It’s a tricky business predicting which pop mega-stars have produced the best videos of the year. How are they judged? Cinematography? Amount of quality twerking?

No one but MTV knows for sure who will take home a newly re-designed moonman trophy at Sunday’s Video Music Awards — but we have some guesses. 

Here are critic Allison Stewart’s predictions:

Video of the Year: Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines”

Every nominee has a reasonable shot at this, but “Blurred Lines” is a rare combination of white-hot song (that’s only now peaking) and buzzed-about video.

Hip-hop video:

Macklemore/Lewis: “Can’t Hold Us”

It’s an excellent clip, and if they get shut out in most of the other major categories (big if), this will be a nice consolation prize.

Male Video: Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”

This is one of the tougher categories to predict, and the one most vulnerable to a sweep: Thicke or Timberlake could just as easily take it, but MTV LOVES Bruno Mars. They’ll want to give him something, and this is his best chance.

Female Video: Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”

Not a great video, but neither was “You Belong With Me.” Swift hasn’t been on an awards run lately, but great TV moments (like Kanye ’09) happen when she wins. Voters are only human-never underestimate their desire for spectacle.

Pop Video: Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”

Miley has been featured prominently in the channel’s VMA ads this year. That person usually does well in their categories, though she’s vulnerable to a Timberlake sweep.


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