Lady Gaga, Eminem, Justin Bieber: VMA Predictions

Bigger Than the Sound guesses Sunday's big winners.

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are right around the corner — and by “corner,” I mean Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT. This is great news for pretty much everyone, particularly Lady Gaga fans and those with an unquenchable thirst for the art of wagering (or, as some people call it, “a dangerous and destructive gambling addiction”).

See, the VMAs are arguably the greatest gambling event of the year, although winners are voted on by fans, which makes predicting the show’s outcome nearly impossible. Still, none of that has stopped me from making my VMA predictions for two straight years now, with varying degrees of success. What can I say? I like to live dangerously. So I’ve decided to throw on the old prognostication cap and do it again this year. Here are my ironclad picks for the 2010 Video Music Awards. Satisfaction (and accuracy) guaranteed. Only not really.

Best Male Video
» B.o.B (featuring Hayley Williams), “Airplanes”
» Drake, “Find Your Love”
» Eminem, “Not Afraid”
» Jason Derülo, “In My Head”
» Usher (featuring Will.I.Am), “OMG”

My Take: Drake’s “Find Your Love” is ambitious, but some subtitles would definitely have been appreciated. Jason Derülo and Usher both packed a whole lot of smoove moves into their clips, but there’s only one logical choice …

My Pick: Eminem. The fans determine the winners at the VMAs, and there’s a reason Recovery keeps selling 100,000 copies a week.

Best Female Video
» Beyoncé (featuring Lady Gaga), “Video Phone”
» Katy Perry (featuring Snoop Dogg), “California Gurls”
» Ke$ha, “Tik Tok”
» Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
» Taylor Swift, “Fifteen”

My Take: Taylor Swift is sort of the wild card here, but I think Best Female boils down to a race between Katy Perry, Beyoncé (with Gaga) and, uh, Gaga again.

My Pick: Lady Gaga. Her fans are insane and will put her over the top in a tight race. Don’t feel too bad for Perry, though. I have a feeling she’ll be getting her award a bit later in the night.

Best Rock Video
» 30 Seconds to Mars, “Kings and Queens”
» Florence and the Machine, “Dog Days Are Over”
» MGMT, “Flash Delirium”
» Muse, “Uprising”
» Paramore, “Ignorance”

My Take: Not to nitpick, because I’m glad Florence and the Machine are getting some shine, but it’s odd to me that Vampire Weekend, an equally indie act that had a #1 album this year (and a pair of well-received videos) weren’t nominated in this category. On a more positive note, I’m glad MGMT’s delightfully weird “Flash Delirium” did get a nod … I honestly thought I was the only person who actually dug it.

My Pick: 30 Seconds to Mars. Never underestimate the voting power of the Echelon (that’s the codename for their super intense fanbase, btw). Also, never harmlessly refer to said fanbase as “the so-called Echelon” in a story, either, lest you want your inbox to be flooded with angry e-mails from kids in Germany. Trust me on this one.

Best Hip-Hop Video
» B.o.B (featuring Hayley Williams), “Airplanes”
» Drake (featuring Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem), “Forever”
» Eminem, “Not Afraid”
» Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz, “On to the Next One”
» Kid Cudi (featuring MGMT and Ratatat), “Pursuit of Happiness”

My Take: A category loaded with heavy-hitters, Best Hip-Hop Video is basically the Group of Death at the 2010 VMAs. When in doubt, you gotta go with the one video that has the most big names attached to it. Which means …

My Pick: Drake, Kanye, Weezy, Em, celebrity chef Mario Batali and 23rd president of the United States Benjamin Harrison for the win! The engravers will be working overtime trying to fit all their names on one Moonman. Related: Who actually gets to keep this award?

Best Pop Video
» B.o.B (featuring Bruno Mars), “Nothin’ on You”
» Beyoncé (featuring Lady Gaga), “Video Phone”
» Katy Perry (featuring Snoop Dogg), “California Gurls”
» Ke$ha, “Tik Tok”
» Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”

My Take: Another hotly contested category, and Lady Gaga is once again nominated twice. So I’m going upset special on this one …

My Pick: Katy Perry. She’s the undisputed Queen of Summer 2010, and she shocks the world here. Hopefully she’ll also be wearing some sort of chest-mounted frosting cannons to celebrate.

Best New Artist
» Broken Bells, “The Ghost Inside”
» Jason Derülo, “In My Head”
» Justin Bieber (featuring Ludacris), “Baby”
» Ke$ha, “Tik Tok”
» Nicki Minaj (featuring Sean Garrett), “Massive Attack”

My Take: On the surface, this is Justin Bieber and four acts who aren’t Justin Bieber. In any other year, I’d say Ke$ha or Nicki Minaj could win, but this is 2010, and the World Health Organization is just about to start inoculating people for Bieber Fever. Unrelated: For a second, I thought the group Massive Attack were nominated here, which wouldn’t have made any sense, but would’ve been pretty awesome nonetheless.

My Pick: Broken Bells. Just kidding! It’ll be Bieber in a landslide. The much-coveted Ludacris endorsement is the difference-maker.

Video of the Year
» 30 Seconds to Mars, “Kings and Queens”
» B.o.B (featuring Hayley Williams), “Airplanes”
» Eminem, “Not Afraid”
» Florence and the Machine, “Dog Days Are Over”
» Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
» Lady Gaga (featuring Beyoncé), “Telephone”

My Take: There was, without a doubt, one clip that dominated popular culture in 2010, and it will be rewarded on VMA night.

My Pick: Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. “Telephone” is the biggest video in recent memory, and Gaga is the biggest artist. A win here is the much-deserved coronation for both. And, when coupled with B’s Video of the Year win for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” last year, this could make two consecutive VMAs where the most deserving actually won the night’s biggest honor. A watershed moment, indeed.

The Other Video of the Year
» Hanson, “Thinking ’Bout Something”
» Insane Clown Posse, “Miracles”
» Mayday Parade, “Kids in Love”
» M.I.A., “Born Free”
» OK Go, “This Too Shall Pass”
» Vampire Weekend, “Cousins”

My Take: A completely fictional category made up by me as a way of honoring the videos that didn’t get nominated, these six clips represent the best of the rest. Inventive (“Thinking ’Bout Something,” “This Too Shall Pass,” “Cousins”), incendiary (“Born Free,” “Kids in Love”) and instructive (“Miracles”), they’re all proof that there’s still merit in music videos.

My Pick: M.I.A. With its graphic violence and rather blunt message (basically that the guys wearing the U.S. flags can be the brutes too), “Born Free” stirred up more than its fair share of controversy. But that’s what great art is supposed to do. And make no mistake about it, this is definitely great art. Not to mention astute, fearless political commentary too. Sadly, as the year pressed on, its message only proved to be eerily prescient.

What are your VMA predictions? Share them in the comments!

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. The party starts with MTV News’ VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET.

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