MTV Video Music Awards 2012: The VMA Nominees

The nominees for the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards are in.

While the award show seems to have gone downhill in recent years, we always have hope that maybe this year’s ceremony will be worthwhile. With interesting nominees breaking up the usual mainstream sound this year, perhaps our wishes will be granted.

Of course, it seems like other than a handful of surprises, this year is still full of the usual sort of stuff we’ve come to expect from MTV: bubblegum pop up against urban and hip hop music with not really much indie in between (it is a mainstream channel after all). That’s fine; we won’t bore you with the predictable—but the unpredictable still has a chance of happening in the big categories, Video of the Year and Best New Artist.

Video of the Year actually has two great contenders that we’d prefer to win: Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls.” While the Gotye video isn’t all that exciting, it does feature our other favorite new artist, Kimbra. “Bad Girls,” meanwhile, features some amazing car stunts that deserve some sort of award—so why not a VMA? Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Drake feat. Rihanna with “Take Care” round out the category—though we’re not really fond of any of those options.

Best New Artist is mostly predictable, with boy bands One Direction and The Wanted, “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen, Frank Ocean and Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe. Now, why they chose to label them by their breakout song is a bit annoying since it’s a category for the artist (meaning that Monáe theoretically shouldn’t be included in Fun.’s award—although she deserves every single award ever)… but that aside, our votes go to Fun. and Frank Ocean—Fun. because they are just that, and Ocean because we respect him for recently coming outand turning the hip hop world around.

One other category we’re excited about is Best Art Direction, which gives a nod to Regina Spektor with “All the Rowboats” as well as the epic animated video “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men. Then, of course, we’re thrown more Katy Perry, Drake, Rihanna and Lana Del Rey, who recently learned about Courtney Love’s vagina.

After that, almost everything else seems to be the same old Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, etc. crowd. Beyoncé’s “Countdown” surprisingly only gets two nods this year—which is a travesty, because of all the mainstream pop videos, “Countdown” is the most fun. At any rate, here is the full list of nominees, with our picks in bold (although it must be noted we are clueless in a few categories, so there are some we picked without seeing the video but knowing the artist):

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”

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”

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”

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

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”

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”

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

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”

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”

Best Art Directio
Katy Perry, “Wide Awake”
Drake feat. Rihanna, “Take Care”
Lana Del Rey, “Born to Die”
Regina Spektor, “All the Rowboats”
Of Monsters & Men, “Little Talks”

Best Choreography
Chris Brown, “Turn Up the Music”
Rihanna, “Where Have You Been”
Beyoncé, “Countdown”
Avicii, “Le7els”
Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull, “Dance Again”

Best Cinematography
M.I.A., “Bad Girls”
Adele, “Someone Like You”
Drake feat. Rihanna, “Take Care”
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, “Princess of China”
Lana Del Rey, “Born to Die”

Best Direction
M.I.A., “Bad Girls”
Duck Sauce, “Big Bad Wolf”
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, “Princess of China”
Frank Ocean, “Swim Good”
Watch the Throne, “Otis”

Best Editing
Beyoncé, “Countdown”
A$AP Rocky, “Goldie”
Gotye, “Somebody That I Used to Know”
Watch the Throne, “Paris”
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, “Mercy”

Best Visual Effects
Katy Perry, “Wide Awake”
Rihanna, “Where Have You Been”
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, “Turn Me On”
Linkin Park, “BURN IT DOWN”

This article was originally published on AllMediaNY.com

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