As the competition in the 2012 Olympic Games across the pond in London heats up, MTV News is kicking off its own set of summer games, complete with sweaty brows and gold medals. Monday (July 30) is the official launch of our first-ever Summer Jam Games, a cheeky, feel-good take on those other games, featuring well-toned musicians instead of athletes. (We're looking at you, Adam Levine.)
After all, there is glory to be had this summer for those not competing in stuff like handball or kayaking. So we want to show some love to that other time-honored tradition, the summer jam. Fans can begin to vote on tracks in five categories: Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B, EDM and Rock, with gold, silver and bronze medals being handed out next week. Wondering which song in the pop category should go all the way? Well, here's a breakdown of the top contenders.
Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe"
Sitting atop the charts for nearly two months, this song has launched countless parodies, making it the most viral thing to hit the Net in 2012, and launched Justin Bieber's protégé, the blunt-bang-wearing pop songstress Carly Rae Jepsen into the pop mega-sphere. She's also empowered shy girls everywhere and given them a perfectly fit pickup line.
Flo Rida's "Whistle"
This cheeky, not-so-subtle track from the often-shirtless rapper has close to 50 million views on YouTube and has been gaining steady momentum on the charts, hovering in the top 10. And it seems that the warm reception the track has been receiving has opened the floodgates for creepy guys in clubs who think whistling is a charming way to flirt with girls.
Justin Bieber's "As Long as You Love Me" featuring Big Sean
Bieber needed a club jam, and with the assistance of the G.O.O.D. music MC, he can officially "swag, swag, swag" all day long. The song's true summer-jam mark comes courtesy of its swoon-worthy lyrics and synthy Rodney Jerkins production. Plus, he sings "I'll be your platinum, I'll be your silver, I'll be your gold" on the track ... he obviously had the Summer Jam Games in mind when he recorded it.
Katy Perry's "Wide Awake"
A bit dreamier and more on the ballad side, Perry's post-breakup anthem, off her Teenage Dream re-release, should have brokenhearted girls everywhere clamoring to dye their hair some unnatural shade of purple and pontificate about their exes. Or at the very least, give them something to shout along to very loudly on the way to the beach.
Maroon 5's "Payphone" featuring Wiz Khalifa
Who would think that a song about a relatively unused form of communication could rise to the occasion and become one of the most relatable breakup tracks of the summer? We guess Maroon 5 and Wiz did. Only bested by Carly Rae on the charts, the falsetto-filled Overexposed track once again makes us want to be the shoulder Levine cries on.
Nicki Minaj's "Starships"
The controversy surrounding Nicki Minaj and her place in the rap game may have momentarily made a few headlines, but that hasn't affected her pop success. "Starships," thanks in part to its world-music vibe courtesy of producer RedOne, is perfect for the summer. Not only does she name-check some choice adult beverages on the track, but fans can get their groove on during the song's searing dubstep breaks.
One Direction's "One Thing"
Sure, they told you all about "What Makes You Beautiful," but the guys are still pining for that girl-next-door on their latest Up All Night single. The sing-along chorus is as sugary sweet as a snow cone, even if you could spend an entire heat wave trying to figure out just what that "one thing" is that has them all hot and bothered.
Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Good Time"
Owl City enlisted Carly Rae for this track, which picks up where Katy Perry's "T.G.I.F." left off. "Shenanigans for everyone" is the name of the game as OC's Adam Young and Carly embark on a night on the town. And as the song continues to bob and weave on the charts, it's clear that whatever that Prince song is they have stuck in their heads, we want in.
Pink's "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)"
Pink throws a one-two knockout punch with her latest pop track, produced by Greg Kurstin. Already in the top 10 after only three weeks on the market, the feisty song is certainly the perfect complement to any "sh-- day." Or any day for that matter.
Rihanna's "Where Have You Been"
She's been everywhere, man, and she still hasn't found true love. The hit tune is the latest Calvin Harris-Ri collabo to take over dance floors everywhere. Will this be the summer that Ri not only finds her man but also takes home the gold in the Summer Jam Games? Man, it just might be.
Forget about the Olympics, vote now in MTV's Summer Jam Games! Polls are open and will close at midnight ET Sunday (August 5). Guide your favorites to golden glory, and help spread the word via Twitter, using the hashtag #SummerJamGames
Vote for your favorite song, discuss and share on Facebook and Twitter in the Summer Jam Games!