Rihanna asked for it. And now, the VMAs are making her feel like the only girl in the world.
The singer, who, along with Drake, leads the nominees with five nods, finds herself in an all-male race for Best Pop Video at the 2012 Video Music Awards on September 6. She will face off against One Direction, Fun., Justin Bieber and Maroon 5.
And it just might be that her feminine wiles could be enough to counterbalance all that testosterone flowing through the category this year.
The category has historically been dominated by female artists, with names like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Madonna, Adele and Britney Spears owning the headlines. But, the VMAs are redefining all that by showing the guys some love.
Regardless of gender politics, all the videos nominated stand out, but really only one can go home a winner next month, when the show goes live from the Staples Center.
Fun.'s video for their Janelle Monáe-assisted "We Are Young" is much more than a performance video. Sure, the band is playing in the clip, but as the music begins to reach the chorus, the bar-goers enjoying them give in to darker intentions, erupting in one epic, slow-motion food fight. As the clip ends, the band stands tall, surrounded by the destruction. Could their stoicism translate to a first-ever VMA win?
Certainly two-time winner Justin Bieber hopes not. He's making his entry into the Best Pop Video category with his video for "Boyfriend." Sure, the concept is pretty simple: Bieber on a roof with his pals, fast cars and one very pretty girl, but it's not the concept that makes it so special. It's seeing how much Bieber has matured from his "Baby" days that makes it so memorable.
One Direction's beachy, light-hearted romp for their infectious Up All Night single "What Makes You Beautiful" sells the Brits as SoCal beachgoers looking to catch some rays and waves, and maybe even scout the sand for some hot girls. The sunny vibe of the clip perfectly matches the sugary track. Is it too sweet for a VMA victory? Or, could it be that it's just sweet enough to make their first-ever VMA trip a triumphant one?
Maroon 5's "Payphone" video has it all. In the span of just a few minutes, it has Adam Levine in a tank top, a bank heist gone wrong, fire, explosions, Wiz Khalifa and — the icing on the cake — forbidden love. In the end, Levine may not get the girl, but come VMA night he might get a big-time consolation prize: a Moonman.
And then there's Rihanna's "We Found Love." Completely cinematic, the singer pulled out all the stops for this video, about two drug-addicted street punks who get higher off their destructive relationship than anything else. We'll find out if all the controversy surrounding its premiere last year was worth it.