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MTV Video Music Awards: picks and predictions

British boy band "The Wanted," who had a

British boy band "The Wanted," who had a hit this year with the party jam "Glad You Came," are contenders in the MTV Video Music Awards' best new artist category. (Aug. 22, 2012) Credit: AP

It's time to celebrate the music video once again.

Thanks to YouTube, the right video has more sway in creating a hit now than it has in nearly 30 years, back when they were MTV's main priority instead of Snooki and teen moms. This year's biggest hits, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," owe their success to their videos going viral -- though the more influential video for Jepsen isn't the one that starred her, but the homemade one that starred Justin Bieber and his pals.

But do we really need MTV's Video Music Awards to tell us which videos are popular and worth watching anymore? Considering how YouTube view counts take care of the popularity rankings and how our Facebook walls and Twitter feeds offer us way more "worth watching" suggestions than we can ever get to, probably not. However, one thing MTV knows how to do is throw a party, especially with flashy appearances set from the night's leading nominees Rihanna, Taylor Swift, One Direction and Pink, not to mention irreverent host Kevin Hart.

Rihanna could win five Moonmen trophies on her own and has another six nominations for videos from Drake and Coldplay that she is featured in. RiRi's "We Found Love" video is actually up against Drake's "Take Care" video, which also features her, for video of the year, alongside her pal Katy Perry's "Wide Awake," Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls." (I'd give the edge to "Take Care.")

Here's a look at the other top categories:





fun. (featuring 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"

SHOULD WIN Ocean's "Swim Good" is the best of a surprisingly strong bunch.

WILL WIN This one is chosen by the fans and the rabid clickers of "1D" Nation will easily deliver this to One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful."





One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"

fun. (featuring Janelle Monae), "We Are Young"

Rihanna, "We Found Love"

Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"

Maroon 5 (featuring Wiz Khalifa), "Payphone"

SHOULD WIN Rihanna. The "We Found Love" video is as stunningly bittersweet as the song.

WILL WIN Bieber. This is MTV, after all.





Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"

Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"

Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"

Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"

K'Naan (featuring Nelly Furtado), "Is Anybody Out There?"

Lil Wayne, "How to Love"


WILL WIN Lovato's "Skyscraper" and its defiant antibullying message should take the prize in a praiseworthy field.





M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"

Coldplay (featuring Rihanna), "Princess of China"

Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"

The Throne, "Otis"


WILL WIN The Throne's "Otis" is artsy and a freewheeling good time that should beat out M.I.A.'s raging "Bad Girls" and Duck Sauce's edgy "Big Bad Wolf."

WHAT The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards

WHEN|WHERE 8 Thursday night, MTV


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