Sunday, August 28, 2011

Adele, Katy Perry Will Win Big At VMAs, Experts Predict

Both could end up with multiple Moonmen on Sunday, according to music journalists.
By Gil Kaufman

Katy Perry
Photo: Bryan Bedder/ Getty Images

You can always count on outrageous entrances, pimped out red (or white, or black) carpets and plenty of over-the-top performances at the VMAs. But until that envelope is cracked open and the name is called, nobody really knows who is going to take home those Moonmen during the broadcast. (And no, just because we work at MTV doesn't mean we're in on the winners' list.)

As the anticipation builds for Sunday night, we asked a couple of professional pop-culture junkies to help us predict the VMA class of 2011 using a complicated system of ... oh, let's face it, they were guessing just like the rest of us. (For a more mathematical approach, find out what Vegas oddsmakers predict for the VMAs.)

Video of the Year
Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
Beastie Boys, "Make Some Noise"
Bruno Mars, "Grenade"
Katy Perry, "Firework"
Tyler, the Creator, "Yonkers"

Ian Drew, Senior Music Editor, Us Weekly : "Adele will win. I think it was her year, and this will cement that she is the new face of the music industry."

Kyle Anderson, Staff Writer, Entertainment Weekly : "This seems like a really tough one. Adele has a lot of nominations, but I don't ever feel like there was any excitement for that video. ... I would think this would go to Katy, though it's not her most iconic video. It's her message video, and it's a clip that people talked about, and it has a lot of fireworks in it. Who could say no to that?"

Best New Artist
Big Sean (featuring Chris Brown), "My Last"
Foster the People, "Pumped Up Kicks"
Kreayshawn, "Gucci Gucci"
Tyler, the Creator, "Yonkers"
Wiz Khalifa, "Black and Yellow"

Drew: "I think it's Foster the People's breakout year. This is a way to honor this band that is bubbling up and taking over. They're kind of this year's Kings of Leon, because everyone is talking about them."

Anderson: "It's kind of weird that Foster the People are in there, but they seem to be peaking now, and they've had a slow burn. But this seems to be where they give Tyler the Moonman, even though I think the buzz around Odd Future has cooled off. ... Of all these videos, when Tyler's premiered everyone talked about it and he seems self-promotional enough and enough of a lightning rod [to make for good TV]. Plus, it's hard to get that image of him playing with the cockroach out of my head."

Best Pop Video
Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
Britney Spears, "Till the World Ends"
Bruno Mars, "Grenade"
Katy Perry, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"
Pitbull (featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer), "Give Me Everything"

Drew: "I'll give this one to Katy, because I think Adele will take Video of the Year, and they'll want to give Katy something big and honor her for a slew of amazing videos. This one is the best; it's so poppy and high-concept. Katy's videos are a throwback to the great art of video making, while Adele's is very simple."

Anderson: "There's a lot of heavy hitters and, again, I would like to hand something shiny to Adele, but I don't think of 'Rolling' as a pop song in the way the rest of them are. I'm a real sucker for Katy Perry, and I think the 'Friday' video is kind of awesome. It's big and colorful, and she's clearly into it and trying very hard. It's a definitive statement of who she is and the year she's had. Plus, any time you can get a Rebecca Black cameo in there ..."

Best Rock Video
Cage the Elephant, "Shake Me Down"
Foo Fighters, "Walk"
Foster the People, "Pumped Up Kicks"
Mumford & Sons, "The Cave"
The Black Keys, "Howlin' For You"

Drew: "I have a feeling Foster will take Best New Artist, and this was the year of Mumford & Sons, so maybe this is the place to honor them. They had a high-concept video as well, but they could want to honor the veteran Foo Fighters because they did another one of their comedic, hilarious tongue-in-cheek videos."

Anderson: "I'm not a big Mumford fan, but I like that video because mopeds are funny. I think the win will go to the Foo Fighters, though. They've done parodies before, but it's such a strange choice to pick 'Falling Down' as an inspiration, and in a weird way it works. It's a movie about white-people problems, and there's no better middle-age white-people problems band than the Foo Fighters. It's the best song on that record, too, and it reminds of why that band is so great."

Best Video With a Message
Eminem (featuring Rihanna), "Love the Way You Lie"
Katy Perry, "Firework"
Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"
Pink, "F----- Perfect"
Rise Against, "Make It Stop (September's Children)"
Taylor Swift, "Mean"

Drew: "I think it's clearly Lady Gaga. There hasn't been that kind of example of a message song tied with a video in a long time, and the message is plastered across the video so strongly. Plus, they don't want her to leave empty-handed, because when it comes to acceptance speeches, she gives a great, echoing message and it guarantees a great on-air moment."

Anderson: "My favorite video out of all of these is the Pink one. Even it goes through very well-trod material in music videos that appears in every Lifetime movie, it gets the point across in nice way. I know the song 'Born This Way' has a message, but I'm not sure that video has a message unless it's about space travel. If I was a voter, I'd go for the Pink video, but of all of these, it seems like Katy's works the best, if only because she's never done anything like that before, whereas Eminem has a lot of videos about domestic violence. It's such a departure for Katy, who grew up so sheltered and is just now engaging with these kinds of issues that it feels like it could be a thing that could help be a culmination of her crazy-ass year."

Best Hip-Hop Video
Chris Brown (featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes), "Look at Me Now"
Kanye West (featuring Rihanna and Kid Cudi), "All of the Lights"
Lil Wayne (featuring Cory Gunz), "6 Foot, 7 Foot"
Lupe Fiasco, "The Show Goes On"
Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"

Anderson: "I really, really like that Wayne video if only because I'm very charmed by the idea that Lil Wayne would go see 'Inception' and say, 'I gotta do that!' It seems like exactly how his brain works, 'I'll slow-motion fall into water!' But it seems like Nicki Minaj's to lose. That song and video have been weirdly sticky."

Best Female Video
Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
Beyoncé, "Run the World (Girls)"
Katy Perry, "Firework"
Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"
Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"

Drew: "This is probably the toughest category. You figure Adele will get Video of the Year and she could sweep this one as well. Katy's a contender, but Gaga won't get it and Nicki's not as a big in terms of the impact of her video. Beyoncé's video is very high-tech, high-energy and very well choreographed and stylized and is one of those ones they typically would honor. But it will be down to Katy or Adele, and even though her video was not the best one, I think they might try to do a sweep with Adele [to make a statement]."

Anderson: "I feel like Adele has to win one of these and this may be the one, just because among these people, she also feels like the outlier. Everybody else is very polished and in the mainstream, and I like an outlier."

Best Male Video
Bruno Mars, "Grenade"
Cee Lo Green, "F--- You"
Eminem (featuring Rihanna), "Love the Way You Lie"
Justin Bieber, "U Smile"
Kanye West (featuring Rihanna and Kid Cudi), "All of the Lights"

Drew: "I think Cee Lo should win, even though Bruno is performing, and it's tempting to give him something. There's no denying the impact of Cee Lo's video, and you will get a hilarious moment of his accepting the award onstage."

Anderson: "Even though my favorite is Cee Lo, it seems like his window might have been missed, so I'm gonna give this to Eminem, although it's weird giving Best Male to a video that prominently features a woman. It's very well done and cinematic and it gets the point across."

The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live Sunday, August 28, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following the Selena Gomez-hosted pre-show at 8. See the list of nominees, revisit last year's highlights and vote for Best New Artist by visiting

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