At the very least, the Academy Awards are shaping up to be an excellent showcase of musical talents.
Rock super group U2 is the latest act to confirm that it will perform its Oscar-nominated song, "Ordinary Love," at the Oscars, according to a press release. Shortly after, the Academy said that Karen O also will perform "The Moon Song" from Spike Jonze’s Her during the telecast. This means all four Oscar-nominated songs will be performed live during the March 2 telecast, as Pharrell said he’ll perform "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 and – our favorite – Idina Menzel announced she will be singing "Let It Go" from Frozen.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Alone Yet Not Alone singer Joni Eareckson Tada will be belting out the theme song to her movie at home.
The Academy has gone away from having musical acts performing their songs in full during the Oscar telecast. For one thing, it only adds more padding to a show that routinely tests the clock (and the audience’s patience) by stretching more than 3 hours year after year. Knowing that all four Oscar-nominated songs will be performed means that acceptance speeches likely will be cut in half, and winners will be played off. Tighten your speech, Cate Blanchett! You might get the hook (if you win the Oscar, as I assume you are going to do).
Also, what order do they go in? U2 clearly is the evening’s "headliner," but Menzel is likely to bring the house down with her soaring rendition of "Let It Go." That could be a showstopper. Will U2 want to follow that with a mid-tempo number like "Ordinary Love?" Maybe they could just launch into "Where the Streets Have No Name," and take over the telecast. Turn it into a concert. Sorry, Gravity. We’ll and you your Oscars Monday morning.
A while back, we broke down the state of the Best Song race. You can read that analysis, then listen to all four nominees below. They’ll sound better live, but that won’t happen for a few weeks.