MTV Video Music Awards User’s Guide

By Christopher John FarleyGetty ImagesKanye West is scheduled to attend the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

The MTV Video Music Awards are back and the only thing for certain is that there will be some bit of controversy designed to outrage, delight or mystify you depending on your demographics.

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from Los Angeles starting at 9 p.m. ET. Comedian Chelsea Handler will be the host, and musical performances are scheduled by Eminem, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Drake, B.o.B., Kanye West, Justin Bieber and others.

Last year the big furor was over Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech. the big mystery was this: Swift is really talented, why mess with her moment? if you’re going to interrupt someone, why not barge in on Russell Brand and his horrible monologue? the public might have given West a special award for that.

This year the big question is whether West and Taylor will stage some sort of public act of apology/forgiveness or perhaps even perform together, since the rapper has tweeted that he’s written a song for the young country star. if the pair do anything at all together–talk, sing, rap, even tweet about each other on-air–it’s sure to get the blogosphere buzzing.

Speakeasy will be live-blogging the awards starting at 8:45 p.m. ET.

Here’s a look at some of the major categories from tonight’s VMAs and some thoughts, predictions and opinions:

Video of the Year:

Lady Gaga, ‘Bad Romance’

Florence + the Machine, ‘Dog Days Are Over’

30 Seconds To Mars, ‘Kings and Queens’

Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé, ‘Telephone’

Eminem, ‘Not Afraid’

B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams, ‘Airplanes’

Lady Gaga will likely win this one, but it’s cool that the little-known but plenty-talented Florence + the Machine got a nod. Eminem’s song is pretty good too, though the video doesn’t live up to the track.

Best Female Video

Lady Gaga, ‘Bad Romance’

Ke$ha, ‘Tik Tok’

Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg, ‘California Gurls’

Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga, ‘Video Phone (Extended Remix)’

Taylor Swift, ‘Fifteen’

Swift’s song is the best-written of this bunch, but because the album it’s on came out when Taylor Swift was about 15 year old (or so it seems), Lady Gaga (along with Beyonce), might continue her sweep here.

Best Male Video

Eminem, ‘Not Afraid’

Usher featuring, ‘OMG’

B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams, ‘Airplanes’

Drake, ‘Find your Love’

Jason Derulo, ‘In My Head’

Eminem’s song has its fans, but it was a good year for Drake and very good year for the song “Airplanes.”

Best Collaboration

B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams, ‘Airplanes’

Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga, ‘Video Phone (Extended Remix)’

3OH!3 featuring Ke$ha, ‘My First Kiss’

Jay-Z & Alicia Keys, ‘Empire State of Mind’

The VMAs may be in Los Angeles, but they have to give something to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’s “Empire State of Mind,” which seemed to be everywhere over the last year or so. But “Airplanes” may be a strong contender.

Best new Artist

Ke$ha, ‘Tik Tok’

Jason Derulo, ‘In My Head’

Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris, ‘Baby’

Nicki Minaj featuring Sean Garrett, ‘Massive Attack’

Broken Bells, ‘the Ghost Inside’

Justin Bieber is a superstar, Ke$ha is a shooting star, and Nicki Minaj is a rising star. But Bieber has to get something, and may take this honor.

Breakthrough Video

Dan Black, ‘Symphonies’

Gorillaz featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def, ‘Stylo’

Coldplay, ‘Strawberry Swing’

The Black Keys, ‘Tighten Up’

The Black Keys rock. Let’s hope they come home with something. Cleveland already lost LeBron James.

MTV Video Music Awards User’s Guide

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