s a message behind every music vid: ‘please buy this song’.
Will win: Demi Lovato. Because like every X Factor contestant, she’s known pain but overcome it. It’s written all over her little scrunched-up little face in the video for this ‘I will overcome’ schmaltz-fest.

Video Of The Year

Katy Perry – ‘Wide Awake’
Gotye – ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’
Rihanna – ‘We Found Love’
Drake feat. Rihanna – ‘Take Care’
M.I.A. – ‘Bad Girls’

Should win: M.I.A.. It’s the one with the Arab drag racing, and it’s bloody brilliant – if just for the scene where Maya is nonchalantly filing her nails as the car drives on two wheels.
Will win: Gotye. It’s an arresting concept well executed. It’s the ‘Sledgehammer’ of our generation. But if I hear that song ONE more time I will take that sledgehammer to whatever’s playing it.

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