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Oscars 2022: Let’s Talk About The Most Competitive Best Original Song Race Ever!

No matter who wins this race, history will be made

Amit Vaidya Feb 10, 2022

(from left) Billie Eilish, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Beyonce are among the top competers for the Best Original Song Oscar award. Photos: Press image, Steve Jurvetson, CC BY 2.0 (Miranda)

While Best Original Song traditionally has not been a very competitive race at the Academy Awards, this year many of the nominees are in line to make history. So while we may not agree with the nomination list, we are excited for what happens.

Let’s start with Beyonce. It comes as no surprise that she finally got her Oscar nomination this year for her contribution to King Richard with the song “Be Alive.” The song was destined to garner a nomination for the singer—who co-wrote the music and lyrics with DIXSON— as the film has been highly celebrated with Will Smith emerging as a front-runner to win his first Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams in the film.

While Queen B should be excited about her chances, there’s a man who may stand in her way and has a lot of people rooting for him—Lin-Manuel Miranda. Just an ‘O’ away from EGOT status, Miranda received a nod for his first all-Spanish composition “Dos Oruguitas” from the Encanto soundtrack. While “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is currently #1 across the globe and many are confused why it didn’t land a nomination, it was actually a smart strategy. The producers of the film only submitted one song from the film to increase its chances of winning. While “Dos Oruguitas” may not be the fan favorite, the movie has received so much love. As for Miranda, it’s quite possible the man may just get his EGOT this year!

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Traditionally, the Oscar would likely go to the song from the most nominated film of the bunch. This year that belongs to Belfast (7 nominations in total) and the song “Down To Joy” by Van Morrison. It’s surprising given the backlash Morrison has faced over the last couple of years this nomination even came to fruition. Perhaps the Academy didn’t realize Morrison was the same man who’s been busy writing anti-lockdown songs. It’s unlikely he is going to win here, as rewarding the “Brown Eyed Girl” singer would genuinely be a WTF moment. Of course, the Academy has done this before when they wished to make a statement by awarding Roman Polanski the Best Director for The Pianist in 2002.

A likelier spoiler between Beyonce and Miranda is Billie Eilish who scores her first Oscar nomination for the James Bond theme “No Time To Die.” The song actually released last year and became a commercial hit for Eilish, landing her a Grammy nomination and win; it’s the first time a Grammy-winning song is up for an Oscar. Eilish would be the third Oscar winner for a Bond theme in recent times after Adele and Sam Smith who took home gold for their work with 007. If she does win (alongside her brother Finneas), Eilish will be the youngest Oscar winner ever in the category.

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Rounding out the heavyweight nominees is the MVP herself, Diane Warren, who is up for her record 13th Oscar nomination this year in the category for “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days. Warren has yet to win a single Oscar and it’s tough to guage if this could finally be her year. Her first nomination dates back 35 years ago with “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” from Mannequin (1987).While many believe Warren is ridiculously overdue for the win, it’s likely this track, performed by Reba McEntire, will seal the deal. Of course, given the stiff competition and support likely to be split between Beyonce, Miranda and Eilish, maybe Warren stands a better chance this year than in previous times.

Regardless of who wins this year, history will be made and the winner will be celebrated—and likely deemed undeserving by many. In a year when not many films made a splash, I’d say this category might be more exciting than most of the big awards scheduled for the night. Looking forward to find out who takes home the Oscar. Who do you think should take home the gold?

Will Win: “Dos Oruguitas” – Encanto

Should Win: “Dos Oruguitas” – Encanto

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