The MTV Video Music Awards are just a few short days away, and though there is all sorts of buzz surrounding the performances, the parties and the New York-centric stunts that will be happening all this week into Sunday's broadcast, it's important to remember that the reason the biggest stars in music will gather in Radio City Music Hall is to see who wins the coveted Moonman in each of the 15 categories. Today, we conclude our look at each of the top categories with a look at the Best New Artist award. The nominees are 3OH!3's "Don't Trust Me," Asher Roth's "I Love College," Drake's "Best I Ever Had," Kid Cudi's "Day n' Night" and Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." In this category, the winner is entirely determined by fan voting, and you can continue to vote for your favorite until the moment the presenter walks onstage to read the names.
Each of the Best New Artist nominees has something working in their favor. Lady Gaga is the biggest commercial success by far, and her unusual fashion sense and penchant for theatrics has made her an instantly-recognizable icon. But that doesn't mean she's necessarily running away with it. After all, last year's Best New Artist, Tokio Hotel, beat out a handful of sales juggernauts like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. Asher Roth's "I Love College" was huge among actual college students, who are more likely to rally around their computers and cast votes. (Roth seems pretty nonchalant about the awards, though.) Drake and Kid Cudi both have incredible buzz surrounding them and have been immediately embraced by the hip-hop community. (Need proof? They're both on The Blueprint 3.) And 3OH!3 have gone out of their way to campaign for votes, with a push so intense that they managed to make 3OH!3 a trending topic on Twitter.
Who will walk away with Best New Artist? It seems like 3OH!3 want it the most, though it may be impossible to defeat Lady Gaga (who could easily take a series of Moonmen in a landslide tonight). It could be a big coup for whoever the winner is, as many Best New Artists (Alicia Keys, 50 Cent, Maroon 5, the Killers, Eminem and Nirvana among them) have gone on to become superstars and VMA regulars.