There Are Only Two Nominees For Best Original Song At This Year's Oscars

bestoriginalsongsoscars.jpg
A few years back the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences switched up the rules for Best Original Song, making the hurdles a track had to clear in order to get nominated a little more difficult and introducing the possibility that no songs at all would be nominated during a particular year. (You can read a somewhat simplified explanation of the rules at the bottom of this press release.) This morning the nominees for this year's Oscars were announced, and out of the 39 songs in contention for the gold statuette next month, a grand total of two were chosen as being good enough for the big prize. Exactly zero of them were up for the Best Original Song category at the Golden Globes—the winner of that category, Madonna's "Masterpiece," didn't even make the nomination-eligible cut. Both songs are, however, from films that feature anthropomorphic members of the animal kingdom! The two tracks up for awards, below.

NOMINEE THE FIRST:

"Real In Rio" (Rio): Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, lyric by Siedah Garrett
If you have the Rio-themed spinoff of Angry Birds, you might recognize the introduction to this track. (Hush. It's a fun subway diversion.) Lyricist Siedah Garrett is co-wrote Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror" and served as MJ's foil on the Bad ballad "I Just Can't Stop Loving You":

I'm just thankful that "Hot Wings (I Wanna Party)," will.i.am's Jamie Foxx-assisted contribution to the animated film's soundtrack, didn't get nominated, because do we really need him to show up on TV again? (Oh, who am I kidding, he'll probably sneak his way in somehow.) Actually he's on "Real In Rio" as one of the "Rio Singers." Gahhhh.

NOMINEE THE SECOND:

"Man Or Muppet" (The Muppets): Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
There were lots of fantastic songs in The Muppets, many of which were penned by former Flight of the Conchord Bret McKenzie, and indeed, three of those tracks were in contention for nomination this year. McKenzie talked to The Times about how the existential nature of this ballad affected his lyric-writing: "What is a man? What is a Muppet? No. The problem with the Muppets is you can't call them puppets, which doesn't leave me any rhyming words with Muppets. You might notice that I rhyme Muppet with Muppet."

One wrinkle from the nominations process worth noting: "If no song receives an average score of 8.25 or more [from the people voting on nominees], there will be no nominees in the category. If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiving the next highest score shall be the two nominees." So did both of the above songs reach that qualifying score, or only one? And if the latter is the case, which one won out? (I'm going to guess the Rio song because of the combination of its principals' collective veteran status and my cynicism about the back-patty nature of the Oscars' non-major categories. This is an awards extravaganza, after all, where John WIlliams is up against John Williams in the Best Original Score category, while Trent Reznor and Cliff Martinez (the guy who did the music for Drive) are nowhere to be seen.)

Meanwhile, I wonder if there only being two songs up for the award means that each track will get airtime on the show? Nah, probably not. Poor music. You are so maligned by everyone.

[SOTC homepage | Facebook | Twitter | Letters]


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
Ell.PS
Ell.PS

There are at least 5 five better songs than the two chosen for best song. Movies like Albert Nobbs, The Help, Captain America, Machine Gun Preacher, and other songs from the Muppets were all better than the two that got nominations 

Shillaly Brothers
Shillaly Brothers

The nominationprocess for Best Original Song is flawed. Voters rate each song from 6 to 10.There is an incentive to give your preferred songs a "10" and the resta "6" to maximize the impact of your vote. As a result all but themost uniformly popular songs (Muppets, Rio) are weighed down with low votes andcan't make the minimum threshold of 8.25. In a year with so many strongcandidates it's a shame that Oscar viewers will only be exposed to two songs...

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

I'm still waiting for someone to acknowledge the fact that "Man or Muppet"—the best song in The Muppets by a mile, IMHO—is a total Flight of the Conchords homage, down to the absurdist, "I'm Not Crying"–style lyric, the use of goofy phrases like "manly muppet" and the rococo-daydream style of the sequence in the movie (which interrupts the action a la Conchords more than any other song in the flick). I kept waiting for Jemaine to pop up.

Verbena
Verbena

Mary J Blige was robbed in this catergory for The Help. There were still 3 open slots for nominations and I believe The Help met all the requirements to be eligible, so WHAT HAPPENED?  It wreaks of something.....

Cjd99201
Cjd99201

I thought Bridge of Light from Happy Feet 2 ought to have been nominated

nick price
nick price

What's the deal? Only TWO songs nominated for Best Original Song at the Oscars this year

Nellie
Nellie

What is up with this category?  Every year the list gets smaller and the nominees perform less and less. As songwriter and fanatical moviegoer, I'm very disappointed, especially with my personal preference, "The Living Proof", not nominated. Very bad move, Academy.

Innajunglestylee
Innajunglestylee

If "Man or Muppet" doesn't win in this field, I will know that Hollywood in 2012 is absolutely tone deaf. 

jay smooth
jay smooth

Yeah that's how I felt, and I think that's why it felt a bit out of place for me in the film (along with some other songs, especially the unfortunate "rap" segment which might've been ok with the Conchords delivering it but in the film was just painful to me).

luther blissett
luther blissett

Songs take up valuable time in the running order that can be better spent on self-congratulation. 

Also, Randy Newman didn't do anything last year for the Academy to drool over.

maura
maura

I wouldn't be surprised if the Rio song won. Hollywood is "about relationships."

Innajunglestylee
Innajunglestylee

It's not even a song! It's just three minutes of whistles! 

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...