Academy Awards change rule for Best Original Song category

If you recall, of the 39 songs shorlisted for Best Original Song at last year’s Academy Awards, only two made the final cut and received a nomination.“Real In Rio” by Siedah Garrett (Rio) and “Man or Muppets” by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie (The Muppets) beat out original compositions by The National, Jónsi, Mary J. Blige, and more.

The Academy required a song to receive an average vote of 8.25 or higher on a scale of 10 in order to secure a nomination. While this doesn’t explain why voters gave lower scores to The National or Jónsi, this rule set the stage for funky scenarios like what happened last year, which led many to criticize the Academy, especially when the performance aspect was scrapped.

So on Thursday, the Academy announced new rules for the Best Original Song Category which makes it a lot easier to find five nominees.

 Billboard explains:

The new voting procedure in the category, approved by the Academy’s board of governors, is much more straightforward. Branch members will receive a reminder list of submitted works and a DVD copy of song clips. After watching the clips, members will vote in the order of their preference for not more than five choices. The five songs receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominees for final voting on the award.

Of course, it’s the Academy Awards, so there’s a catch…

If there are 25 or fewer qualified songs submitted, the branch’s executive committee can recommend to the board that nominations be limited to three. And if there are nine or fewer qualifying works, the committee can recommend that no award be given that year.

Below, you can watch the video for last year’s Best Original Song winner, “Man or Muppets” by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie.


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