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2013 MTV Video Music Awards: Winner Predictions

The 30th Annual MTV Video Music Awards will be held on Sunday night, so it’s a great time to make predictions for who will take home the trophies. These ones are harder to predict because it’s based on fan votes so usually the people with the most rabid fans end up winning.

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz – “Thrift Shop”

Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell – “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”

*”Thrift Shop” was one of the most talked about videos of the year and it really helped establish Macklemore as a mainstream artist. It fits in with previous Video of the Year winners and I think it’ll be an interesting speech when he wins. But you should never count out Taylor Swift. She has a lot of fan support and could win based on that. But I don’t think “I Knew You Were Trouble” was particularly strong enough to win, but you never know.*

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Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
Ed Sheeran – “Lego House”
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell – “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”

*Usually the artist with the biggest amount of fan support is likely to win these categories. Even though Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke & Justin Timberlake have Video of the Year nominations: Ed Sheeran has the support of the Taylor Swift fans (which is never a bad thing). He’s popular with the younger ladies, who end up being the majority voters, so he should win this award. I could see Mars possibly upsetting, but I don’t think he’s popular enough to beat out the big fan support for Sheeran. The video also features Rupert Grint (a.k.a. Ron Weasley), so the Harry Potter fans will be out to vote too.*

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Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”
Pink featuring Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me a Reason”
Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko – “Stay”
Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”

*Taylor Swift should easily win her second moonman in this category. Let’s not forget that the last time she won here she was interrupted by Kanye, so I’m sure she’ll make mention of it and it will become a moment (which is what MTV really hops for). Miley & Demi both have big fan bases, but not the arena selling-out crowd that accompanies Taylor.*

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Iggy Azalea – “Work”
Austin Mahone – “What About Love”
twenty one pilots – “Holding on to You”
The Weeknd – “Wicked Games”
Zedd featuring Foxes – “Clarity”

*I have to be honest, the only artist that I heard of before these nominations was The Weeknd and that’s because he was featured on Drake’s last album. Since then I’ve heard “Clarity” when I’ve had the radio on, so it’s obviously the biggest hit of the bunch and that’s why I’m predicting it. But quite frankly the other three could be megastars and I just don’t know it. And I wonder if Foxes will also get a moonman if “Clarity” wins. I hope so.*

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Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”

fun. – “Carry On”
Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”

*”Locked Out of Heaven” & “Mirrors” should be the frontrunners because of the Video of the Year nominations, but this will come down to the two pop princesses. Miley Cyrus has a big prescence on Twitter and she has been campaigning nonstop. I think she’s popular enough and the song is a big enough hit that Miley will take home her first moonman trophy pretty easily.*

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A$AP Rocky featuring 2 Chainz, Drake & Kendrick Lamar – “Fuckin’ Problems”

J. Cole featuring Miguel – “Power Trip”
Drake – “Started From the Bottom”
Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”

*This category is tougher to predict. “Can’t Hold Us” is a Video of the Year nominee, but I think it will end up going home empty-handed. I think “Power Trip” is also out of it and should just enjoy the extra attention the nomination brought. Drake & Kendrick Lamar both have a lot of support, so I could see either of their solo videos winning. But let’s just let have both of them win by being featured in A$AP Rocky’s video along with 2 Chainz.*

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Fall Out Boy – “My Song Know What You Did the Dark (Light Em Up)”
Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive”
Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”
Thirty Seconds to Mars – “Up in the Air”
Vampire Weekend – “Diane Young”

*I really want to see Fall Out Boy take the award (I love their new album), but I think all of the nominees will fall short to Thirty Seconds to Mars. They have a ridiculously big fanbase and they should easily have gathered enough votes to take the award home for the second time. I think Imagine Dragons could possibly upset (just based on the popularity of the song), but I doubt it.*

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Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
Pink featuring Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me a Reason”
Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera – “Feel This Moment”
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell – “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”

*This seems like a two-person race between “Blurred Lines” and “Suit & Tie”. Justin Timberlake has a better shot at other categories, but the Jay-Z factor could help because they’d love to see him get an award in Brooklyn. But I think Robin Thicke’s Video of the Year nomination (and the fact that the song peaked during the best voting period) will probably secure a victory for him, T.I. and Pharrell.*

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Beyonce – “I Was Here”
Kelly Clarkson – “People Like Us”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert – “Same Love”
Miguel – “Candles in the Sun”
Snoop Lion featuring Drake & Cori B. – “No Guns Allowed”

*Macklemore needs to win at least one award and this is the one he’s most likely to take home. “Same Love” has already been announced as the song that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will perform on the main show, plus it’s easily the biggest hit out of the nominees. This is a done deal.*

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Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
Daft Punk featuring Pharrell – “Get Lucky”
Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
One Direction – “Best Song Ever”
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell – “Blurred Lines”

*This category was announced later after the first batch of nominees. I’m assuming this is only based on the song and not the video. It’s also fan-voted, which means One Direction’s superfans will give this an easy win. “Get Lucky” & “Blurred Lines” are the actually songs of the summer but they are no match for the fans of 1D.*


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alt-J – “Tessellate”
Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”
Lana Del Rey – “National Anthem”
Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu – “Q.U.E.E.N.”
Thirty Seconds to Mars – “Up in the Air”

*Based on the previous winners, this category favors contemporary videos with lots of colors. “National Anthem” is a period piece and “Tessellate” only features one ancient Rome-looking set. “Q.U.E.E.N.” has vibrant sets but they simple with mostly black and white. “Up in the Air” doesn’t feature a whole lot of intricate sets. That should pave the way for “Safe and Sound” to win. It has a mix of contemporary and classic sets, but more importantly it has the brightest colors and that’s what voters always tend to lean towards in the past.*

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Chris Brown – “Fine China”

Ciara – “Body Party”
Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull – “Live It Up”
Bruno Mars – “Treasure”
will.i.am featuring Justin Bieber – “#thatPOWER”

*This should be an easy win for Chris Brown’s video “Fine China”. Much like the editing category, this usually goes to the video that features the most impressive choreography. “Treasure” & “#thatPOWER” don’t feature much dancing and “Body Party” & “Live It Up” both look like spontaneous choreography that didn’t take much work. There’s lots of dancing in “Fine China” and Brown is a great dancer.*

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A-Trak & Tommy Trash – “Tuna Melt”
Lana Del Rey – “Ride”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”
Thirty Seconds to Mars – “Up in the Air”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

*Once again, I find it off that “Can’t Hold Us” got so many technical nominations since the music video isn’t anything extraordinary. “Tuna Melt” got nominated because it’s a single shot following a Rube Goldberg Machine. It’s impressive but not ‘pretty’ like previous winners. “Up in the Air” looks nice but has some basic setups. It will be a race between “Ride” and “Sacrilege”, which are both gorgeously shot. I’ll give the edge to “Sacrilege” because it also got a Direction nomination.*

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Drake – “Started From the Bottom” – Director X & Drake
fun. – “Carry On” – Anthony Mandler
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us” – Jon Jon Augustavo, Jason Koenig & Ryan Lewis
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie” – David Fincher
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege” – Megaforce

*The winners in this category usually have a high concept video or videos that are basically mini-films. “Carry On” was an interesting nomination since it seems like it was shot on the fly without a lot of planning. “Can’t Hold Us” & “Started From the Bottom” are basically just videos with the performers doing cool stuff in multiple places. I think it will come down to “Suit & Tie” which has a cool visual style and has the David Fincher factor (who last won in 1990 for Madonna’s “Vogue”) and “Sacrilege” which fits into the mini-film template. I think the Timberlake/Jay-Z factor will tip them over the edge and give Fincher another moonman trophy.*

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Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”
Pink featuring Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me a Reason”
Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”

*I really want “Sweet Nothing” to win this award. It should’ve been nominated for a lot more awards. It’s one of the best videos I’ve seen in a long time. But I think the lack of nominations elsewhere will prevent it from winning. There’s nothing really special about the editing of “We Can’t Stop”, “Can’t Hold Us” or “Just Give Me a Reason” (which I just watched and it’s actually really beautful). The category tends to go towards most editing. “Mirrors” is a long video that has a lot of ground to cover. It should easily win.*

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Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”
Duck Sauce – “It’s You”
Flying Lotus – “Tiny Tortures”
Skrillex featuring The Doors – “Breakn’ a Sweat”
The Weeknd – “Wicked Games”

*Based on previous winners it seems that they like effects-driven videos to win this category. “Wicked Games” and “It’s You” are more subtle effects and won’t likely win. Skrillex won the award last year and “Safe and Sound” has some pretty showy effects, but I think it’ll go to “Tiny Tortures” which features some very impressive visuals (and a starring role for Elijah Wood).*