Happy 25th Birthday, VMAs

Will you watch? Sunday night is football night in America, says Al. But also it marks the Silver Anniversary of MTV’s Video Music Awards, and despite last year’s masterful display of waning cultural relevance, there may be reasons still to tune in that don’t relate strictly to masochism and/or self-hatred. Like, there’s Kanye’s show-closing performance of the new single “Love Lockdown.” (You are entitled to think he’s forgiven MTV for hating black people, although I suggest you think he understands the promotional opportunity this affords his new single, which just happens to be going on sale the next day.)

There will also be a Britney Spears opening segment! I was wrong yesterday, though: She will not be performing, just doing something “fun and unexpected.” This diminishes the show’s imminent train wreckability. I’m not sure if that makes it more or less watchable. Other stuff that’ll make it more (or, less) watchable includes Kid Rock and Lil Wayne together at last, Katy Perry covering “Like A Virgin,” and performances from Rihanna, T.I. (Feat. Rihanna), T-Pain, Lupe, Paramore, the Ting Tings, the Jonas Bros. You can be sure Russell Brand will be sexually inappropriate and pretty British as host, if that’s your spot of tea. And if the awards themselves are more your thing, sorry: the bands you like already won what they’re going to win. But in case you will/are forced to watch anyway, here’s a scorecard so you can play along at home, followed by a drinking game suggestion to make the time go by, and a very special message from Lou Reed:

Video Of The Year

  • Chris Brown – “Forever”
  • Jonas Brothers – “Burnin’ Up”
  • Pussycat Dolls – “When I Grow Up”
  • Britney Spears – “Piece of Me”
  • The Ting Tings – “Shut Up and Let Me Go”

Best Male Video

  • Chris Brown – “With You”
  • Flo Rida (Feat. T-Pain) – “Low”
  • Lil Wayne (Feat. Static Major) – “Lollipop”
  • T.I. – “No Matter What”
  • Usher (Feat. Young Jeezy) – “Love in This Club”

Best Female Video

  • Mariah Carey – “Touch My Body”
  • Katy Perry – “I Kissed a Girl”
  • Rihanna – “Take a Bow”
  • Jordin Sparks (Feat. Chris Brown) – “No Air”
  • Britney Spears – “Piece of Me”

Best New Artist

  • Miley Cyrus – “7 Things”
  • Katy Perry – “I Kissed a Girl”
  • Jordin Sparks (Feat. Chris Brown) – “No Air”
  • Taylor Swift – “Teardrops on My Guitar”
  • Tokio Hotel – “Ready, Set, Go!”

Best Pop Video

  • Danity Kane – “Damaged”
  • Jonas Brothers – “Burnin’ Up”
  • Panic at the Disco – “Nine in the Afternoon”
  • Britney Spears – “Piece of Me”
  • Tokio Hotel – “Ready, Set, Go!”

Best Rock Video

  • Fall Out Boy (Feat. John Mayer) – “Beat It”
  • Foo Fighters – “The Pretender”
  • Linkin Park – “Shadow of the Day”
  • Paramore – “Crushcrushcrush”
  • Slipknot – “Psychosocial”

Best Hip-Hop Video

  • Mary J. Blige – “Just Fine”
  • Lupe Fiasco (Feat. Matthew Santos) – “Superstar”
  • Flo Rida (Feat. T-Pain) – “Low”
  • Lil Wayne (Feat. Static Major) – “Lollipop”
  • Kanye West (Feat. Chris Martin) – “Homecoming”

Best Dancing In A Video

  • Chris Brown – “Forever”
  • Danity Kane – “Damaged”
  • Madonna (Feat. Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) – “4 Minutes”
  • Ne-Yo – “Closer”
  • Pussycat Dolls – “When I Grow Up”

Best Direction In A Video

  • Erykah Badu – “Honey” (Directors: Erykah Badu and Mr. Roboto)
  • Linkin Park – “Shadow of the Day” (Director: Joe Hahn)
  • Panic at the Disco – “Nine in the Afternoon” (Director: Shane Drake)
  • Pussycat Dolls – “When I Grow Up” (Director: Joseph Kahn)
  • Rihanna – “Take a Bow” (Director: Anthony Mandler)

Best Choreography In A Video

  • Adele – “Chasing Pavements” (Choreographer: Marguerite Derricks)
  • Chris Brown – “Forever” (Choreographers: Tone & Rich)
  • Chris Brown (Feat. T-Pain) – “Kiss Kiss” (Choreographer: Flii Stylz)
  • Gnarls Barkley – “Run” (Choreographer: Michael Rooney)
  • Pussycat Dolls – “When I Grow Up” (Choreographers: Robin Antin and Mikey Minden)
Best UK Video

  • Coldplay – “Violet Hill”
  • Duffy – “Warwick Avenue”
  • Estelle (featuring Kanye West) – “American Boy”
  • Leona Lewis – “Bleeding Love”
  • The Ting Tings – “Shut Up and Let Me Go”

As promised, here’s Lou introducing a lot of bands that will not be at this year’s very special VMAs telecast.

Oh, drinking game suggestion: Every time anything happens, take a drink.