From left, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Harry Styles in happier times. (Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images)

Fittingly, the Teen Choice Awards generally involve a fair share of angst.

Last year, the annual show sent teens into a social media frenzy when it was revealed some winners were informed they won the surfboard trophy six days before voting officially ended (!), meaning the game was rigged. The year before, there was a minor uproar when the show’s small-print disclaimer made the rounds, which states that the winners are basically decided by a “committee” of producers, not teens.

[Teen Choice Awards: Claims of ‘rigged’ awards cause teen meltdown on Twitter]

But this year? Oh, you do not even want to know what the Teen Choice Awards did this year.

Actually, it’s so diabolical that it’s truly entertaining, so we’ll tell you. The first batch of nominees for the show (airing Aug. 16) was released on Tuesday. Check out the names for the coveted category of “Choice Male Hottie”:

(screengrab)
(screengrab)

That’s right: The Teen Choice Awards decided to pit One Direction against its ex-member, Zayn Malik. That is so cruel.

[7 questions you were too embarrassed to ask about Zayn Malik leaving One Direction]

Seriously: Some teens were so devastated that Zayn Malik departed the worldwide phenom boy band in March that they held candlelit vigils. There were also plenty of tears. Needless to say, teen Twitter is not too happy with the decision to have the two do battle, given that Zayn’s early exit is still a very sore subject.

Some, however, were savvy enough to recognize why the awards made this decision:

Pretty much — it’s a stroke of genius by the show and Fox to cause controversy before the show even starts. Here’s hoping that the actual members of One Direction (who have very publicly had some issues with Zayn’s departure, no matter how much press statements tried to smooth things over) jump into the fray as well.

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