The Oscar Original Song category is one that long been a hard category to predict. Winners here have ranged from songs from animated films, songs from high-profile Best Picture nominees and songs from major pop talent. This year has just one of those but in triplicate: Grammy winners Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and The Weeknd all have songs competing here. It’s a tough call; Smith won the Golden Globe, The Weeknd just won two Grammys last night, including one for his Oscar-nominated song “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey (where he actually beat Lady Gaga’s Oscar-nominated song). As one of the very few people of color nominated at this year’s #OscarsSoWhite ceremony, there could be a push for him to win here.
Lady Gaga has been working the circuit for this won harder than anyone, performing her song everywhere (even at the PGA awards) and with her Super Bowl and Grammys performances her comeback profile right now is huge. There’s also the co-writer on the song, “Til It Happens to You” from the documentary The Hunting Ground, being none other than 8-time nominee Diane Warren. Warren has never won an Oscar despite her many nominations and she’s pretty hungry for this. When you add to it that the song, about campus date rape, is also one that is very personal to Gaga (who has been open about her own sexual assault at 19) you have a recipe for a very strong narrative. They would also become the first women ever to win as a composer and lyricist duo. The last time an individual woman won who was both the composer and lyricist was Melissa Etheridge for 2006’s “I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth. Incidentally, also a documentary.
The rise of the populist winner in this category has been evident in the recent past, which could favor The Weeknd. Smith’s Globe-winning “Writing’s On the Wall” from Spectre is nowhere near the level of Adele’s “Skyfall” and could suffer from instant comparisons. This year has a first in that two films from documentaries are nominated. “Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction is a great song and if voters actually listen to it could spoil.
Here are the videos for the five Oscar-nominated Best Original Songs.
Right now, 9/10 of the Gold Rush Gang are predicting Lady Gaga and Diane Warren to win with just Nicole looking at “Simple Song #3” from Youth to prevail.
|“Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground||1||1||2||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||49||1|
|“Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre||3||2||1||2||2||3||3||2||2||2||38||2|
|“Earned It,” Fifty Shades Of Grey||2||5||3||3||4||2||2||4||4||3||28||3|
|“Simple Song #3,” Youth||4||3||4||4||3||5||4||3||3||4||23||4|
|“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction||5||4||5||5||5||4||5||5||5||5||12||5|