The Oscars Needs These Best Song Performances If They Want to Top Adele Dazeem
Just because we're honoring movies doesn't mean we can't have live entertainment at the Academy Awards, and the Best Song nominees can dictate how the entire show goes. What kind of musical performances can we expect at the Oscars this year? Will Kiera Knightley take the stage? Could The Lonely Island become the next Three 6 Mafia? (No, we haven't forgotten that they won for Hustle and Flow in 2006, because that was amazing.) Should we cross our fingers for a surprise appearance by Justin Timberlake? While the majority of the nominees were disheartening, the show itself could make up for that. The nominated songs are all very different in tone and style.
In recent years, the Best Song nominees haven't been performed at all during the show. In 2012, only two songs were nominated, so they dispensed with that aspect of the program. However, the Oscars have never been afraid to put on a big production. The 1987 performance from Little Shop of Horrors will tell you that much. Plus, with Neil Patrick Harris hosting? You know we're in for a show. That man can't help himself. His opening song from the 2013 Tony Awards (which he hosted) was so spectacular that it won an Emmy Award. That's some awards show Inception right there!
Now that the nominees are out, I imagined how I would design all of the performances for maximum star power and theatricality. Hold onto your top hats!
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again
First of all, this sleepy song should come early in the show. In the movie, it's performed by Adam Levine and Keira Knightley, but on separate occasions. While it would be cool to have Maroon 5 perform at the Oscars, I would prefer if the two of them did a duet. Adam Levine is not known for his acting, and Kiera Knightley isn't on any of my musical dreamcasts, so I think highlighting that would work well. They could make the stage look like a coffee shop, or a recording studio. How cute would that be?
"Glory" from Selma
I'm worried that Hollywood's instinct here would be to have a huge gospel choir and philharmonic orchestra. However, listening to the song again, and watching the minimalist video above, I think it would be better with just John Legend at the piano, a string quartet, and Common. A simple stage setup with projected images from Selma would be more powerful and less exploitative in light of the film's many snubs. Also, if all else fails, just bring Prince back!
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights
Gugu Mbatha-Raw will be at the Oscars if I have anything to do with it. Unfortunately, this was not one of her character's songs in the movie. At the very least, we'll get to see Rita Ora. I'm thinking that this performance should have a lot of dancing. Misty Copeland, anyone? Either ballet or super serious modern dance all across the stage with lots of blue and purple lighting. This is where you make use of the space.
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glen Campbell... I'll Be Me
There always seems to be one nominee for Best Song that nobody's heard of each year. If country legend Glen Campbell himself doesn't perform the song at the Academy Awards, I would expect a big country name. My dream, since this show is broadcast on ABC, would be to have some of the cast members of Nashville perform a cover. However, the documentary features Sheryl Crow, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, as well as "up and coming artist" Paul McCartney. Surely one of them will step up. Have the camera awkwardly cut to Nicole Kidman. You know the drill.
"Everything Is Awesome" From The Lego Movie
Finally, this performance should be the everything that Pharrell and Despicable Me 2's "Happy" was last year, only five thousand times better. Yes, I am referencing Parks and Recreation because I'm sitting here trying to figure out how we are going to get Chris Pratt and Mouse Rat on stage at the Oscars. At the ceremony, I want hologram Legos. I want disco balls. I want Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island up on stage with Tegan and Sara. The number should also probably happen well into the night, when everyone is getting bored and antsy.
Images: Getty; Giphy