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2004 MTV Video Music Awards: Winner Predictions
2004 MTV Video Music Awards: Winner Predictions

Oh, MTV, what has happened to you? This year's list of Video Music Award nominees reads more like a TRL line-up. But what do you expect from a channel that doesn't even play music videos anymore? In the past year, Fuse (formerly MuchMusic) has bitten a chunk out of MTV's core audience. And guess what they're peddling? Music. MTV2, MTV's supposed all-music-all-the-time offshoot, is snuggled comfortably right next to Fuse on my cable box, but quite honestly, I can't tell the difference anymore. It's blocks of bad hip-hop videos vs. blocks of bad hard rock videos. Hmmm…I think I'll watch Best Week Ever instead. What's more, MTV is now paying record labels for exclusive rights to videos by certain artists. Looks like another shot in the foot to an industry bent on rendering itself irrelevant. That's right, kids, you'll eat what you're served, and don't ask any questions. (Now, if only I could stop watching VH1's I Love the '90s I'd sit down and try to remember the last time I saw a video on that channel.) The VMA ceremony is being held in Miami for the first time this year so things should be sufficiently gross. Maybe Prince will make out with Usher and Andre 3000!

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

OutKast, "Hey Ya!" (Will Win)

Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris, "Yeah!"

Britney Spears, "Toxic"

D12, "My Band"

Jay-Z, "99 Problems" (Should Win)

Sal Cinquemani: I have no idea what D12 is doing here. Does Eminem own shares of MTV or something?

Ed Gonzalez: Black girls screaming for Outkast the way white chicks used to scream for the Beatles? The subversion ends there, and while Outkast are the frontrunners, MTV could go out on a limb and reward "99 Problems," Mark Romanek's iconographic representation of black culture, because it is the best video of the year.

SC: It's hard to believe, but Britney Spears has never won a VMA.

Alexa Camp: She does have a few STDs though.

BEST MALE VIDEO

Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris, "Yeah!" (Will Win)

Jay-Z, "99 Problems"

Justin Timberlake, "Senorita"

Kanye West featuring Syleena Johnson, "All Falls Down" (Should Win)

Prince, "Musicology"

AC: This one is Usher's to lose.

SC: And hopefully he will. Has MTV even played "Musicology"?

EG: I don't believe for a second that a prepubescent Prince ever used a vacuum cleaner for a microphone, and since this award should go to a clip that challenges and reinvents the way the male is represented in the music video medium, Kanye West should win (sorry Jay-Z!).

SC: I never really paid attention to Kanye's video until just now. It's very good.

AC: Is that Dionne from Clueless?

EG: In the end, a Gen Y-pandering MTV will no doubt give this one to Usher for shaking his bon-bon.

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

Britney Spears, "Toxic" (Will and Should Win)

Beyoncé, "Naughty Girl"

Alicia Keys, "If I Ain't Got You"

Jessica Simpson, "With You"

Christina Aguilera, "The Voice Within"

SC: Well, isn't this one giant collection of crap. Ms. Keys was nominated for the wrong video. "You Don't Know My Name" should have been a lock—and a win.

AC: Seriously. What a bunch of has-beens. The average age in this category is 57. Where's Hilary Duff?

EG: Though I prefer the Britney video where she kills herself and never makes music again, her "Toxic" is a nifty little video installation companion to Joseph Kahn's Torque. Xtina's "The Voice Within" ain't stripped down, it's just plain lazy, and no amount of fierceness can save Beyoncé's "Chicago in En Vogue Minor."

SC: Yeah, and what's with all that twitching?

Eric Henderson: She must have just heard that Jessica Simpson song. Same thing happens to me every time I hear it.

AC: Nice of you to join us Eric.

BEST GROUP VIDEO

No Doubt, "It's My Life"

D12, "My Band" (Will Win)

Hoobastank, "The Reason"

Maroon 5, "This Love" (Should Win)

Good Charlotte, "Hold On"

SC: "Hold On" is a glorified Public Service Announcement.

AC: Yeah, I hate Wilson Phillips.

EG: If they're solely rewarding a band's ability to visually interact with each other, No Doubt and Hoobastank should win here. Pity then that their videos are lame hipster wank jobs. As for Good Charlotte's "Hold On," it makes me want to kill myself, and that can't be a good thing. D12 will win because it's the only video here that's up for the top prize, but Maroon 5's "This Love" is the most fuckable clip of the year.

EH: Choke. More like the most rape-worthy.

AC: Does that mean you guys want to fuck the video? That's kinky. Even for Ed.

BEST RAP VIDEO

Jay-Z, "99 Problems" (Will and Should Win)

D12, "My Band"

50 Cent featuring Snoop Dogg & G-Unit, "P.I.M.P." Remix

Ludacris, "Stand Up"

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz featuring Ying Yang Twins, "Get Low"

SC: It's between Jay-Z and Ludacris, who's proving himself to be the male Missy when it comes to freaky videomaking.

AC: Speaking of which, where is "Pass That Dutch"?

EG: The real tragedy of this category is not that Missy is noticeably absent but that a video as beautiful as "99 Problems" has to compete with the likes of "P.I.M.P." and "Get Low." Morally and aesthetically, these acts represent everything that Jay-Z and Mark Romanek are trying to rectify. Lucky for pop culture, Jay-Z will win this battle.

BEST R&B VIDEO

Usher, "Burn"

Alicia Keys, "If I Ain't Got You" (Will Win)

Brandy featuring Kanye West, "Talk About Our Love"

Beyoncé, "Me, Myself and I" (Should Win)

R. Kelly, "Step in the Name of Love"

EG: Poor Usher, living all alone in his multi-million dollar pad with no girlfriend to sit on his Oriental decor. Equally ridiculous is Brandy's color-starved domestic melodrama, R. Kelly's wholesome boat trip, and Beyoncé's Midnight Love identity crisis. Because the "You" in Alicia Keys's video refers both to a guy and a piano, MTV will likely reward the singer with a moon man, ostensibly because they'll prefer her complex double entendre to Usher's insatiable fire metaphor.

SC: I actually like "Me, Myself and I." Four Beyoncés are always better than one.

AC: She should just clone herself and give Kelly and Michelle the boot on the next Destiny's Child record.

EH: R. Kelly's dance partner's great big maternal thighs are the most compelling single element in this line-up. We should all leave him alone, since it's obvious he prefers women cut from a more mature cloth.

BEST HIP-HOP VIDEO

Outkast, "Hey Ya!" (Will Win)

Black Eyed Peas, "Hey Mama"

Kanye West featuring Syleena Johnson, "All Falls Down" (Should Win)

Nelly featuring P. Diddy and Murphy Lee, "Shake Ya Tailfeather"

Chingy featuring Ludacris and Snoop Dogg, "Holidae In"

SC: Can someone please explain the difference between Best Rap Video and Best Hip-Hop Video? Actually, nevermind. I don't care.

EH: I think it used to be the line between what soccer moms will and won't tolerate on the SUV ride home, but I'm not sure anymore.

EG: Yeah, I can't tell the difference either. All I know is that Nelly needs to hop on the next train out of the Latin ghetto and take Justin Timberlake with him.

AC: "Shake Ya Tailfeather" is like a dance interpretation of our music video forum.

BEST DANCE VIDEO

Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris, "Yeah!" (Will Win)

Black Eyed Peas, "Hey Mama"

Beyoncé, "Naughty Girl"

Britney Spears, "Toxic"

Missy Elliott, "I'm Really Hot" (Should Win)

EG: Do they vote for the video with the best dancing or do they vote for the video that makes you want to dance the most? Missy. Missy. Missy. But since she doesn't play on KTU, or isn't mixed by DJ Scribble for his Jersey Shore contingency, I suppose this one is Usher's to lose.

AC: Are any of these actually "dance" videos? Maybe "Toxic." I guess that should win by default.

SC: "Toxic" embodies everything that was wrong with music videos from 1999 until 2003: too much greenscreen and too much Joseph Kahn.

AC: And not enough Taylor Dayne.

EH: The house renaissance is truly over. (Sob.)

BEST ROCK VIDEO

Jet, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" (Should Win)

The Darkness, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" (Will Win)

Hoobastank, "The Reason"

Evanescence, "My Immortal"

Linkin Park, "Breaking the Habit"

SC: Jet's video is simple and inventive. That's my pick.

EH: Why do I get the feeling Justin Hawkins of The Darkness got plastic surgery with the intention of making himself uglier? I think their mission is to put the "ick" back into dick rock.

AC: I just don't get The Darkness. Am I missing something?

EG: After seeing The Darkness video, I somehow can't get the image of Tiny Tim touching himself out of my head. Why would MTV want to reward a provocation like this?

BEST POP VIDEO

Britney Spears, "Toxic" (Will Win)

Jessica Simpson, "With You"

Hilary Duff, "Come Clean"

No Doubt, "It's My Life" (Should Win)

Avril Lavigne, "Don't Tell Me"

SC: This is Britney's to lose. And hopefully she'll lose it to No Doubt.

AC: Just like her virginity.

EH: Best Popped Cherry.

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