The 91st Academy Awards telecast kicked things off with a bang on Sunday when Adam Lambert and the surviving members of Queen performed a medley of the band’s greatest hits. With the Freddie Mercury (and Queen) biopic Bohemian Rhapsody nominated for several awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Rami Malek, the opener made perfect sense. Of course, it also served as a crowd-pleasing way to start the host-less festivities.
Lambert and Queen performed selections of the verses and main choruses of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions.” Sure enough, as soon as the band came out with the first notes of the all-too-familiar songs, many of the Oscars attendees took to their feet to celebrate. Plenty of quick cutaways revealed nominees, celebrities and seat-fillers singing along, clapping and pumping their fists to the beats of both songs.
As much fun as Queen’s kick-off was, however, it will probably confuse lay audiences watching the festivities at home since Bohemian Rhapsody isn’t nominated for the Best Original Song category. (Nor would it be, since its Queen-approved soundtrack consists of songs that are decades old.) But with not all of the Best Original Song nominees on hand to perform selections from their tunes, the 2019 Oscars ceremony was already on track to be a confusing few hours of television.