By Abb Jones
The Reelness

With just three weeks until The Academy announces its Oscar nominees, we thought it would be fun to predict which five songs from the 15 song shortlist are likely to get nominated for Best Original Song.

Admittedly, this year’s field of competitors is not the strongest, and puzzlingly, some really good tunes – Kelly Clarkson’s “Broken & Beautiful” from Ugly Dolls, Taylor Swift’s “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats and the Ariana Grande/Miley Cyrus/Lana Del Rey song “Don’t Call Me Angel” from Charlie’s Angels – didn’t even make the shortlist. Weird.

Anyway, here are our predictions:

The favorites:


Frozen II, “Into The Unknown”

This rousing duet from Idina Menzel and AURORA is virtually a lock to get nominated (and win).  The only excitement will be if we get John Travolta as the presenter Oscar night so he can again butcher Adele Dazeem’s, er uh, Idina Menzel’s name.



The Lion King, “Spirit”

If anyone can topple Frozen II from its song perch, it will be Beyoncé. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to see Queen Bey perform this live on Oscar night? She will get nominated and a performance is very likely.



Aladdin, “Speechless”

The beautiful and talented Naomi Scott’s heartfelt song from the Disney live action film is also pretty much a shoo-in for a nomination, and frankly, it would be a terrific surprise upset win.



Harriet, “Stand Up”

Here is where things get a little less certain. Harriet was a bit lackluster as a story, not quite doing justice to the civil rights icon’s legacy, and the song is just okay – but Tony, Grammy and Emmy award winner Cynthia Erivo (whom is just missing an Oscar to join the coveted 15 EGOT recipients) has an amazing voice and will almost certainly get a Best Actress nomination as well, so odds are that all that momentum will nudge this onto the list.



Rocketman, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”

This totally uninspired song will likely slip into the fifth spot, only because of the name recognition of Elton John (and The Academy’s hope that he might perform Oscar night). Elton has done better.

 Those on the bubble:


Wild Rose, “Glasgow”

If there is any justice, Jessie Buckley’s heartfelt song from the indie drama Wild Rose, about a Scottish ex-con trying to make it as a country singer in Nashville, will slip in with a nomination, but sadly she and the film are both just too unknown to catch people’s attention.



Motherless Brooklyn, “Daily Battles”

This melancholy tune performed by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea was part of the somber mood-setting theme from the drama Motherless Brooklyn.


The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, “Catchy Song”

If the Academy has ANY sense of humor, this techno tune from the surprisingly clever and cute sequel to The Lego Movie, sung by T-Pain and That Girl Lay Lay, will get the nod. It is hysterical, infectiously fun, and oh – really catchy.



Toy Story 4, “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away”

Perennial Oscar nominee (and former winner) Randy Newman churns out tunes for so many Disney flicks, but this one, while cute, is a bit too bland to break the top five. Newman should fare better in the Best Original Score category for Marriage Story.

The Lion King, “Never Too Late”

Frankly, this is the vastly better Elton John nominee in the category, but between Beyoncé’s entry for The Lion King and Elton’s other entry for Rocketman, this one stands little to no chance. If by some miracle it does get nominated, expect it split votes with the other two aforementioned songs to guarantee a win for Frozen II come Oscar night.

The long shots:

The Black Godfather, “Letter to My Godfather”
Breakthrough, “I’m Standing with You”
The Bronx USA, “Da Bronx”
Parasite, “A Glass of Soju”
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, “High Above the Water”

The Academy will announce the Oscar nominees on Monday, January 13th.

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