Molly Sanden may not be a household name, but she just beat out several other A-listers in our recent poll that asked 2021 Oscars viewers to vote for the best performance on the pre-show. The Swedish pop star took on the song “Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest” (watch above), stepping in for Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams who memorably performed it during the Netflix movie. She tops our poll results with 64%, more than four times her closest competitor. Here’s a closer look at the poll results:
64% — Molly Sanden (“Husavik”)
14% — H.E.R. (“Fight for You”)
11% — Leslie Odom Jr. (“Speak Now”)
11% — Laura Pausini (“Io Si: Seen”)
0% — Celeste and Daniel Pemberton (“Hear My Voice”)
For the first time in Academy Awards history, performances for the five Best Song nominees were recorded in advance and shown during ABC’s Oscars pre-show. Blame a combination of Covid-19 safety protocols and the fact that this group of songs is lesser-known than those of recent years. (In other words, there was no “Shallow” in this bunch.)
“Husavik” is an ode to the real-life hometown in Iceland, which is where Sanden was when she performed on Sunday night. (The other performers were on the rooftop of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.) Sanden was accompanied by dozens of the town’s real-life children who were all dressed in adorable sweaters.
This year’s group contains a record five female nominees, including most notably Diane Warren (music and lyrics for “Io Si: Seen”), who’s up for her 12th individual Oscar. (See her previous 11 nominations right here.) The other women are all first-time contenders: Pausini (lyrics for “Io Si: Seen”), Celeste (lyrics for “Hear My Voice”), H.E.R. (music and lyrics for “Fight for You”) and Tiara Thomas (lyrics for “Fight for You”).