Welcome to the pop section of the 2009 Grammy Awards, where wily veterans duke it out with hot young guns. It’s the only place you’ll find James Taylor and Ne-Yo in the same category, for what it’s worth. I won’t spend half the article building up to these categories, so here they are…

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: “Chasing Pavements” (Adele)/”Love Song” (Sara Bareilles)/”Mercy” (Duffy)/”Bleeding Love” (Leona Lewis)/”I Kissed a Girl” (Katy Perry)/”So What” (P!nk)

Will Win: Leona Lewis

Should Win: P!nk

Adele, Duffy and Bareilles are all still sort of bubbling under. A lot of Grammy voters still haven’t heard of these three. “I Kissed a Girl” is viewed by many as a novelty record, which leaves P!nk and Leona Lewis. While P!nk’s snotty reaction to her divorce, in an ideal world, would result in the singer’s third Grammy, I say this one goes to big-voiced junior diva Leona Lewis, in order to make up for not including the huge hit “Bleeding Love” in the Record of the Year category.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: “All Summer Long” (Kid Rock)/”Say” (John Mayer)/”That Was Me” (Paul McCartney)/”I’m Yours” (Jason Mraz)/”Closer” (Ne-Yo)/”Witchita Lineman” (James Taylor)

Will Win: Kid Rock

Should Win: John Mayer

John Mayer, who has won twice in this category, is always a threat, as is James Taylor, who has also taken this category a few times. The only two artists that are officially out of contention are McCartney (for a song that was released on a limited-release project) and Ne-Yo (who’s considered too much of an R&B artist to get a pop award). Jason Mraz could sneak this one away, but Kid Rock’s hit was so huge (and a big FU to digital retailers-as the man sold 3 million records without one digital download), you have to honor the guy. Besides, “All Summer Long” is hella catchy.

Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group: “Viva La Vida” (Coldplay)/”Waiting in the Weeds” (The Eagles)/”Going On” (Gnarls Barkley)/”Won’t Go Home Without You” (Maroon 5)/”Apologize” (OneRepublic)

Will Win: Coldplay

Should Win: Gnarls Barkley

This is Coldplay’s night. They’ll win this category in a landslide, although I’d love to see Gnarls Barkley get some props for their unfairly overlooked CD “The Odd Couple”. Where are these guys in the Urban/Alternative category?

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals: “Lesson Learned” (Alicia Keys & John Mayer)/”4 Minutes” (Madonna, Justin Timberlake & Madonna)/”Rich Woman” (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss)/”If I Never See Your Face Again” (Maroon 5 feat. Rihanna)/”No Air” (Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown)

Will Win: “Rich Woman”

Should Win: Pick ’em

Sparks & Brown are out for their teenybopper duet, as are Maroon 5, for stripping Rihanna’s vocals onto an already completed song. Any of the rest of these folks could snare the Grammy. However, the older voting bloc will in all likelihood tip the odds in favor of Plant & Krauss, who won this category last year.

Best Pop Album: “Detours” (Sheryl Crow)/”Rockferry” (Duffy)/”Long Road Out of Eden” (The Eagles)/”Spirit” (Leona Lewis)/”Covers” (James Taylor)

Will Win: The Eagles

Should Win: This is not a good batch.

Sheesh, talk about five lame-ass albums. I don’t even CARE who wins this one. Smart money’s on The Eagles or JT, although I think if Leona wins the Pop Female category, she might have a chance here too.

Best Dance Recording: “Harder Better Faster Stronger” (Daft Punk)/”Ready for the Floor” (Hot Chip)/”Just Dance” (Lady GaGa & Colby O’Donis)/”Give it 2 Me” (Madonna)/”Disturbia” (Rihanna)

Will Win: Rihanna

Should Win: Rihanna

“Just Dance” would have had a shot if it hadn’t taken so long to become a hit. Hot Chip isn’t well-known enough and Daft Punk is nominated for a live version of a VERY old song. Madonna’s “Hard Candy” was a bit underwhelming (and “Give it 2 Me” was one of its’ worst tracks), so hand-deliver this one to Rihanna.

Best Dance/Electronic Album: “New York City” (Brazilian Girls)/”Alive 2007″ (Daft Punk)/”Bring Ya to the Brink” (Cyndi Lauper)/”X” (Kylie Minogue)/”Last Night” (Moby)/”Robyn” (Robyn)

Will Win: Kylie Minogue

Should Win: Robyn

For her first album after emerging triumphant from a battle with breast cancer, Kylie Minogue will take this one home, although the cheeky and talented Robyn deserves this one. So what if her album wasn’t really “dance”?