The upcoming 82nd Academy Awards became a little less interesting today with the announcement that the artists who sang the five nominated songs will not perform on Hollywood’s biggest night.
That’s because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided instead to play recordings of the songs nominated in the “Music (original song)” category while showing individual montages of the films in which the tunes appear.
Which means the audience at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre as well as TV viewers won’t see Randy Newman play the two numbers that appeared in “The Princess And The Frog” – “Almost There” and “Down In New Orleans.”
Or, for that matter, will audiences get to see either actor Jeff Bridges or Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett perform “The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart).”
Why should music fans even care about the Academy’s decision? On more than a few occasions musical performances at the Academy Awards have made for the only real highlights of otherwise unmemorable Oscar evenings.
For example, Three 6 Mafia’s performance of “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” from the flick “Hustle & Flow” was a main topic of discussion at office water coolers the morning after the 2006 awards broadcast. If the Academy’s latest decision was in effect at that time, viewers would only have seen clips from the movie while the song played in background.
But even though the Academy has nixed individual song performances, it assures us there will still be plenty of dancing. That means there’s still a chance to see a high-stepping number rivaling that 1989 WTF moment when Rob Lowe danced with Snow White. We can hardly wait.
Meanwhile, here’s what’s on TV, musically speaking, for the rest of the week.
Thursday, February 18
Ross Mathews, Owen Benjamin, Guy Branum – “Chelsea Lately”
Jennifer Lopez – “Lopez Tonight” – rerun
Daniel Merriweather – “Late Show with David Letterman”
Robin Thicke – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Friday, February 19
Bernadette Peters – “The View”
Sarah Colonna, Jeff Wild, Ross Mathews – “Chelsea Lately” – rerun
Wale – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Saturday, February 20
R.E.M. – “Austin City Limits” – rerun
Jennifer Lopez – “Saturday Night Live”