A pre-Donutgate Ariana Grande serenades the crowd at the 2014 VMAs. (Image by: Getty Images)

Since the Earth has not yet succumbed to an apocalyptic meteor strike, or nuclear winter, or the calamitous effects of global warming, the calendar year has once more circled back around to MTV’s annual invitation to catastrophe, the Video Music Awards. Like a high-level executive at Merrill Lynch who periodically takes a break from engineering massive wealth inequality to attend Burning Man, MTV’s three-hour dip into the YouTube-infested waters of music videos is its yearly sojourn into the past. Staring into the void of its music-less present, the channel arranges for a fresh transfusion of young blood—Miley Cyrus, in this case— into its aging husk.

Nonetheless, the list of music videos that have never appeared on MTV prior to the VMAs, and never will again after that night, have been announced. You can head on over to MTV and vote for your favorites, although there doesn’t seem to be any video with the ubiquity of a “Shake It Off” or “Roar” here. (The closest is Taylor’s “Bad Blood” video, up for best collaboration—though we all know that’s much better without the music attached to it.) The category of “Best Video With A Social Message” sounds like it will be very meaningful, especially with the inclusion of Rihanna’s “American Oxygen,” a powerful song about promoting NCAA Division One basketball. The entire list of nominees is below. The 2015 VMAs will air live on Sunday, August 30 at 9 pm ET.


Best Collaboration
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”
Ariana Grande feat. the Weeknd, “Love Me Harder”
Jessie J feat. Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, “Bang Bang”
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, “See You Again”

Best Video With a Social Message
Jennifer Hudson, “I Still Love You”
Colbie Calliat, “Try”
Big Sean, “One Man Can Change the World”
Rihanna, “American Oxygen”
Wale, “The White Shoes”

Best Hip-Hop Video
Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen”
Nicki Minaj, “Anaconda”
Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, “See You Again”
Big Sean, “I Don’t F—k With You”


Best Rock Video
Hozier, “Take Me To Church”
Fall Out Boy, “Centuries”
Florence + the Machine, “Ship to Wreck”
Walk the Moon, “Shut Up and Dance”
Arctic Monkeys, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High”

Best Female Video
Beyoncé, “7/11″
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”
Sia, “Elastic Heart”
Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do”
Nicki Minaj, “Anaconda”

Best Male Video
Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud”
Big Sean, “I Don’t F–k With You”
Nick Jonas, “Chains”
The Weeknd, “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)”
Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”


Artist To Watch
Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen”
Vance Joy, “Riptide”
George Ezra, “Budapest”
James Bay, “Hold Back The River”
FKA Twigs, “Pendulum”

Video Of The Year
Beyoncé, “7/11”
Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift ft Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”

Professional Categories:

Best Art Direction
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Charles Infante)
Snoop Dogg – “So Many Pros” (Jason Fijal)
Jack White – “Would You Fight For My Love” (Jeff Peterson)
The Chemical Brothers – “Go” (Michel Gondry)
Skrillex & Diplo – “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)


Best Choreography
Beyoncé – “7/11″ (Beyoncé, Chris Grant, Additional choreography: Gabriel Valenciano)
OK Go – “I Won’t Let You Down” (OK Go, air:man and Mori Harano)
Chet Faker – “Gold” (Ryan Heffington)
Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Nappy Tabs)
Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me” (Keone and Mari Madrid)

Best Cinematography
Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me” (Larkin Sieple)
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud” (Daniel Pearl)
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Christopher Probst)
FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Justin Brown)
Alt-J – “Left Hand Free” (Mike Simpson)

Best Direction
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Joseph Kahn)
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk” (Cameron Duddy)
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright” (Colin Tilley & The Little Homies)
Hozier – “Take Me To Church” (Brendan Canty, Conal Thomson)
Childish Gambino – “Sober” (Hiro Murai)


Best Editing
Beyoncé – “7/11″ (Beyoncé, Ed Burke, Jonathan Wing)
Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Jacquelyn London)
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Chancler Haynes at Cosmo Street)
A$AP Rocky – “L$D” (Dexter Navy)
Skrillex & Diplo “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

Best Visual Effects
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Ingenuity Studios)
FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Gloria FX, Tomash Kuzmytskyi, and Max Chyzhevskyy)
Childish Gambino – “Telegraph Ave.” (Gloria FX)
Skrillex & Diplo “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)
Tyler, The Creator – “F****** Young/Death Camp” (Gloria FX)