When Pharrell Williams was confirmed last week to perform his Oscar-nominated “Despicable Me 2” track “Happy” at the Academy Awards, there was no doubt that this news would follow in short order. Yes, Idina Menzel will be performing “Frozen’s” anthemic power ballad “Let It Go” on the show too.
The Oscars have been inconsistent in recent years about featuring live performances of the Best Original Song nominees, but there was no way that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron were going to pass on the prohibitive frontrunner in the category: written by husband-and-wife team Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez, Menzel’s catchy number is the first Disney theme in years to have crossed over into the general cultural consciousness and Billboard Hot 100 alike.
The only question was whether they’d go with Menzel, the Tony-winning Broadway diva who voices Princess Elsa in the film, or tween favorite Demi Lovato, whose pop rendition of the song has also hit the charts. The cynical side of me was predicting they’d keep their demographic bases covered with a Menzel-Lovato duet, which would hardly have been been kind on the latter — but they’ve probably been wise to keep it simple with the song’s original onscreen interpreter.
Now, will the category’s remaining nominees, U2 and Karen O, also be invited to perform on the show? I see no reason for artists of such magnitude not to be, even if their songs aren’t equivalent hits. Watch this space.