Most people would agree that Oscar’s Best Original Song category hasn’t worked right in at least a decade. Oh there have been a couple of great moments. Three 6 Mafia’s performance was electric and watching the cast of Once get up there to do their thing was kind of special. But for the most part, the Oscar night performance of the music nominated for Best Original Song is a boring, tedious, time-suck. I still think there’s a way to fix it. Drop “original” from the category, for instance, to allow a wider variety of music to be performed. But this year’s Oscar producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic are going a different direction. They’re dropping the performers.

Deadline says they’ve informed the artists nominated for Best Original Song that they won’t be invited to perform at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Instead, they’ll play some sort of video montage of scenes from each film while the music in question plays. The idea is to provide context for the music. Of course that only makes any sense when the nominees aren’t songs which played during the credits, and more often than not they are.

This decision comes in a year where the Academy already limited the number of Original Song nominees to help speed things along. Hopefully, if they’re ditching the performers, this also means they’ll only play excerpts from each piece of nominated music, rather than forcing us to sit there and stare at an endless clip montage while forced to waste time listening to the whole thing.

Still, it’s hard not to think of the missed opportunity here. How great would it have been to see Jeff Bridges up there on stage, with his guitar, belting out “The Weary Kind”? If it saves us from having to sit through the awful music of Nine, I guess it’s worth the sacrifice.

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