Taylor Swift swept the MTV Video Music Award nominations with nine bids, including seven for her stylish sci-fi video "Bad Blood." It's up for Video of the Year, Best Collaboration (for Swift and featured artist Kendrick Lamar) and five professional awards: Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Visual Effects. Is she a lock to win the top prize? And if not, who could beat her?
Based on our combined predictions, she's the overwhelming favorite with 8/15 odds based on support from all six of our Editors, 21 of our Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best predicting last year's VMA winners) and 72% of all Users. This is Swift's second nomination in the top category; she previously earned a bid in 2013 for "I Knew You Were Trouble," losing to Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors."
Ranked second with 11/2 odds is one of the year's biggest hits: "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. This is the third nom for Mars following "Grenade" (2011) and "Locked Out of Heaven" (2013), but he has yet to win. Two of our Top 24 Users and 14% of all Users predict they'll upset Swift. But even if they don't in this category, "Uptown Funk" has four other chances to win, and is our frontrunner to take Male Video and Pop Video.
Next up is singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" with 12/1 odds. This is his first ever nomination in this category, though he won Best Male Video last year for "Sing." He may have to be content with that, though, because only 6% of our Users think he'll be victorious here.
Beyonce also gets 12/1 odds for her video "7 11." This is her fifth nomination in the category, which she won in 2009 for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)." But only two artists have ever won the top prize twice: Eminem and Rihanna. Is that bad news for Bey? She's supported by 6% of Users and one of our Top 24 Users.
It's ironic that Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" ranks last in our predictions since he's actually the most nominated artist at the VMAs this year with 13. In addition to his seven noms with Swift for "Bad Blood," his "Alright" also competes for Best Male Video, Best Hip Hop Video and Best Direction. His last two bids are in professional categories for "Never Catch Me" with Flying Lotus. But it looks like his best bet for the win is with Swift; "Alright" gets 25/1 odds with only 2% of Users forecasting his victory.
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Last year, our Editors, Users and Top 24 Users all tied with an accuracy rate of 37.50%, so we're all hoping for redemption this time around. (Click on any of those groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year?
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Photo: Taylor Swift on "Good Morning America," 2014. Credit: MediaPunch/REX