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VMA “What-Ifs?”

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    Andresg770
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    I know I made a thread like this one in the past, but I can’t find it through my profile, so maybe this was in the OLD forums?? Anyway, enough time has passed that I’d be curious to hear members’ predictions/guesses again…

    Every time the VMA nominees are announced, we see the creation (e.g., Best K-Pop, Song of the Year, Artist of the Year), return (e.g., Best Alternative, Best R&B, Best Dance), and elimination (e.g., Best Male, Best Female, Best Dance) of various categories. And that always makes me wonder: What if a category had never been eliminated, or if it had been created/brought back a year or two earlier? Who would’ve been the nominees???

    So, this is place for people let their imaginations fly and guess who would’ve been up for (or won) VMA categories in years where they weren’t awarded. Who would’ve been nominated for Best Alternative Video between 1999 and 2019? Who would’ve En Vogue beaten if the Best R&B Video award had been created in 1992 and not 1993? Does anyone still make Breakthrough Video-worthy visuals in 2020?

    It’s up to you whether you predict winners, full sets of nominees, or even additional nominations a specific video could’ve gotten. I’m just looking forward to seeing what fellow posters come up with!

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    Boz
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    Best Dance (this year):
    1. Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
    2. SAINt Jhn – Roses (Imanbeck Remix)
    3. Lady Gaga – Stupid Love
    4. Goodboys & Medusa feat. Becky Hill – Lose Control
    5. Flume feat. Toro y Moi – The Difference
    6. Regard – Ride It

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    Andresg770
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    I’ll do a throwback one, since asking the question as a joke in the OP left me thinking about it (lol):

    BEST R&B VIDEO (1992):
    * Boyz II Men, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”
    * En Vogue, “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” **WINNER**
    * Michael Jackson, “In the Closet” (or “Remember the Time”?)
    * Vanessa Williams, “Save the Best for Last” (would prefer “Running Back to You”)

    Possible spoilers:
    * Shanice, “I Love Your Smile”
    * Color Me Badd, “I Adore Mi Amor”
    * Jodeci, “Forever My Lady”
    * Rod Stewart (feat. The Temptations), “The Motown Song”
    * Prince & The New Power Generation, “Diamonds and Pearls”

    Kept the number of nominees down to four, since most 1992 categories only had 4 nominees. That said, Best Cinematography had like 12 nominees, so I guess any or all of these spoilers could make it in, too.

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    Andresg770
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    1989

    BEST POP VIDEO
    Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy”
    Debbie Gibson, “Electric Youth”
    Madonna, “Express Yourself”
    Michael Jackson, “Smooth Criminal”
    **New Kids on the Block, “You Got It (The Right Stuff)”
    **Paula Abdul, “Straight Up”

    BEST R&B VIDEO
    Bobby Brown, “Every Little Step”
    **Jody Watley, “Real Love”
    **Karyn White, “Superwoman”
    New Edition, “Can You Stand the Rain”
    Soul II Soul, “Keep On Movin’”
    Vanessa Williams, “Dreamin”

    Much like other categories at the 1989 VMAs, that Pop category looks like a two-way race between Madonna and Paula (it should’ve been a three-way race with MJ, but we all know MTV was all about snubbing him back then lol).

    I could see NKOTB and Debbie getting in there, too, but I wonder what else MTV would’ve considered “pop” at the time that could take them out. The Art of Noise’s “Kiss” and Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance” might’ve had a shot. I could even see Steve Winwood’s “Roll with It” under pop, even though it’s more bluesy than pop.

    And honestly, Madonna would’ve deserved a second pop nod for “Like a Prayer.” Great picks overall, though! Keep them coming, everyone!

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    1990

    BEST POP VIDEO
    Madonna, “Vogue”
    Paula Abdul, “Opposites Attract”
    Janet Jackson, “Rhythm Nation”
    New Kids On the Block, “Step by Step”
    **Sinéad O’ Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U”
    **The B-52’s, “Love Shack”

    BEST R&B VIDEO
    After 7, “Ready Or Not”
    Bell Biv DeVoe, “Poison”
    En Vogue, “Hold On”
    **Janet Jackson, “Escapade”
    **Lisa Stansfield, “All Around the World”
    Quincy Jones f/ Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge & Barry White, “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)”

    100% agree on Madonna and Paula for Best Pop Video (they really were the IT pop girls back then huh?). Janet’s a possibility, but I wouldn’t be shocked if MTV considered her more of an R&B/dance act. Love the inspired choice of the B-52s!

    I’m not too sure on NKOTB or Sinéad, though. The teen pop acts didn’t really do well at the VMAs back then, despite their huge popularity (it’s telling that their only nods in 1989 were technical awards). As for Sinéad, she was too much of a product of shows like Postmodern MTV and 120 Minutes for them to ever label her as pop (even if NC2U is an alternative pop song).

    Instead, I could see some of these videos take up those spots:

    * Phil Collins, “Another Day in Paradise” (he was snubbed big time that year, but this could’ve been his one nod — “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” is still the better song imo)
    * Billy Joel, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (is this pop?)
    * Don Henley, “The End of the Innocence” (this is as soft as soft rock can get, but would a former Eagle wanna be labeled as “pop”?)
    * Michael Penn, “No Myth” (MTV wouldn’t have shut up about him going against his former sister-in-law)

    R&B looks great, but no BBD’s “Poison”? Also, can we pretend En Vogue would win instead? “Hold On” is my fave by them. The intro alone >>>>>>> discographies!

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    Ugh, George Michael was so robbed back in 1991. They surely wouldn’t have denied him Best Pop Video, though — not for a glossy video full of supermodels.

    Also, I know the VMAs loved to snub her, but I wonder if Mariah’s “Vision of Love” was eligible in 1990 or 1991. I know the single was released mid-May 1990, but if the video came out a couple of weeks later (at least June 2), it would’ve been eligible this year. How old the video was would explain her getting snubbed over, I don’t know, Amy Grant, but she might’ve had a shot in a pop category, no?

    Speaking of Amy Grant, though, I could see “Baby Baby” getting a Pop nomination. I also wouldn’t have put it past MTV to nominate Madonna for the Truth or Dare version of “Like a Virgin” (since it made it into Female and Choreo).

    As for R&B, I wonder if MTV would’ve (mis)categorized Seal’s “Crazy” and Neneh Cherry’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” here… I wouldn’t have minded seeing either of those videoss get extra nods.

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    Decided to do a few for one of my favorite categories in VMA history, Breakthrough Video. Let me know what y’all think!

    BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO (2006)
    * The All-American Rejects, “Move Along”
    * Beck, “Hell Yes”
    * Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy”
    * Pearl Jam, “Life Wasted”
    * U2, “Original of the Species”
    * Kanye West (featuring Adam Levine), “Heard ‘Em Say” (version 1)

    (Honestly, Kanye could’ve also been up for the Bill Plympton version of “Heard ‘Em Say” or “Touch the Sky,” but I have a soft spot for the Michel Gondry version of “Heard ‘Em Say.”)

    BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO (2007)
    * Feist, “1234”
    * Gnarls Barkley, “Smiley Faces”
    * Justice, “D.A.N.C.E.”
    * OK Go, “Here It Goes Again”
    * Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Tell Me Baby”
    * U2, “Window in the Skies” (version 1)

    (The fact that U2 had such worthy videos in 2006-2007, yet their only appearance in this category is a head-scratcher nod for “Vertigo” in 2005…)

    BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO (2008)
    * Adele, “Chasing Pavements” (long shot, I know)
    * The Chemical Brothers, “Do It Again”
    * Feist, “I Feel It All”
    * Gnarls Barkley, “Going On”
    * Linkin Park, “Bleed It Out”
    * Weezer, “Pork and Beans”

    (I also considered Erykah Badu’s “Honey” and The Ting Tings’ “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” since they both won VMAs that year. But as much as I love both songs, the videos are totally derivative lol.)

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    Another Breakthrough Video what-if, this time for 2011:

    BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO (2011):
    * Dan Black, “Alone”
    * Death Cab for Cutie, “You Are a Tourist”
    * Manchester Orchestra, “Simple Math”
    * M.I.A., “XXXO”
    * OK Go, “White Knuckles”
    * Kanye West (featuring Dwele), “Power”

    The nomination for “XXXO” would’ve been MTV making up for snubbing “Born Free” in 2010, since people often made fun of this video at the time. But let’s not act like MIA didn’t legit predict internet aesthetics there lol.

    Also considered including Kings of Leon’s “Pyro” and the Beastie Boys’ “Make Some Noise,” which are more interesting from a conceptual standpoint than a technical one.

    Oh, and Mark Ronson and Boy George’s “Somebody to Love Me” should 1000% be on this list, too, but MTV U.S. back then barely paid any attention to this splendid video so…

    Gosh, I miss having a VMA category that actually exposed you to thought-provoking visuals!

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