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First 10 'Best Picture' Nominations...Now The Possibility Of No Original Song Oscars??

Merrick here...
Last week we learned the slots for 'Best Picture' Oscar nominations were being doubled from 5 to 10 (details HERE). Now comes word that more changes are in the wind for the venerable institution : one in terms of telecast pacing, and one that may carry dramatic implications for the 'Best Song' category. Timothy M. Gray over at Variety has posted THIS interesting piece about adjustments now being made to Oscar rules/voting.
The music branch annually conducts a "bake-off" in which voters see clips of eligible songs as they are used in each film. The voters then rate a song on a scale of 6 to 10. Under the new ruling, if no song earns 8.25, there will be no nominations. If at least one hits that magic number, it will be nominated, as will the second-highest scorer. (Previous rules had specified three to five nominees, and the new rules say the category will still max out at five.) The bake-off was an earnest attempt to ensure that a song's contribution to a film was more important than diskery sales, since pop-rock singer-songwriters have increasingly become a presence in a film's score, much to the consternation of some music branch members. But the bake-off limited the voting pool (you couldn't vote without seeing these clips) and worked to the disadvantage of songs that summed up the mood and ideas of the film but were played during closing credits. (Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" and Eddie Vedder's song from "Into the Wild" were two recent examples of closing-credits songs that were shut out.)
In short: the scoring system for nominating songs has changed, which could theoretically result in NO 'Best Song' nominations in a particular year. Also, what my father once referred to as "The Grand Old Geezer Awards" will no longer be presented during the actual Oscar telecast. Says Gray/Variety:
The other move was the board's decision to present the "testimonial" awards -- the Thalberg nod to filmmakers, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the honorary Oscars for career excellence -- at a black-tie event in November for 500 invited guests, rather than presenting them on the Oscarcast.

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