Taylor Swift entered the MTV Video Music Awards with nine nominations, and she walked away with all three categories presented during the telecast: Video of the Year for “Bad Blood” and Best Female Video and Best Pop Video for “Blank Space.” While “Bad Blood” also won Best Collaboration (with Kendrick Lamar), it lost all five of its creative arts bids brining her total haul to four Moonman trophies. Not quite the sweep we were predicting here at Gold Derby, but a good night nevertheless for the pop princess.
Lamar also won four awards. In addition to his two victories for “Bad Blood,” his video for “Alright” claimed Best Direction, while his collaboration with Flying Lotus, “Never Catch Me,” was awarded Best Cinematography.
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars claimed Best Male Video for their ubiquitous hit “Uptown Funk.” It was the second win in the category for Mars, who took that award just two years ago for “Locked Out of Heaven.”
Best Hip-Hop Video went to Nicki Minaj for “Anaconda.” It was her second win in the category, following her 2011 victory for “Super Bass.” But despite the success of the video, which has been viewed more than half a billion times on YouTube, she wasn’t nominated for Video of the Year, leading her to criticize MTV for maginalizing curvy women.
Fall Out Boy won Best Rock Video for “Uma Thurman.” It was their first victory in that race after four nominations; our predictors had forecast a victory for Hozier in that contest for his breakthrough “Take Me to Church.”
Another surprise came in the race for Best Video with a Social Message. We anticipated a win for VMA darling Rihanna‘s “American Oxygen,” but the award went instead to the trio of Big Sean, first-time champ John Legend and this year’s Video Vanguard recipient Kanye West for their collaboration “One Man Can Change the World.”
Fans on Twitter voted for Song of the Summer, which was presented during the VMAs pre-show, and that honor went, quite appropriately, to 5 Seconds of Summer for “She’s Kinda Hot.”
Professional winners announced off-screen included Beyonce for Best Editing (“7/11“), OK Go surprising for Best Choreography (“I Won’t Let You Down“) and even bigger shockers for Best Art Direction (Snoop Dogg‘s “So Many Pros“), and Best Visual Effects (Skrillex and Diplo’s “Where Are U Now” featuring Justin Bieber).
Photo: Taylor Swift at the 2015 Video Music Awards. Credit: Chelsea Lauren/REX