All The Stars

With just a few days to go until this year’s Academy Awards, I’d assumed most of the chaos surrounding the ceremony was finally worked out. But it turns out there’s (at least) one more odd update left.

Despite the Academy’s efforts to include them, Kendrick Lamar and SZA will not be performing their Oscar-nominated song “All the Stars” from Black Panther during the show this Sunday night. Not only that, but the song won’t be performed at all – making it the only one of the five nominees that won’t be represented by a musical performance during the broadcast.

Variety broke the news, and their source tells them that “logistics and timing” are the reasons why the performers won’t be able to participate. And while several other Best Song nominees will be performed at the ceremony by people who didn’t perform them in their movie, that won’t be the case here: the Academy confirmed that the song won’t be performed by anyone at all.

This whole thing strikes me as odd, especially since the original plan was to only feature two songs during the show: “Shallow” from A Star is Born and “All the Stars.” Would Lamar and SZA have been available if that original plan held up, or would “Shallow” have then become the only nominated performance of the evening? (We know that at least one more musical performance will happen during the ceremony: a previous report announced Queen & Adam Lambert will kick off the show with some music.)

A part of me was wondering if “All The Stars” might be able to pull out a surprise win against “Shallow,” which seems to be the heavy favorite. After Lady Gaga’s strange performance of “Shallow” at the Grammys and the viral video of Cooper performing it with her on stage in Las Vegas, I thought it might be possible for Oscar voters to maybe turn off autopilot and possibly give “All The Stars” their vote. Let’s pretend that upset actually happens: it’s going to be super confusing for the one song that isn’t performed at the ceremony to take home the trophy at the end of the night.

Yes, I know it probably won’t happen, but now I want it to all the more, just because it would be such a clear representation of how much of a complete cluster the lead-up to this year’s Oscars has been.

So which songs will we see during the ceremony? Here’s a quick rundown of each remaining nominee and the people who will perform them:

“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Gillian Welch and David Rowlings), “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (Bette Midler and Marc Shaiman), “I’ll Fight” from RBG (Jennifer Hudson) and “Shallow” from A Star Is Born (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper).

You can listen to “All The Stars” below:

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