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Should Best Original Song contenders be judged by Oscar telecast performances?

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203800089

    As we all know, Academy members always submit their final votes for the winners by a certain deadline prior to the Oscars every year. However, the category of Best Original Song is a real interesting case. In 2015, many of us were predicting ‘Til It Happens to You’ to win for The Hunting Ground. After Lady Gaga killed it with her performance of that song on the Oscar telecast, you’d be convinced she was a lock. Yet, the winner ended up being Sam Smith’s very forgettable James Bond theme, ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ from Spectre. I believe Keith Simanton predicted that was going to happen because it was the most heard song of all the nominees that year. He didn’t think enough Academy members had ever even heard of The Hunting Ground. Especially given how the names of the creative individuals in all below-the-line categories don’t appear on the ballots in final voting. So therefore, he doubted voters were aware that ‘Til It Happens to You’ was written by Lady Gaga and (the Susan Lucci of songwriters) Diane Warren.

    This past year, ‘(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again’ was the frontrunner for Best Original Song going into the Oscars, but given how it was not only the lone representation for Rocketman, but also up against films that didn’t have much support either, the category seemed ripe for an upset. While Elton John & Bernie Taupin did end up winning, I think if you were to show clips of all five nominees from the telecast to casual audiences, they’d be guessing ‘Stand Up’ from Harriet as the winner based on the strength of Cynthia Erivo’s powerhouse performance alone.

    It looks to me that if everyone in the audience at the Dolby Theatre were given the chance to vote for the winner in Best Original Song after all five nominees have performed on the Oscar telecast, we’d likely be getting different winners. What do you guys think? Is this something the Academy should consider doing in the future? I think if they ever do, then that would mean all of the songs nominated would really have to perform.

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    Brayden Fitzsimmons
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    #1203800104

    I’m Ryan Secrest and this is Oscars Best Original Song.

    Another example where the performance would’ve helped the win is Mitch & Micky’s performance of “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” from The Mighty Wind.

    While nothing was stopping the LOTR sweep, voting that performance definition would’ve subtracted votes away from Annie Lennox.

    Jessie Buckley’s performance of Glasgow at this BAFTAs also could’ve driven it to a win (if it was nominated).

    There’s also times where the live performance is generally better than the song itself and that could help too.

    I’m convinced that the version of “Spirit” in Black Is King with the acapella choir is how Beyoncé would’ve performed it at the Oscars (again, if nominated).

    On the downside, voting after live performances could drag votes away from comedic and uptempo/non-ballad songs. “Blame Canada” and “Everything Is Awesome” probably would’ve gotten less votes after a live performance.

    In nutshell, nope. 👎

    It’s Best Original Music & Lyrics, not Best Performance of a Song from a Film.

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    Brayfers
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    Oct 19th, 2018
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    #1203800131

    I would say no only because the category awards the songwriting and lyrics. A live performance is an example of bringing the lyrics to life with delivery. Kind of like the difference between the screenplay and acting categories. I guess what you’d be looking for would be a best performance of an original song, which treads into Grammys territory a little.

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    theexterminator
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    #1203800141

    Nope

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    Hoster1
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    #1203800143

    Absolutely not.

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    Eddy Q
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    Oct 13th, 2012
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    #1203800178

    No, and frankly the song nominees ought not to be judged by the released singles either; they should be assessed solely within the context of their film.

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    Brayden Fitzsimmons
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    #1203800187

    No, and frankly the song nominees ought not to be judged by the released singles either; they should be assessed solely within the context of the film.

    And then you’ve got “See You Again” from Furious 7, which was excelled in both. It’s one of the 50 biggest hits of All Time on the Hot 100, #1 for 12 weeks and a staple of funerals/graduations even in 2015.

    And it’s a emotional gut punch of a song that’s used excellently in the one of the most pivotal scenes of the film.

    It’s everything that AMPAS says they want and more in Original Song but I guess it wasn’t good enough as that Sting song that played during the credits of a shark documentary.

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    JayDF
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    Sep 18th, 2011
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    #1203800254

    Oh no. Never. It has nothing to do with the lyrics and music. Plus the example of the music/lyrics as it is in the film is what should be judged.

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    William Gillquist
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    #1203800265

    Hell no, because then “Remember Me” would have lost to “This Is Me” back in 2018. And also songs should be judged as songs, not by how they look as a performance. It takes away the whole point of the category.

    FYC Oscars: Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Mark Rylance (Trial of the Chicago 7), Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Soul (Best Picture, Best Animated Feature Film, and Best Original Screenplay)

    FYC Golden Globes (TV): Ted Lasso (Best Comedy Series), Jason Sudekis (Best Actor in a Comedy Series), Hannah Waddingham (Best Supporting Actress), The Boys (Best Drama Series), Anthony Starr (Best Actor in a Drama Series)

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    Dan Backslide
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    #1203800290

    Absolutely not. It’s best song, not best performance.

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    maxinho
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    #1203800302

    They should erase that category to be honest.

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    jjjmoss1
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    #1203800328

    They mostly keep it so there’s one part besides the (top) awards that the general audience can tune in for.

    Not all awards can be like the Grammys and devote 80+% of the airtime to performances.

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    Wanda
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    #1203800379

    They should erase that category to be honest.

    This. So useless.

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    musicreloaded
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    Jan 6th, 2012
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    #1203800395

    LOL. No.

    You have to read what the category is about and its rules before opening this kind of thread.

    Darling, this is not the VMAs. LOL.

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    24fanatic
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    #1203800428

    No, lol. Life’s not fair. Most voters don’t even watch all the nominated films, let alone listen to all the nominated Original Songs. They vote based on their friends or buzz sometimes. It is what it is.

    At least the music branch has a system of narrowing down the songs eligible and nominating ones they deem worthy.

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