Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have to be happy about Thursday’s announcement from the academy that the Best Song race will have five nominees for the first time in four years.
The category has caused controversy as the scoring system kept the likes of past champs like Bruce Springsteen (“Streets of Philadelphia” from “Philadelphia,” 1993) and Elton John (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King,” 1994) from contending again.
Under the old rules, music branch members watched a clip that showed how each song was utilized in the film and then rated it on a scale of 6 to 10. To be nominated a song had to score at least 8.25. If only one song crossed this threshold, the next-highest would also be nominated.
Last year, there were two nominees out of 39 eligible songs with “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” prevailing over “Real in Rio” from “Rio.”
Now, members will get a reminder list and rank up to five songs in order of preference. The top five vote getters will be nominated.