Without a host to move the Academy Awards forward the past two years, the musical numbers during the Oscars have moved way up as highly-anticipated moments during the ceremony for audiences to look forward to. Along with the show celebrating those nominated for Best Original Song, the Oscars have become much more of a song-and-dance show. After the 2020 show kicked things off with a fun opening number by Janae Monae, there were various other performances to enjoy.
For the most part, the musical performances at tonight’s Oscar show played it safe. They were visually striking, but their concepts didn’t particularly dazzle. Hollywood’s biggest night will be best remembered for the historical win of Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite or heartfelt acceptance speeches such as Laura Dern’s win for Marriage Story. That said, there were still some that shined above the rest. Check out the best musical moments of the night:
Idina Menzel and Other Elsa’s Sing "Into the Unknown"
At the beginning of the night, although Disney’s Frozen II didn’t receive a nomination for Best Animated Feature, it did get representation for Best Original Song for “Into The Unknown.” Idina Menzel belted out the song on stage, but she had some company that really added to the performance.
Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora, who sings on the recording, accompanied Idina Menzel in the background. And toward the end of the song, nine Elsa’s from all over the world sang with her. It made for a powerful moment that also highlighted Frozen’s global success. The singers sang in German, Spanish, Thai, Russian and so forth! What a great way to remind audiences how universal the Disney hit is.
Eminem Surprises With “Lose Yourself”
Almost twenty years ago, Eminem won an Oscar for his iconic song “Lose Yourself” featured in 8 Mile. But the audience had no idea he’d show up on the Academy Awards stage for another performance of the song nearly two decades later. The surprise led to some awesome reactions from the celebrity audience. Zazie Beetz couldn’t quit banging her head back and forth, Kelly Marie Tran and Gal Gadot were singing along the words, the list goes on.
Back when the rapper won the Oscar way back when, he actually wasn't present, and thus didn't perform "Lose Yourself" because the Academy wouldn't let him belt out the uncensored version. So this one was a long time coming! It's the song we have stuck in our head long after the Best Picture was called. The moment was built up beautifully by a montage of various songs from movies that added to Eminem’s shocking entrance.
Cynthia Erivo Sings “Stand Up” From Harriet
The most memorable performance at the Oscars was Cynthia Erivo's "Stand Up.” It’s a tough job to anticipate potentially going on stage to give a speech for Best Actress and have a song to nail. But, wow did she nail it. The Best Original Song award ultimately went to Elton John and Bernie Taupin for his Rocketman’s “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” but it was her vocals that gave us all the goosebumps!
Her choir and dances going into the audience added energy and elevated the performance. Many viewers probably hadn’t heard this song before tonight. This is an incredible introduction for many to Erivo and Harriet – that’s what the Oscars are all about!
Aside from these showstoppers, This Is Us' Chrissy Metz sang "Stand With You" from Breakthrough, Elton John and Randy Newman performed at the piano for their Rocketman and Toy Story 4 songs, and Billie Eilish sang an emotional rendition of the Beatles' "Yesterday" during the "In Memoriam" segment honoring late stars such as Kirk Douglas. What do you think? What was the best performance at the 2020 Oscars? Vote in our poll and comment below!
Photo Credit: ABC