Best Original Song can be one of the most exciting categories at the Oscars, depending on who’s in the running for the statue. Some years, it’s populated entirely by artists who largely work behind-the-scenes and whose names aren’t familiar to most tuning in at home, which also means interest wanes slightly. Thankfully, the 2022 ceremony features a bevy of superstars, which makes the latest race even more exciting to watch.
The five Best Original Song nominees include a who’s who of chart-toppers and beloved musicians, but who will end up taking home the gold?
And the nominees are:
The easy frontrunner at this point is “No Time to Die” by Billie Eilish and her older brother Finneas O’Connell. The tune has already collected the Golden Globe in the same category earlier this year, and the Best Song Written for Visual Media Grammy in March of 2021.
Released in spring 2020, it seems odd that a single so old should still be collecting prizes, but Covid-19 pushed back both award shows and the release of No Time to Die, so it is technically still eligible.
With both of those trophies to its credit, it seems likely that “No Time to Die” will become just the third James Bond theme to collect the prestigious Academy Award, following wins by Adele (“Skyfall”) and Sam Smith (“Writing’s on the Wall”). Should the two come out on top, they will be some of the youngest champions ever, and at just 20, Eilish may actually claim this bit of history.
Behind Eilish and O’Connell, two other tunes also have a shot at winning Best Original Song, though if either of them end up being named the champion, it will be a real upset.
After decades of eligibility and creating songs specifically for films that deserved Oscar love, Beyoncé is finally a nominee…though it doesn’t appear she’ll land a win on her first time at the ceremony as a nominated act.
Her single “Be Alive” works perfectly in the biopic King Richard, but it was not promoted at all, and even Queen Bey’s starpower probably won’t be enough for her to come out on top.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Dos Oruguitas” also must be considered seriously — less so because of how wonderful the track itself is and more due to the surprising success of the other tunes from Encanto.
The Hamilton songwriter and producer selected the ballad as his Oscar submission months ago, when it seemed like a solid choice. After the deadline came and went, the soundtrack went to No. 1, as did its shockingly popular single “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” which became just the second-ever tune from a Disney animated movie to top the Hot 100.
By that point, it was too late to switch things up, but voters may be eager to reward him for his entire body of work. If Miranda does win, he will finally complete his EGOT, adding the O on his second try.
Compositions by both Van Morrison (“Down to Joy”) and 13-time nominee (without a single win) Diane Warren (“Somehow You Do”) are also excellent pieces of work, but the competition simply seems too fierce at the 2022 Oscars for either of them to have a real shot at the statue.
The 94th Academy Awards air on Sunday, March 27, at 8 p.m. on ABC. Visit Oscars.com.
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