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MTV VMAs 2015: Everything You Need to Know

When they are, who's hosting, who's nominated, and more

The MTV Video Music Awards are this weekend, and if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve got a few questions about them. Questions like: When do they start? Who is performing? Who is nominated? Why do bad things happen to good people? While SPIN, sadly, can’t quite answer that last one, we’ve collected all the information you’ll need to watch and enjoy the VMAs in our helpful FAQ.

What time are the 2015 VMAs?
This Sunday, August 30, at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST.

Where can I watch them?
Only on MTV, assuming you have cable.

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Who is hosting?
Miley Cyrus.

Miley? Really? Wasn’t there some controversy about her and the VMAs?
Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal as far as these things go. The “Wrecking Ball” singer raised eyebrows in 2013 during her, shall we say, risqué performance of “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke. It’ll be interesting to see what she does with her grand return to the VMA stage, but we have some suggestions.

Oh, right, Robin Thicke! How has he being doing since that show?
Robin Thicke? Not well.

Who’s performing?
MTV’s announced the first batch of performers on Tuesday, including Beauty Behind the Madness crooner the Weeknd, Pharrell, “Cool For the Summer” singer Demi Lovato, ya boi Justin Bieber, Tori Kelly, Twenty One Pilots with A$AP Rocky, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Macklemore? Are people getting married?
Nah, we’re pretty sure that was a Grammy thing.

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Who is nominated?
You can see the full list of nominees here, but can you be a little more specific? Which category are you curious about?

Who is nominated for Video of the Year? You know, the big one.
The Video of the Year nominees are:
Beyoncé, “7/11”
Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”

Who has the most nominations?
Not counting the professional categories, Kendrick Lamar leads with five nominations, including Video of the Year, Best Male Video, and Best Hip-Hop Video for “Alright.” Taylor Swift garnered four nominations, including Video of the Year for “Bad Blood” and Best Female Video and Best Pop Video for “Blank Space,” somewhat confusingly. Her BFF Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé are tied for third with three each.

What about when you include the professional categories?
Counting things like Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography, it’s Taylor Swift, who has nine total. She’s pretty good at surrounding herself with talented people.

Forget Rihanna — the Best Video With a Social Message Wasn't Nominated for a VMA
Run the Jewels' "Close Your Eyes (And Count to F—k)" visual has more to say than any other nominee

Who got snubbed?
SPIN made some predictions about who was going to get snubbed that turned out to be true, and then Run the Jewels’ video for “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F–k)” didn’t get a nod for the Best Video With a Social Message Category, which is a bit of a travesty, imho. Also, “Anaconda” didn’t get a Video of the Year nomination, but more on that later.

Who is getting the Video Vanguard Award?
Kanye West.

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Does he deserve it?
Not really? Don’t get us wrong, SPIN loves Yeezy — we’ve given him our Album of the Year title more times than any other artist, and we named My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy the eighth best album of the past 30 years — but he’s not defined by his videos.

Are there any other things we should know about going into the show?
Well, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift got into a bit of a fight on Twitter after the nominations were announced and Minaj’s iconic “Anaconda” video didn’t get nominated for the Video of the Year award. “If I was a different ‘kind’ of artist, ‘Anaconda’ would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well,” she tweeted. “When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination.” Swift thought she was being shaded, but Minaj was actually speaking to a much larger issue of the problem with “White Feminism.” They worked it out, but it remains a noteworthy issue, and there’s a chance it’ll come up during the show.

Anything else?
Uh, Jeremy Scott redesigned the classic Moonman trophy for this year’s show. Oh! And there’s a juicy bit of gossip that another feud involving Taylor Swift might see a major development onstage (looking at you, Katy). But that’s just a rumor.

Is it weird that MTV doesn’t play music videos anymore?
Ugh, this is a tired topic. Next question.

What time is the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl will be held on February 7 on CBS and take place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The exact start time hasn’t been decided yet. Thanks for asking that great SEO-juicing question though.

You’re welcome.
Anyway, enjoy the VMAs. SPIN will be providing live coverage of the event on our website and on Twitter.