EXCLUSIVE: Oscars Won't Perform Both Nominated Songs From 'Rio' Or 'Muppets'

EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: It was bad enough that just about every eligible tune in the Best Original Song category was omitted from this year’s Academy Awards nominations. Or that, due to their complicated voting system, the music branch of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences saw fit to nominate only two songs: Rio’s “Real In Rio”  and The Muppets’  ”Man or Muppet” when well-known artists like Elton John, Mary J. Blige, and Sinead O’Connor also had terrific songs in the mix. But now Deadline has learned that neither nominated song will be performed during the Oscar telecast as things stand now. We understand that both studios — Rio‘s Fox and The Muppets‘ Disney — formally protested the decision to skip but received turn-downs. “It seems like a huge missed opportunity to me, and we certainly tried,” one song insider just told us. Said another song insider: “It doesn’t make sense. They could have so much fun with Muppets and Rio staging.”

Though this decision sounds firm because of the telecast’s pressure-cooker time constraints, some of those affected hope all-powerful Academy Awards telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer still have a work in progress. “The show is not locked yet. Decisions about this and other things continue to be evaluated by the team trying to produce the most entertaining 3 hours possible,” one authoritative source just emailed us. “Someone ‘leaking’ this possibility to you is just another way for people to try and influence the creative direction of the show. And there have been Oscar shows that did not have the nom songs performed.” Indeed Alan Carr’s infamous 1989 Oscars performed no songs, and another recent broadcast presented a clip reel of the warbling. Hey, for what it’s worth, we want the songs every year.

  1. No problem with this. Never understood why the do the songs live anyway. They don’t make the actors get on stage and act or writers sit behind a keyboard. The category has been reduced to a joke with all the rules and loopholes.

    1. The average age of the members voting on the best song…77. What does that tell you. Trust me if it was Streisand they would have the songs included.

  2. uh, yeah, there have been previous telecasts where the songs weren’t performed at all. or merged into some obscene medley.


    Really. 2 songs and they can’t bother? So much for using time as an excuse.

  3. Didn’t like it, both songs are so good and in Oscars history those moments (the song presentations) were great.

  4. I for one am incredibly bummed to hear that Jason Segel will not be performing Man or Muppet. Real missed opportunity Oscar producers. Would have been fun.

  5. Blame the music branch for making it extremely difficult to even get a nomination that they are just putting themselves out of importance. It’s strange that they can’t seem to fit two songs in– I guess they have some boring montage planned instead

  6. Here’s one idea…cutting down on the long boring speeches these nominees give when winning the statue. Three minutes and that’s it. If one goes over the alloted time, then cut off the mic.

  7. Muppets are ratings gold, especially “Man or Muppet” which would have stolen the show. This seems really odd to me.

    1. You know you don’t HAVE to watch. I don’t mind a long Oscars, it’s not about getting to the next category for me.

      “Man or Muppet” would’ve made an AMAZING (and seemingly cost effective) routine.

  8. The elimination of the songs is something I’ve been praying for and ranting about for YEARS. I guess it took a disaster to bring it about. Now if they will rid the Oscars telecast of the dance routines, perhaps we’ll get a show about the actual film makers. What a concept!

  9. stupid decision… that muppet song especially woulda been so great to see… i read how bret mckenzie and jason segal were thinking how it would be performed… i guess the hoity toity oscar folk are embarrassed to have muppets apart of the show or something

    that was one of the few things i was looking forward to…

    gee you think it’s gonna be a by the numbers check list obvious oscars this year?

    1. They probably don’t wanna remind people that felt puppets are more animated then Franco & Hathaway were.

  10. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. The Muppets are insanely popular and Sergio Mendes doing a festive number set in Rio would be fun.

    Much more fun than the sound awards in which the winners thank 30 people. Don’t get me wrong. I love the techies but their speeches are boring.

  11. I might sit the Oscars out this year. Muppets finally get a little respect and then they rain on their parade. Boo.

  12. Entertaining 3 hours? Then why get billy crystal to host. He’s neither fun OR funny. And I hope they spare us a bunch of song and dance and instead focus on celebrating the ARTS of the MOTION PICTURE.

  13. oh great, lately that is the most entertaining part of the show…….now is it just a bunch of boring thank yous, blah blah blah???…..don’t know that I want to bother investing 3 hours of my time for that

  14. Thank G-d. The Academy Awards celebrate film, not Broadway. Live song and dance performances are fantastic in the room but terrible on television, not nearly the same energy. Kudos to Grazer for having the chutzpah to do something that has long needed doing. The Tony Awards this ain’t.

  15. Nothing — NOTHING — grinds this show to a halt faster than the song performances. This is a great decision and hopefully a permanent one.

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