The Oscars will only allow the Best Song nominees to perform for 90 seconds

SAG Awards 2019 Arrivals

Not to be too pessimistic (I HATE EVERYTHING), but I still feel like this year’s Oscar telecast will be a flat-out disaster. No hosts, shady maneuvering for A-list presenters, several Oscar races that seem crazy. Hopefully, it will be a kind of watchable trainwreck, but I don’t have high hopes. In one of the most bone-headed decisions ever, the Academy decided a week ago that they were not going to allow all of the Best Song nominees to perform during the telecast. Which is stupid on so many levels – Best Song is usually one of the most popular categories, and this year’s Best Song nominees would have likely provided some much needed star power to the show. And initially, the Academy was like “nah, we don’t want that.” The Academy decided to backtrack, but of course it’s still idiotic.

The Motion Picture Academy, responding to a widespread backlash to its initial plan to only spotlight two of the best original song nominees on the Oscarcast, is now planning to have all five nominated songs performed on the Feb. 24 show, Variety has learned. Earlier today, the Academy tweeted that Jennifer Hudson would perform “I’ll Fight,” the Diane Warren-penned song from the documentary “RBG.” A subsequent tweet announced a “spoiler” that “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” would be “performed by a surprise special guest” — leaving open the question of whether Emily Blunt, who performed it in the film, would count as a surprise.

Previously, the plan had been to include only the top 10 hits “Shallow,” from “A Star Is Born,” and “All the Stars,” from “Black Panther.” Producers last week told representatives for the remaining three nominees that there wasn’t time to perform all five songs in a streamlined show. But now, sources tell Variety that offers have gone out to reps from all five to perform the songs, although in truncated, 90-second form.

It is not yet clear whether any of the performers associated with the nominated songs besides Hudson have accepted Academy offers to perform — among them Blunt, Lady Gaga (“Shallow”), Kendrick Lamar and SZA (“All the Stars”) and Willie Watson and Tim Blake Nelson (“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”).

Sources say that the nominees were talking among themselves last week and that some agreed that solidarity was important, and that a united front of “perform them all” or “perform none of them” might work as a tactic. Whether that happened is not clear. At one point, the possibility of having still more music on the telecast was in play: Sources tell Variety a feeler went out to the members of Queen to open the show with one of the hits revived in the “Bohemian Rhapsody” film, but that’s not happening.

[From Variety]

This is so dumb – “sources tell Variety that offers have gone out to reps from all five to perform the songs, although in truncated, 90-second form.”

Academy Dude #1: “Hey let’s take the most popular part of the show and do less of it this year.”
Academy Dude #2: “That’s a great idea!”

What kills me is that we already know this is going to be four hours of bullsh-t and endless f–king montages celebrating vague sh-t like “hey, remember when Jack Nicholson won some Oscars? Let’s do a 10-minute montage of THAT!” They absolutely have the time for every Best Song nominee to perform their FULL songs. They just don’t want to have to cut all of their dumb bulls–t montages and uncomfortable patter.

Last weekend, Bradley Cooper stopped by Gaga’s Las Vegas show and they performed together. The fan videos are racking up millions of views, because DUH, the songs are everyone’s favorite part of the movie. I guess the Academy doesn’t want this.

SAG Awards 2019 Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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32 Responses to “The Oscars will only allow the Best Song nominees to perform for 90 seconds”

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  1. AppleTartin says:

    I get that all the nominees want their moment in the sun. But people only watch for best/supporting actors/actresses /movie and song. I mean really let the song nominations have their proper time. Gaga is a big draw that’s why she wins Golden Globes to get people’s eyeballs on the show at home.

  2. Mia4s says:

    Hahahahahaha!! Oh this Oscar show is going to suck sooooo bad! Ironically that might improve the ratings as people will tune in for a train wreck.

    “a feeler went out to the members of Queen to open the show with one of the hits revived in the “Bohemian Rhapsody” film, but that’s not happening”

    Sigh…great optics Academy. Let’s make sure the accused child rapist’s movie that you nominated gets lots of attention. It’s not like a big chunk of the public doesn’t already think you’re sexual abuse enabling perverts and misogynists thanks to years of Weinstein and Polanski supporting. Sigh…idiots.

  3. xdanix says:

    This is so ridiculous, and SO disappointing. 90 seconds of a song isn’t much better than not having them performed at all- it’s literally just racing them onto the stage so they can say they did, and then racing them off again! And it’s going to butcher the songs- particularly Shallow. (I admit, I’m not familiar with the others apart from All the Stars, but there’s no WAY Shallow divides up into neat little 90 second segments. It’s going to RUIN it.)

    How the hell have they got even THIS so wrong?! They have Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper all ready to go. I know BCoop is NOT in any way a professional singer, but people have been dying to see him perform this with Gaga since they started teasing it before Christmas. Kaiser isn’t wrong about those Vegas videos racking up the numbers- one got 10 million hits so far this week! Just one of them! They dominated headlines for 2 days after it. And that was all just shaky, blurry audience footage. Just think what a professional, properly-filmed performance would give them.

    For people as obsessed with ratings and drawing in viewers as the Academy are alleged to be, they’re utterly throwing away the ONE performance that even people who have no interest in the Oscars have been looking forward to. I don’t mind admitting that thanks to all the upsetting Bohemian Rhapsody stuff (and with Green book not being much better) this performance was the only thing I was looking forward to about the night anymore. I’m so sad at this news.

  4. Maya says:

    Is the Academy Award trying to destroy itself?

    Their antics these past few months have been horrendous.

  5. Victoria says:

    I think they should send the envelopes in the mail of the winners now, who’s going to watch this?

  6. Tiffany says:

    Honestly, my whole reason for watching was to see SZA and Kendrick perform. You just know those two were going to bring it. But 90 seconds. It takes that long to walk to the stage let alone perform on it.

    Remember when the Academy Awards stated. They were in a huge dining hall in a hotel and one announcer just presented the winners.

    Let’s go back to that.

    • Onemoretime says:

      I only watch the very end to see best picture, but had planned on watching for Kendrick and SZA as well. Now Twitter will have to be my guide of winners and losers. Not even watching best picture this year because Black Panther won’t win, just a ploy by the academy.

    • xdanix says:

      I feel you there, except for me I was watching for Shallow. And I know maybe it’s stupid to be this upset by not getting to see a song performed, but, well… I am. It’s been a not-so-great couple of months with family stuff, and tbh Feb isn’t looking like it’s going to be any better. Even though I know it’s maybe silly of me, that performance was something I was really, really looking forward to. A little treat that I knew was coming, no matter what was going on in my own life. Except now it’s not.

      • Dee Kay says:

        Omg I am the same. Kendrick+SZA and Gaga+Cooper were going to be my Oscars experience. I was not even going to pay that much attention to the winners, I just wanted to see 2 great numbers performed live by their original performers, with professional staging and lighting and filmed well. That’s it. 2 numbers was going to = the entire show for me. Now I might just skip it. I don’t want to watch for 4 hours so that I can see a grand total of 180 seconds of cool live musical performance.

      • TAM says:

        Oh man, hang in there. I hope it all works out for you. January was one hell of a month for me as well. I transitioned from a firm I was with for 10 years and just started a new job and I don’t know if this new place is for me. I am really tempted to quit but I got bills to pay. Anyway, I am/was looking forward to Gaga + Bradley’s performance as well! I hope they let ALL 5 nominees do their thing. and no, 90 seconds is not enough WTF is wrong with these people!?? It’s not an Instagram story!!

      • xdanix says:


        Thank you so much, I really appreciate it 🙂
        I’ll keep on keeping on! I just… I suppose it felt like that one little joy I needed to look forward to in all the complicated stuff, you know? So to see that the Academy, in all their incredible wisdom, have botched EVEN THIS… arghhhh. Pahaaha “not an Instagram story”- thank you so much for that laugh! That is the PERFECT level of disbelief and scorn that the stupidity of their handling deserves! (And very true, too. It actually only allows you a few lines of the song. Lady G’s famous wail alone is about 20 seconds long, maybe longer. WHAT are they thinking?! Oh, this is gonna be SO BAD!!)

        And the very best of luck to you in your new workplace! It was very brave to make that move after being so long with your old place, I imagine that had to be very tough. I hope it all starts to feel more right for you soon, and you recover from your January soon and that February treats you better.

        Thanks again for your kind words 🙂

      • TAM says:

        @xdanix thank you for your kind words as well 🙂 I get what you are saying… the joy of having something to look forward to helps us get through tough times. It’s a good motivation to keep moving forward during difficult times. I agree, we have to keep on keeping on and just hope for the best. I almost called my former boss earlier today to ask her if I can have my old job back LOL! My sister had to talk me out of it.

        BTW – It is confirmed that Bradley and Gaga will perform together at the Oscars. The official twitter account of The Academy Awards tweeted it a few hours ago. I am going to need more than just an IG story though because that is horseshit and yes, her wail alone is about 15-20 seconds long haha!

      • xdanix says:


        I just saw that, thank you! I was super happy to see that at least he’s confirmed to sing with her- I thought maybe they’d just cut his part to make it easier to fit the limit. But it actually still wouldn’t make the song short enough, so it probably didn’t matter either way in the end. They WILL have to butcher it to get it down short enough, so why not mix and mash his and her parts while they’re at it, right?! Ughhh. Just give us the WHOLE SONG, Academy people!! It’s SO DUMB to try and ruin a performance that even people who have zero interest in the Oscars have been talking about wanting for months. Lady G is a stunning singer and she has fantastic chemistry singing with BC, that was clear even in blurry videos from the audience in Vegas. This performance could really have been something special. They are shooting themselves in the foot about 10 times over with this awful time limit. (I keep hoping her people pull off a miracle and get them the full slot… but I also keep trying to squash that hope, because I know it’s likely NOT going to happen. Groan.)

        Aww, I’m really sorry to hear that things are so tough right now. Could part of it be just the horribleness of having to adjust to change after being so long settled in one place? I’m not putting your feelings down, I promise, I know it can really do a number on you, and it can feel really AWFUL trying to make a new place yours. If it is that, I hope that the new place starts to feel more right for you soon. If not, then I hope that either you are able to go back, or that you can find a place that does feel right for you. Either way, I just really hope things feel better for you soon ❤️

  7. mia girl says:

    Do they want to primarily produce an show that millions of viewers want to watch, or do they want to primarily produce an event to hand out awards?

    If the latter, go back to the days when it was a private luncheon and spare us all 4 hours of boredom. We’ve already sat through a bunch of award shows handing out awards.

    The Oscars needs to be more. The music is a big part of that.

  8. Lila says:

    Well, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to watching Gaga fawn over Cooper for the entire performance so maybe 90 seconds are a blessing? LOL I’m sorry but her theatrics have become nauseating.

  9. Chaine says:

    I literally never watch it. I used to watch the red carpet fashion commentary, but now I just wait for the next mornings Celebitchy 😂

  10. RBC says:

    I can’t see the Oscars lasting until it’s 100th anniversary if the producers keep messing up like this. Why not combine all the major award shows(Emmys,Grammys,Oscars, Tonys) into one show and call it the EGOT Awards?
    Have one four or five hour show celebrating the best in entertainment with all the music, performances, red carpet interviews and fashions. It would be like the Super Bowl of entertainment

  11. Millennial says:

    I personally never like the song portions. I’d just as soon they skip all of them and the telecast be 30 minutes shorter. And while we are at it, skip sound mixing and editing, costumes, and makeup too (sorry, but not really).

    • Ducky La Rue says:

      I’m with you, in that I usually don’t care that much about the song portion of the show. If I really like a song, maybe, but I usually prefer the original nominated version to whatever happens on stage.

      On the other hand, I personally really like a lot of the more technical “nuts & bolts” movie-making awards, like editing, cinematography, art direction, makeup. And I love a good costume drama, so the costume noms give me a quick glimpse of movies I might be interested in.

      While I’m interesting in the “big” awards too, I wish they’d limit the length of time for the big winners, because that’s where I end up getting bored.

  12. jules says:

    I’ll be checking this site for the fashion the next day. All I need.

  13. ariel says:

    This show is just basically one long commercial for the movie studios, and they are certainly showing that this year.
    Take out the parts that people want to see, to stick in more ads for the nominated movies, and other movies/movie stars the show wants to push us towards for $$$$ for the studios.
    I usually watch a bit of it, and I loved the Favourite and Black Panther.
    But, i’m out.

  14. lucy2 says:

    I’d rather this than only 2 of the 5 getting to perform (that’s rude to the other 3) but it still is stupid to cut the songs down so much when you know there’s a bunch of other filler that could be trimmed down instead.
    We’ll get six montages of random stuff and an interpretive dance about animated movies, but they’ll cut the songs down, and leave people out of the in memoriam and claim later it was for time.

  15. Tiffany :) says:

    I read this from Deadline. Apparently Gaga was the one who told the Academy it wasn’t fair to other nominees to only have 2 songs performed, so she threatened not to perform at all if the others didn’t also get the opportunity.

    “Since we’re dishing, here’s what I was told. The producers wanted to limit it to those two songs, and the reason the Academy walked back that decision was because either Lady Gaga herself, or her reps, made it clear she felt it was completely unfair to eliminated the three songs — almost like the Academy producers were forecasting who they thought would win — and that she wouldn’t perform if a change wasn’t made. And that’s why the Academy tweeted that all the songs will be shown, even if the tunes are truncated.”

  16. meh says:

    The song from ASIB is so incredibly AWFUL and stupid, so I’m not too torn up about not having to hear the whole thing during the show. I feel for the other artists, though.

  17. Nanny to the rescue says:

    This isn’t the first time they’re doing this.

    In 2012 there were only 2 songs nominated and they weren’t performed live.

  18. Suz says:

    The musical performances are literally the only entertaining thing about the Oscars. Lame.

  19. Anare says:

    The Academy has been shitting all over the Oscars for months. Remember how they wanted to create a special category for “popular” movies? The blowback was swift. Then the debaucle with the host. No one wants to host this mess. Now it’s the foolery with the best song. The best song performances are usually the highlight of the show. What dumbass would choose to cut that to streamline the show? What a bunch of absolute morons. Here they are celebrating the top movies of the year and they can’t even produce an awards show. My god! SMH!

  20. ejodee says:

    Power plays in action.
    Follow the money.

  21. Luci Lu says:

    Not a problem for me, since I DVR all long-winded award shows to watch them at my leisure, and to see my favorites accept their awards. Over-produced song performances have proven to be quite annoying, and a vanity display for me; after all, the winner’s name is already in the sealed envelope. Also. giving up two to three hours of your life to sit through any television show, when you can tape it just makes sense. And, you can watch fashion show online, later the same night.

  22. Yes Doubtful says:

    I used to watch every Oscar nominated movie, but I stopped doing that and watching the show years ago. The Academy and The Grammy’s are so outdated. From the nominees, to the winners to the long telecast. It all needs to be revamped. In this day in age, I can just watch the most popular clips online and save myself 4 hours of boredom. They thought Hart would have “saved” it, but nobody would have cared about him either. He’s not even funny.

  23. holly hobby says:

    Who is producing this shitshow? They should never be allowed to do this again! There’s only two segments that I watch, the best song and in memoriam. Everything else can go. They can’t get rid of a pointless montage so everyone can sing the songs in its entirety?

    What kind of BS is that?