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EW critiques six hot music videos

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When new-wave novelties the Buggles infamously claimed that video killed the radio star, MTV was just a bratty little baby. Today, however, there is hardly such a thing as a radio star without a video. Here, we separate the haves from the have-lesses in current high-profile clips.

KATHARINE MCPHEE, ”Love Story”

The Premise Whoa. In this gloriously plotless clip, the once-demure American Idol runner-up has apparently become a model student in the Beyoncé School of Booty Shaking and Big Hair.

Watch the video, see EW’s grade, and add your grade below

Does It Work? Affirmative, though all the sexiness is sort of like watching your little sister get ready for her first big date. Does she know how much trouble boys can be? B+

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NEXT PAGE: Maroon 5’s ”Wake Up Call”

MAROON 5, ”Wake Up Call”

The Premise Guns! Explosions! Girls in scanty panties! The blue-eyed-soul boys play the leads in a quick-cut, flashy thriller about cheated-hearts retribution.

Watch the video, see EW’s grade, and add your grade below

Does It Work? Not quite. The unlucky-in-love sentiment is kind of marred by sweet nothings like ” If you act like a bitch, I’ll call you a bitch, then hang up.” C

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NEXT PAGE: LeAnn Rimes’ ”Nothin’ Better to Do”

LEANN RIMES, ”Nothin’ Better to Do”

The Premise Think 1940s women’s-prison flick meets Chicago: iron bars, pin curls, and jazz hands.

Watch the video, see EW’s grade, and add your grade below

Does It Work? Indeed. This is not the ”How Do I Live” LeAnn of yesteryear. All grown up — in red lips, a prison-issue mini, and garter belt — she’ s a pretty smooth criminal. A-

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NEXT PAGE: Justice’s ”D.A.N.C.E.”

JUSTICE, ” D.A.N.C.E.”

The Premise The underdog nominee for a Video of the Year VMA is a low-tech marvel. Two faceless guys, filmed in black and white, walk side by side wearing colorful T-shirts adorned with animated, ever-morphing graphics.

Watch the video, see EW’s grade, and add your grade below

Does It Work? Oui. The French dance-rock duo’s playful tune already had us at bonjour, and this simple clip just makes the bigger-budget stuff look bloated and tired. A

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NEXT PAGE: Nicole Scherzinger’s ”Whatever U Like”

NICOLE SCHERZINGER, ”Whatever U Like”

The Premise In a dystopian underworld, the lead Pussycat is mauled by men and trapped, Boxing Helena-style. At least she gets to keep her limbs.

Watch the video, see EW’s grade, and add your grade below

Does It Work? Not so much. It badly needs levity — and more of the T.I. cameo — but Nicole’s slinky metronome hips still mesmerize. B-

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