Every year, the producers of the Academy Awards telecast fiddle with the format in an effort to keep it entertaining and the program from running over the usual three hours allotted. Some of their ideas work and some of are greeted with a wave of negative criticism. One of those ideas that is looking as if it is not going to be met too warmly is the rumored dropping of performances of this year’s nominees for Best Original Song.
Deadline is reporting from unnamed sources that Awards telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer have been at least contemplating the idea, though Deadline notes that another source is telling them that nothing is set in stone yet. The reason offered for the possible exclusion of the performances this year is time constraints.
But given the fact that there are only two nominees this year – Which some consider a travesty on its own given that 93 songs qualified this year – it is extremely hard to swallow the excuse that the performances might be cut for time. Previous telecasts have almost always found the time for anywhere between three to five live performances of that year’s nominated songs.
If this is truly the case, then perhaps that will mean we won’t have to sit through the umpteenth resurrection of telecast host Billy Crystal’s “Oscar! Oscar!” song and dance bit at the top of the show. (The first couple of times were funny, but the bit has since morphed into the very thing it used to be parodying.)
Now I have to confess that since I am not a big pop music fan, I generally don’t care too much about the competition in the Best Original Song category. And ever since I saw Rob Lowe dirty dancing with Snow White in an Academy Awards musical production number several years back, one of the main reasons I look forward to the category is to see what kind of potential train wreck we may be getting that year.
But this was one of the few years that I was actually looking forward in a positive way to see what was in store for the performance of “Man Or Muppet” from The Muppets. It’s rare that comedies get any kind of attention from the Academy but the last two times that songs from a comedic film have been nominated – “Kiss AT The End Of The Rainbow” from A Mighty Wind in 2003 and “Blame Canada” from South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut – were both memorable in their own ways.
The last time that the Oscars went without any sort of musical performance for Best Original Song was back in 1989. It wasn’t well received then and I doubt it will be this time around either.