Cher is not having a good week. On Monday, she received a Razzie nomination for worst supporting actress for her comeback film “Burlesque.” And on Tuesday, her power ballad from that picture — “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” — was snubbed for Best Song by the Academy Awards. Penned by six-time Oscar contender Diane Warren, the tune won top honors from the Golden Globes.
Of the 41 songs submitted for consideration at this year’s Oscars, only four made the final cut: “Coming Home” from “Country Strong,” “I See the Light” from “Tangled,” “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” and “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3.”
Cher took to Twitter to express her dismay at the snub. First, she tweeted: “We didn’t get a nomination 4 best song ! That sucks ! Diane’s song Is so beautiful ! It’s hard to understand how u win.” Then came: “The Golden Globe 4 BEST SONG & not even get nominated by the OSCARS? Oh well it is..what it is ,,,,the sun is still shining !” Finally, she wrote: “maybe she would have had a better chance if someone else was singing it ?!! IT JUST CANT B HER SONG I”
Perhaps Cher will be heartened to learn that Warren joins an august group of songsmiths snubbed by the Oscars. Last year, both U2 and Paul McCartney were spurned by the music branch of the academy for ditties written specifically for films. U2 wrote and performed “Winter” for “Brothers,” while McCartney did the same for “(I Want to) Come Home” from “Everybody’s Fine.” Two years ago, Oscar champ Bruce Springsteen (“Streets of Philadelphia,” 1993) was blanked for his Golden Globe-winning title track to “The Wrestler.”
Why do such successful composers strike a dischord with the academy? Rule 16 sets out the criteria for winnowing the list of eligible songs down to the final nominees. Unlike other branches — such as acting, which uses a preferential ballot — the music makers screen clips of all the eligible entries and then score them on a sliding scale from 6 to 10, with half-point increments in between. If a member has a song in contention, they are ineligible to vote. There are approximately 235 voters in this branch.
As per the rulebook, “If no song receives an average score of 8.25 or more, there will be no nominees in the category. If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiving the next highest score shall be the two nominees. If two or more songs (up to five) achieve that score, they shall be the nominees.” With just four nominees this year, we know they were the only tunes to score at least 8.25.