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Say goodbye to Best Original Song performances at Oscars

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The 2010 Oscar nominees for Best Original Song will not be invited to perform at the ceremony March 7th, putting an end (or at least a hiatus) to a long tradition. Oscar executive producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic announced the news Monday at a nominee luncheon (via The Daily Swarm).

Instead, clips of the five nominated songs — “Loin de Paname” (Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas, Paris 36), “Take it All” (Maury Yestin, Nine), “The Weary Kind” (Ryan Bingham, Crazy Heart), and Randy Newman’s “Almost There” and “Down in New Orleans” (The Princess and the Frog) — will be played over montages of their respective films. Makes sense for the vast majority of viewers, who watched almost none of them.

This is another step towards killing the tradition, which has brought us memorable performances from Elliott Smith, Bruce Springsteen, a young Michael Jackson, and Björk. (Well, we remember the dress.) Last year, instead of full performances, all three nominated songs were exhibited in a short medley, which pissed off Peter Gabriel (whose protesting obviously hasn’t convinced the Academy), who was replaced by John Legend.

It is unclear whether or not this move has been made to free up valuable airtime for the extra Best Picture nominees, but it is clear that the Academy does not hold this year’s songs high on its list of priorities. You might remember the Academy last year changing the rules for eligibility, which makes it theoretically possible for there not to be a Best Original Song category in any given year. In light of this, the awful Grammys, and MTV officially giving up on music, one might reasonably wonder whether people still enjoy music.

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