Tom O'Neil's Inside Track

2 Oscar Experts’ predictions throwdown: Tariq Khan vs. Tom O’Neil, the feisty rematch [Exclusive Podcast]

“Oh, come on!” I roar at fellow Oscar expert Tariq Khan (Fox TV) for his prediction that Marina de Tavira (“Roma”) will win Best Supporting Actress. “Not only is your prediction ridiculous and absurd, but you’ve got the real winner down in third place – Regina King. That’s indefensible!”

But Tariq, as usual, comes roaring right back at me in our latest, raucous podcast (listen below) because that’s what we do for sport, for fun and for show when Tariq and I have our Oscar battles, which are infamous for their ferocity and bodacity.

In an article Tariq wrote for us recently, he explains his ludicrous rationale: “5 reasons why Marina de Tavira (‘Roma’) could pull off an upset at the Oscars.” Basically, his argument is: she’ll catch a ride on the “Roma” sweep, but I don’t buy it. Regina King will prevail here because, well, she’s Regina King – beloved and revered across Hollywood for being an icon and a survivor who radiates warmth, charm and class. Those are the same reasons why Glenn Close will win. Their victories won’t really have much to do with “If Beale Street Could Talk” or “The Wife,” of course.

But Tariq doesn’t accept the comparison. “Glenn Close is on her seventh nomination, having been in an Oscar-nominated film since the 1980s!” he fumes. “This is Regina’s first nomination. She’s not really seen as a film actress. She’s done lots of films, but she’s primarily a TV actress.”