Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the performers for the Feb. 26 ceremony. As expected, names like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Justin Timberlake were on the list, but two significant names were missing — Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
Given the fact that La La Land is a musical and the two stars sing in the movie, it was expected that they would both perform live at the Oscars. Instead, co-star John Legend will entertain the audience with his version of “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream).”
While many fans were disappointed at the news, it might be for the best. Other actors who have performed at the Oscars in the past have found the experience nerve-wracking and it wasn’t the best moment in their careers.
Take a look at some of the actors who bravely took the stage.
Taraji P. Henson
I bet you forgot about this one. Taraji P. Henson sang alongside Three 6 Mafia for the song “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” from Hustle & Flow. She held her own and the group went on to surprise everyone by winning for Best Original Song. As host Jon Stewart said after their win, “I think it just got easier out here for a pimp. I think it did.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger starred in Chicago in 2002. At the 2003 Oscars, they were asked to perform, but Zellweger claimed stage fright. Zeta-Jones gamely performed with Queen Latifah while she was nine months pregnant. The Oscars producers had EMTs on standby in case she went into labor at the ceremony. She didn’t go home with a baby that night, but she did go home with an Oscar.
This is one falls in the “life isn’t fair” category. When two songs were nominated in 2008 for Enchanted, Amy Adams was assigned “Happy Working Song” while Kristin Chenoweth, who was not in the film, was given “That’s How You Know.” Chenoweth was given a chorus of dancers and a full set, while Adams was left out there on the stage alone. While she hit all of the right notes, you could feel her dying to get the number over.
This performance has reached mythic proportions among Oscar fans. The video will pop up every once in awhile on YouTube, but is immediately removed for copyright infringement. That has been the issue since the night Rob Lowe sang a duet with Snow White, played by actress Eileen Bowman. Disney wasn’t very happy that one of their beloved characters was used to sing a modified version of “Proud Mary.”
The 15-minute number will live on as one of the most embarrassing moments in Oscars history. Be sure to check YouTube from time to time. You might get a glimpse at a night Lowe and Bowman would rather forget.
Every young ’80s actor
Besides the Rob Lowe-Snow White duet that will never see the light of day again, this musical extravaganza was one of the many hilarious and ridiculous things that happened at the 1989 Oscars. The producers thought it would be a great idea to assemble a large group of young actors for a number called “The Stars of Tomorrow.”
This 10-minute extravaganza featured everyone from a tap dancing Ricki Lake to a Michael Jackson-impersonating Corey Feldman. Your eyes won’t believe a minute of bad dancing and singing, but it’s too epic to ever miss out on.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.