Sunday’s 2011 Grammy Awards telecast is sure to be noteworthy — everyone from Lady Gaga to Gwyneth Paltrow seems to be on the bill to perform — but as stoked as we are to see whether Cee Lo sticks to the censored version of his song or lets the FCC go ballistic, we’re most excited to see who wins what.
This week we’ll be pitching our best guesses for which act will nab each category in the Big Four—Best New Artist, and Album, Song and Record of the Year. But today, we present to you Idolator’s picks for all the major pop categories. Jump below to see if you agree with us, and let us know if you can figure out why B.o.B’s collab with rap superstar Eminem, “Airplanes II”, is up for Best Pop Collaboration, while his similarly-styled hit “Nothin’ On You” with pop maestro Bruno Mars is nominated in the rap categories.
BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“King of Anything” – Sara Bareilles
“Halo (Live)” – Beyoncé
“Chasing Pirates” – Norah Jones
“Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga
“Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry
WILL WIN: It’s a toss-up between Katy Perry and Lady Gaga — both have LPs in the running for Album Of The Year — but Gaga’s got the edge.
SHOULD WIN: We’re astonished neither Katy or Gaga’s songs were nominated for Song or Record of the Year. But between these two teacks, “Bad Romance” is just plain epic. (Not to mention, fans have been ra-ra-ooh-la-la-ing since November 2009, and the song has yet to show its age.)
BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Haven’t Met You Yet” – Michael Bublé
“This Is It” – Michael Jackson
“Whataya Want From Me” – Adam Lambert
“Just The Way You Are” – Bruno Mars
“Half Of My Heart” – John Mayer
WILL WIN: It depends. Do the Grammys want to throw one last award to Michael Jackson? Or do they want to bestow as many awards as possible to Bruno Mars? It’s a showdown between the King of Pop and pop’s newest duke for this one.
SHOULD WIN: Adam Lambert can out sing every (living) person in this category, and his Pink-written tune showed he’s got more to offer than glittery codpieces and loud money notes. The American Idol alum has got some serious emotional depth.
BEST POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
“Airplanes II” – B.o.B, Eminem & Hayley Williams
“Imagine” – Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No. 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare
“If It Wasn’t For Bad” – Elton John & Leon Russell
“Telephone” – Lady Gaga & Beyoncé
“California Gurls” – Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg
WILL WIN: A win for “Airplanes II” provides yet another opportunity to award Eminem, as well as simultaneously honor B.o.B, who was shut out of the Best New Artist category.
SHOULD WIN: “Telephone” still has us running to the dancefloor. Plus, we’ve heard the demo version that included no Beyoncé verse — and it’s nowhere near as good.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY POP DUO OR GROUP
“Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals Version)” – Glee Cast
“Misery” – Maroon 5
“The Only Exception” – Paramore
“Babyfather” – Sade
“Hey, Soul Sister (Live)” – Train
WILL WIN: Train’s track was everywhere this year, from Glee to Spanish college campuses.
SHOULD WIN: Paramore’s “The Only Exception” is not only the best song of the bunch, but we’re too curious to see how the band will accept their Grammy in the wake of their recent split with two members. Shout outs to Zac and Josh Farro, or zipped lips?
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber
I Dreamed A Dream – Susan Boyle
The Fame Monster – Lady Gaga
Battles Studies – John Mayer
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
WILL WIN: Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster. Last year Gaga made out with the awards in the Dance categories (no—not literally, sicko!), and if Grammy feels its too lofty to hand her an award for Album Of The Year this time around, Best Pop Vocal Album could well be the consolation prize.
SHOULD WIN: Gaga. She busted her ass touring that record, crafting iconic videos for the singles and making memorable TV appearances. And she entertained us every step of the way.
BEST DANCE RECORDING
“Rocket” – Goldfrapp
“In For The Kill” – La Roux
“Dance In The Dark” – Lady Gaga
“Only Girl (In The World)” – Rihanna
“Dancing On My Own” – Robyn
WILL WIN: Rihanna’s “Only Girl” was a bona fide smash, topping the charts around the globe and giving the Barbadian songstress a proper out-of-the-gate smash to kick the Loud campaign off with.
SHOULD WIN: Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” got practically no radio love last year, which, let’s face it—is a deplorable crime. This would be an amazing way to validate the Swede singer’s talent for catchy hooks and smart pop lyrics, and right the wrongs in the mainstream music world for overlooking her.
BEST ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM
These Hopeful Machines – BT
Further – The Chemical Brothers
Head First – Goldfrapp
Black Light – Groove Armada
La Roux – La Roux
WILL WIN: La Roux has the advantage of currently having the highest profile in this category, thanks to the duo’s breakout U.S. hit “Bulletproof.” (Side note: we’re nearly at two years since their debut LP was released overseas. Some new music, please!)
SHOULD WIN: Goldfrapp’s Head First. It sure didn’t land on our 10 Out Of ’10: Idolator’s Favorite Albums Of The Year list because we disliked it.