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The 91st Academy Awards is already set to look quite different from previous ceremonies due to not having a host, the first time this has been done since 1989. However, it was also reported last week that only two of the Best Original Song nominees would be performed on the Oscars stage this year, leaving the other three out of the show. Well, following the backlash to this news, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reversed this decision and will feature all five of the nominees being performed.
Originally the plan was only for Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from A Star is Born and Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All the Stars” from Black Panther to be performed at the 91st Academy Awards. But today, The Academy tweeted out that Jennifer Hudson will sing Diane Warren’s “I’ll Fight” from RBG on stage Oscars night. This was followed by the reveal that Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns will also be performed by a “surprise special guest.” Variety has since confirmed that all five songs will be featured during the ceremony, meaning we can add David Rawlings and Gillian Welch’s “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs as well.
It’s mentioned in Variety’s report that producers informed representatives of the remaining three song nominees that there wasn’t time to perform all these musical numbers. Supposedly there was then talk among the nominees on establishing an ‘all perform or none perform’ united front, although it’s unclear if this actually happened. Either way, now all five Oscar-nominated songs will have the chance to shine in the telecast, albeit in 90-second form. Apparently a “feeler” was also sent out to the members of Queen to open the ceremony performing one of their songs featured in Bohemian Rhapsody, but that idea has since been scrapped.
Aside from Jennifer Hudson belting out “I’ll Fight,” there’s no word yet on who will perform any of the other Best Original Songs at the next Oscars ceremony. There’s obviously the potential for the people who actually sang these songs in their respective movies, like Lady Gaga in A Star is Born or Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns, but we’ll have to wait and see if that indeed happens.
Fortunately for all the movies that scored Best Original Song nominations, those aren’t the only Oscars they’re in consideration for. RBG walked away with one other nomination (Best Documentary - Feature), The Ballad of Buster Scruggs has two more and Mary Poppins Returns has three more, while Black Panther and A Star is Born have an impressive seven and eight total nominations, respectively.
The 91st Academy Awards will air Sunday, February 24 on ABC, so check in with CinemaBlend that night as the winners are announced. Those looking further into the future can look through our 2019 release schedule to find out what movies are hitting theaters this year.