Fitting: Rihanna, Chris Brown, Drake Top MTV Video Music Award Nominations

Fitting: Rihanna, Chris Brown, Drake Top MTV Video Music Award Nominations Considering the three names headlining MTV's 2012 Video Music Award nominations, I have a gangbuster throwback gimmick entertaining enough to distract for a millisecond from the never-answered annual question of why MTV even bothers with this show anymore.

Sure, Chris Brown and Drake have probably had better years offstage. Sure, many a headline throughout 2012 so far has been set ablaze by some combination of the two R&B/hip-hop stars and Rihanna - if not all three at once. Still, the three now find themselves with a gaggle of VMA nods between them, with Rihanna's five total nominations leading the pack.

Topping the list, her "We Found Love" clip is up for Video of the Year alongside her collaboration with former flame Drake, "Take Care." She also finds "We Found Love" up for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video. Between "Take Care" and her "Princess of China" Coldplay collaboration, the odds favor something with her name on it taking home Best Cinematography, too. "Take Care" is also up for Best Art Direction.

In the Best Choreography field, Rihanna's "Where Have You Been" actually matches up against Brown's "Turn Up The Music." Her clip is also up for Best Visual Effects.

Brown himself is also up for Best Male Video for "Turn Up The Music," his only other nomination, against "Take Care." Drake is also up for Best Hip-Hop Video for "HYFR" alongside Lil' Wayne.

Here's what I'm thinking. Indulge my unabashed male geek within a moment, if you will.

As a lifelong wrestling fan, I remember Wrestlemania V like it was yesterday. Vince McMahon spent the year leading up to the World Wrestling Federation's 1989 signature event building up tension for a main event between Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage - and it was nearly entirely over jealousy tied to Savage's manager, Miss Elizabeth. The jealousy had broken up the pairs tag team, brought them to blows. So, it was determined, Elizabeth had to remain in a neutral corner.

Idea!

Let's be brutal and acknowledge that nobody with a firing synapse actually believes MTV really cares any more about music or music videos than about finally explaining why the hell the "M" even remains in the network's moniker. It damn sure won't be the brand's ongoing musical relevance that glues eyeballs to TV sets. So let's also acknowledge that there was quite the dust-up earlier this year between Brown and Drake at a club over some Rihanna-related smack-talking that further cemented Rihanna or Brown probably never again being mentioned in conversation without the other's name being added.

Hell, that got so ugly as to nearly take San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker out of joining France's Summer Olympics basketball squad when his left eye was damaged badly enough in the scuffle to require surgery.

So let's build the whole show around a War to Settle the Score (get the reference, get a cookie): Drake versus Brown in a no-holds-barred (Vintage WWF Reference Count: 3), falls-count-anywhere match, with Rihanna in a neutral corner. Even if this show blows harder and nastier than a Phoenix-summer haboob, it will all end well if we actually get to see Brown take a piledriver through a table, Ric Flair-style.

For a full list of nominees, see below. The VMAs air Sept. 6 on MTV.

Video of the Year

  • Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
  • Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
  • Rihanna, "We Found Love"
  • Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
  • M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

Best New Artist

  • Fun featuring Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
  • Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
  • Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
  • One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
  • The Wanted, "Glad You Came"

Best Hip-Hop Video

  • Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
  • Drake featuring Lil Wayne, "HYFR"
  • Kanye West featuring Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
  • Watch the Throne, "Paris"
  • Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, "Beez in the Trap"

Best Male Video

  • Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
  • Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
  • Drake featuring Rihanna, "Take Care"
  • Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
  • Usher, "Climax"

Best Female Video

  • Rihanna, "We Found Love'
  • Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
  • Beyoncé, "Love on Top"
  • Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
  • Selena Gomez & The Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

Best Pop Video

  • One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
  • Fun featuring Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
  • Rihanna, "We Found Love"
  • Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
  • Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, "Payphone"

Best Rock Video

  • Coldplay, "Paradise"
  • The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
  • Linkin Park, "Burn It Down"
  • Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"
  • Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"

Best Electronic Dance Music Video

  • Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
  • Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
  • Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
  • Marin Solveig, "The Night Out"
  • Avicii, "Le7els"

Best Video With a Message

  • Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
  • Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
  • Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
  • Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
  • K'Naan featuring Nelly Furtado, "Is Anybody Out There?"
  • Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Best Art Direction

  • Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
  • Drake featuring Rihanna, "Take Care"
  • Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
  • Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"
  • Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks"

Best Choreography

  • Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
  • Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
  • Beyoncé, "Countdown"
  • Avicii, "Le7els"
  • Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull, "Dance Again"

Best Cinematography

  • M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
  • Adele, "Someone Like You"
  • Drake featuring Rihanna, "Take Care"
  • Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
  • Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"

Best Direction

  • M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
  • Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
  • Coldplay featuring Rihanna, "Princess of China"
  • Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
  • Watch the Throne, "Otis"

Best Editing

  • Beyoncé, "Countdown"
  • A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
  • Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
  • Watch the Throne, "Paris"
  • Kanye West featuring Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Best Visual Effects

  • Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
  • Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
  • David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On"
  • Linkin Park, "Burn It Down"
 
 
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