It was definitely an Oscars night to remember — and not just because of that slip-up. And it all started with Justin Timberlake performing his Academy Award nominated song “Can’t Stop The Feeling” for the good and the great of Hollywood inside the Dolby Theater (and nearly one billion people watching live across the planet).
It all started off innocently enough. As soon as the lights went up on the 89th annual telecast the former N’SYNC-er sauntered his way through the front doors of the building singing his tune, which he debuted on television last May as the interval act of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.
He entered the main auditorium just as he reached the first chorus of his worldwide smash hit, which went to number one in over thirty countries. Clad in a well-fitted tuxedo, he was joined by fantastically coiffed dancers that joined his pack of Timberponds one by one as he walked down the aisle toward the stage. (We can’t help but think of Robin Bengtsson’s Melodifestivalen 2017 act just a little).
Once on stage JT mixed it up a bit and gave the audience a few new beats to the familiar tune. It was a fresh take for those us who’ve heard the song seventeen million times already.
Eventually, the party made its way back down to the floor amidst the gussied up and glammed out Hollywood stars. Justin even took a moment to dance a bit with his wife Jessica Biel before wrapping up the song and introducing host Jimmy Kimmel to thunderous applause.
It was a laid-back and raucous beginning to a traditionally stuffy affair. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” set the tone for a relaxed yet formally-attired awards show that has been struggling to hold on to its usual share of American television viewers.
Producers at both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC/Disney are always looking for new ways to engage audiences, increase viewership and hold on to the special place the Oscars have held in American and motion picture culture for nearly one hundred years.
Whether Justin Timberlake’s fantastically fun and youth-driven opening manages to increase viewership and hook the audience remains to be seen.
All of this being said — Sunday’s Oscar telecast will most likely be remembered for the Best Picture flub heard around the world. American actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took to the stage to announce the Best Picture award winner, and after doing so realized they announced the wrong winner. It was drama unlike anything we’ve seen since the nail-biting closing moments of Eurovision 2016.
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” was featured in the animated movie Trolls, and was nominated in the Best Song category. It lost out to La La Land‘s “City of Stars” sung during the show by pop-soul virtuoso John Legend. It was also up against hard-hitting Disney fare “How Far I’ll Go” written for the animated movie Moana by Lin Manuel Miranda — who recently swept the Tony Awards for writing the smash-hit Broadway musical Hamilton.
Even though it lost, “Can’t Stop the Feeling” is by far the best-selling song nominated at this year’s Oscars — and it was also one of the best-selling overall singles of 2016.
Did you see Sunday’s Oscars telecast? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.