2023 Oscars: Best Original Song Predictions

Predicting Best Original Song at the Oscars is made more difficult by the three-stage process. In years past, many seemingly sure-fire contenders were deemed to be ineligible. Even those ditties that cleared this hurdle then have to pass muster with the nearly 400 members of the music branch of the academy. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2023 Oscars Best Original Song predictions.)

To be even eligible for consideration, a tune must meet these criteria:

It must be an original song with words and music, both of which were original and written specifically for the film;

It must be the result of a creative interaction between the filmmaker(s) and the songwriter(s) who have been engaged to work directly on the film; and

There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody used in the body of the movie or as the first music cue in the end credits.

The academy asks branch members to view clips from the films that include the performances of the original songs and then rank their favorites using preferential voting. The academy released the shortlist of 15  semi-finalists on December 21, 2022.

A second round of voting by the members of the music branch, again using preferential voting, cuts these 15 down to the final five nominees. Those will be announced, along with the final contenders in all of the other competitive categories, on January 24. The entire voting membership of the academy will then vote for the Best Original Song winner, which will be revealed during the 95th Academy Awards ceremony on March 12.

UPDATED: December 21, 2022

Leading Contenders (alphabetical by film title)

“This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Written by: David Byrne, Ryan Lott, and Mitski

“Naatu Naatu” from “RRR”
Written by: Kaala Bhairava, M.M. Keeravani, and Rahul Sipligunj

“Stand Up” from “Till”
Written by: Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II and Jazmine Sullivan

“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”
Written by: Lady Gaga

“Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing”
Written by: Taylor Swift

“New Body Rhumba” from “White Noise”
Written by: James Murphy

Strong Contenders (alphabetical by film title)

“Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman”
Written by: Diane Warren

“My Mind and Me” from “Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me”
Written by: Selena Gomez

“Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from “Avatar: The Way of Water”
Written by: The Weeknd

“Til You’re Home” from “A Man Called Otto”
Written by: Rita Wilson, Sebastian Yatra

Possible Contenders (alphabetical by film title)

“Time” from “Amsterdam”
Written by: Giveon Evans, Aubrey “Drake” Graham, Daniel Pemberton, and Jahaan Akil Sweet

“Ciao Papa” from “Pinocchio”
Written by: Guillermo del Toro, Alexandre Desplat, and Roeban Katz

“Dust & Ash” from “The Voice of Dust and Ash”
Written by: J. Ralph

“Good Afternoon” from “Spirited”
Written by: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

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