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Why do the Oscars hate best song category?

Jason Segel joins the Muppet version of his character to sing "Man or Muppet."

OPINION

Look, if the Academy Awards hate the best song category so much, why don't they just dump it completely?

First, only two songs instead of five were nominated for the best original song Academy Award. That means the group skipped over songs by Mary J. Blige, Elton John, Chris Cornell, and because of a bizarre rule, Madonna. Her song "Masterpiece" from "W.E." won the Golden Globe, but it's not Oscar eligible because it's the second song played in the closing credits, not the first. That sounds kind of like one of those random rules somebody scribbled on the list at the last minute if you ask us.

And now, according to Deadline.com, the two songs that did get nominated won't be performed at the Feb. 26 ceremony.

To some viewers, this is surely a good thing, but we always like hearing the songs. The little snippets from the various films can only give you a tiny idea of whether Brad Pitt is a better actor than George Clooney, or whether the costumes from "Hugo" are better than those in "Jane Eyre." But the song category lays it all on the table. You hear the whole song. You get to make your own judgment.

I still remember Robin Williams singing "Blame Canada" in 2000, dancing with a sexy kickline of female Mounties and calling Anne Murray the B-word with all the joy he could muster. That song losing to a Phil Collins tune is one of the great Oscar travesties of all time, but at least Oscar viewers could compare the songs mano a mano for themselves.

The Oscars can be a dry, dull night. Once you get past the glamorous gowns, the speeches are often long and boring, the hosts' jokes are usually groaners, and the memorial montage always leaves someone out. Why dump the one chance to break up the snores with a quick song or two? (For the record, we also think the Miss America pageant should show every bit of the weirdest contestant talent segments -- do you know they had a jump roper this year and didn't show her performance?)

There's still hope -- Deadline quotes one source saying that the show's lineup isn't set yet and "decisions about this and other things continue to be evaluated." So we'll see.

Even though there are just two, this year's Oscar songs, "Man or Muppet" and "Real in Rio,"  could both be entertainingly staged. Don't tell us that some singing Muppets on stage wouldn't be a better use of our viewing time than hearing someone introduce the accountants.

 

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