2018 VMAs: Who Will Win and Who Should Win (Part 1)

The most eccentric and fun award show of the year is right around the corner. The 2018 Video Music Awards (VMAs) will take place on August 20 and feature performances from Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj (read my review of Queen here), Shawn Mendes, and more. Every award that will be handed out during the telecast will be fan-voted; an independent committee chooses the winners of the professional categories (Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, etc.)

Here is part one:

BEST POP VIDEO

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The Nominees: “No Tears Left to Cry” (Ariana Grande), “Havana” (Camila Cabello & Young Thug), “Sorry Not Sorry” (Demi Lovato), “Perfect” (Ed Sheeran), “What About Us” (P!nk), “In My Blood” (Shawn Mendes)

Who Will Win

Since this is a fan-voted award, this is really a three-way race between Grande, Cabello, and Mendes – three social media forces. I’m going to put my money on Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry,” which I reviewed here. The song is the most recent, she has the largest fanbase (based on social media numbers), she’s a former winner in this category, and the video is excellent.

Who Should Win

While the majority of these videos are great, some of them are standard and by-the-numbers pop videos, namely “Perfect” and “Sorry Not Sorry.” “In My Blood” has cool effects and “What About Us” has nice choreography and a commendable message, but “Havana” and “Tears” are miles ahead of the competition. “Havana” is a mini-movie in which Cabello shows her chops as an actress and pop star, and “Tears” is a touching tribute to Manchester with incredible special effects and art direction. Either of these two videos should win.

Best Hip Hop Video

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The Nominees: “Bartier Cardi” (Cardi B & Offset), “APESHIT” (THE CARTERS), “God’s Plan” (Drake), “ATM” (J. Cole), “Walk It Talk It” (Migos & Drake), “Chun-Li” (Nicki Minaj).

Who Will Win

I’d say it’s a three-way race, again, between Cardi, The Carters (Beyoncé & Jay Z), and Nicki. These three artists are social media juggernauts and their fans are highly dedicated and have been voting endlessly since the polls opened up. I would give this one to Nicki’s “Chun-Li,” seeing as this is her only nomination and everyone else in this category can pick up a win elsewhere. It also helps that Nicki is the only artist in this category that is confirmed to attend and perform at the show.

Who Should Win

Where “God’s Plan” is inspirational and classic feel-good video and “Walk It Talk It” nails its Soul Train homage, no video in this category can hold a candle to “APESHIT.” The Carter’s crafted a video with many subliminal messages and layers using high art in tandem with trap music at the Louvre. From the costume design and cinematography to the choreography and art direction, The Carters had one of the best videos, and albums, of the year; they deserve this win.

Best Rock Video

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The Nominees: “Champion” (Fall Out Boy), “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” (Foo Fighters). “Whatever It Takes” (Imagine Dragons), “One More Light” (Linkin Park), “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” (Panic! At the Disco), “Walk On Water” (Thirty Seconds To Mars)

Who Will Win

I’m going to go out on a limb call this a win for Linkin Park. “One More Light” is a touching tribute to the late Chester Bennington. Panic! has a good shot given that they will be performing at the ceremony, and Thirty Seconds to Mars debuted “Walk On Water” at last year’s telecast so they should be in the conversation as well.

Who Should Win

“Say Amen,” which I reviewed here, is action-packed and satisfying from start to finish, but “One More Light” is a tear-jerker while still being balanced and respectful. It’s a tossup between these two great videos.

Best Latin Video

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The Nominees: “Dura” (Daddy Yankee), “Mi Gente” (J Balvin & Willy William), “Dinero” (Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, & DJ Khaled), “Échame La Culpa” (Luis Fonsi & Demi Lovato), “Felices Los 4” (Maluma), “Chantaje” (Shakira & Maluma)

Who Will Win

This category is surprisingly stacked and nearly all of the videos, sorry, Daddy Yankee, have a solid shot at winning. “Mi Gente” was a worldwide smash and “Dinero” has the hottest new star, Cardi B, and this year’s Vanguard recipient, J. Lo. Nevertheless, “Culpa” was also a global hit and with Demi’s strong fanbase and Luis Fonsi still riding the “Despacito” fame, they are ones to watch. Regardless, Maluma is probably the biggest star out of anyone in this category sans J. Lo. With 37.4 million followers on Instagram alone, his fans are sure to turn out in great numbers, but the votes could be split among his two nominations. I’m going to go bold and say “Felices Los 4” will take this home, but the safe choice is “Dinero.”

Who Should Win

Hands down, “Chantaje” should win. From the gorgeous color palettes to the almost invasive camera angles and overall cinematography, this video is incredible. Maluma and Shakira also have the most effortless chemistry and everything about the video just works well.

Best Dance Video

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The Nominees: “Lonely Together” (Rita Ora & Avicii), “One Kiss” (Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa), “Everybody Hates Me” (The Chainsmokers), “Flames” (David Guetta & Sia), “Silence” (Khaild & Marshmello), “Get Low” (Zedd & Liam Payne)

Who Will Win:

I think Avicii and Rita’s, “Lonely Together” will take this one home, it would be a nice way to tribute Avicii after his passing. If not, then “One Kiss” has this locked.

Who Should Win:

“One Kiss” is a very creative and aesthetically-pleasing video, I would love to see it win.

Best Push Artist

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The Nominees: Chloe x Halle, Sigrid, Lil Xan, Jessie Reyez, Hayley Kiyoko, Tee Grizzley, Bishop Briggs, Grace VanderWaal, Why Don’t We, PRETTYMUCH, SZA, Kacy Hill, Khalid, Noah Cyrus, KYLE

Who Will Win

Yes, you read that correctly. There are a staggering FIFTEEN nominees in this category, which is basically a larger Best New Artist category with nominees who have been part of MTV’s Push program. Emerging boy groups, PRETTYMUCH and Why Don’t We, have small legions of fans that could swing things their way. SZA and Khalid are by far the most established of all the nominees and could win on name recognition alone. Lastly, Chloe x Halle have been steadily growing their fan base and with a Queen Bey co-sign, anything is possible. I’ll put my money on Chloe x Halle.

Who Should Win

Khalid and SZA are from new artists at this point, and they would have been my choices if not for that fact. That being said, I believe Chloe x Halle are the future of music. I reviewed their debut album here, and I think they definitely deserve this award.

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