Sorry America, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone will not be belting out their Best Original Song nominated songs “City of Stars” and “Audition” from “La La Land” during the Oscars telecast later this month. The good news is The Academy did find a way to get potential EGOT member Lin-Manuel Miranda to perform. Miranda, who is nominated for “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana,” will join 16-year-old Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced the title character, in performing the song. Of course, that song isn’t a duet, but it looks like they’ll find someway to make it one in order to get the popular “Hamilton” creator on stage during the telecast.
Oscars broadcaster ABC is likely even more thrilled that Justin Timberlake is booked to sing his nominated track, “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls,” which was one of the biggest pop hits of the past 12 months. We’re just hoping telecast producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd abstain from having dancers look like the animated troll characters or, worse, dancers in Troll costumes (keep your fingers crossed). Like Miranda, Timberlake has an outside shot of upsetting the two “La La Land” nominated tracks for the win in this category.
Sting, who has been nominated in this category three times before, will perform “The Empty Chair” from the documentary “Jim: The James Foley Story.” His previous nods were “You Will Be My Ain True Love” from “Cold Mountain” (2003), “Until” from “Kate & Leopold” (2001) and “My Funny Friend And Me” from “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000), which he shared with David Hartley.
With Gosling and Stone rescuing themselves from singing live on stage in front of a billion people their co-star and Oscar winner John Legend will step in instead. This likely means “Audition” and “City of Stars” will be performed as a medley saving the always long running show precious minutes as it tries to avoid going over the 3 and a half hour mark. Legend won his Academy Award two years ago for “Glory” from “Selma” which he shared with Common.
In a release from The Academy, Todd and De Luca noted, “We’re thrilled to welcome these world-class artists to the Oscars. These performances will not only celebrate the five extraordinary nominated original songs, but also the integral part music plays in movies.”
The 89th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24th at 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET and broadcast live on ABC.