Words: Dhwani Dholakia

The entertainment and music business will descend upon the Staples Center this September 6th as both veteran performers and newbies battle it out to take home as many Moonmen as they can.

One Direction and Alicia Keys have been confirmed as performers and rumours have been circulating that Pink and No Doubt will take to the stage this year as well. Perhaps creating the biggest buzz is the rumour that Christina Aguilera will debut her new single at this year’s VMAs. If this is indeed true, it’s a smart move on the part of Aguilera and her management since few other platforms can rival the VMAs stage when it comes to garnering attention for a new single’s release.

When it comes to nominations, leading the pack are Rihanna and Drake with 5 nominations each, with Katy Perry, Kanye West and One Direction no far behind.

But perhaps the biggest question is who will go home victorious this year? Well, here’s the list of nominations in notable categories and who, in each category, is most likely to emerge as the winner.

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”

While none of the videos pack enough of a punch to want to make Kanye take to the stage in their support, based on sheer popularity, Rihanna will end up winning this one. Gotye’s song has much more clout but video-wise, it falls just a little short.

Best New Artist
fun. feat. Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
Frank Ocean, “Swim Good”
One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”
The Wanted, “Glad You Came”

While fun. and Frank Ocean may have reached out to a wider audience, the beast that is the tween voting machine will rear its mighty head and hand over the Moonman to One Direction with ease.

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”

Watch the Throne (featuring the collective hip-hop power of Kanye and Jay-Z) could possibly win if this was only a game of true, good ol’ Hip Hop but we all know it’s not going to be that way. Judging from the number of YouTube views of both videos, Nicki Minaj has twice as many and given that her fans are more likely to make the effort to vote, Nicki’s going to take the win.

Best Male Video
Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”
Frank Ocean, “Swim Good”
Drake feat. Rihanna, “Take Care”
Chris Brown, “Turn Up the Music”
Usher, “Climax”

In a similar situation as One Direction’s, Justin Bieber’s fan following is massive and history has shown that this catapults Bieber to the top at award shows and the tide doesn’t look like it’s going to change just yet.

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”

While Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Rihanna are the music powerhouses of this category, the Moonman is more likely to go to the newbie of the music industry, Selena Gomez. The catchy song, unconventional video and celebrity buzz generated from being Justin Bieber’s other half, all work to her advantage and will allow her to triumph over the other, more experienced artists in this category.

Best Pop Video
One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”
fun. feat. Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Rihanna, “We Found Love”
Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, “Payphone”

This is going to be a close one. All the contenders have some strength that gives them some sort of advantage but when it really comes down to it, Beliebers have shown that they have mastered the voting game and this may allow him to win, even if it is by a hair’s breadth.

Best Rock Video
Coldplay, “Paradise”
The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Linkin Park, “Burn It Down”
Jack White, “Sixteen Saltines”
Imagine Dragons, “It’s Time”

Coldplay is the undisputed winner of this category already, especially since the only other real contender, rock heavyweight Linkin Park, has not lived up to fans’ expectations with the newly released album.

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”

The video may turn off certain people, but the VMAs has always been about breaking the barriers of what is considered socially acceptable and so Duck Sauce, riding on the popularity of their previous single, “Barbra Streisand”, will emerge victorious here.

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”

This will be a close one between Demi Lovato and Kelly Clarkson. Kelly still has a very faithful following and carries a lot more street cred for being the first American Idol. Demi Lovato’s following, on the other hand, has been dwindling ever since her stint at rehab and that, coupled with criticisms associated with The X Factor, will put Kelly ahead of the game.