Aside from the fashion and a chance to see celebs accidentally say something stupid, Best Original Song performances is the one thing that makes the 3-hour-plus long Academy Awards bearable. This year VH1’s favorite British belter Adele will be carrying a tune and possibly a statue for “Skyfall.” But over the years many unexpected pop hits have caught the Academy’s attention. So, how does Adele’s award season favorite stack up against past Oscar winners and nominees? From Janet Jackson and Counting Crows to Three 6 Mafia and Eminem, we make a case for each. Vote on which winner or contender deserves that golden naked man most while we practice our Angelina leg.
Team “Fank You”
Adele “Skyfall” – Who didn’t hold their breath when they heard our darling You Oughta Know alumna would be sidelined by vocal surgery during her best year ever. The thought that a voice that once made us all weep like idiots (thanks for pointing that out, Emma Stone) could be altered left even the most confident Adele fan shanken. But just when we were afraid she’d never sing again, she penned and belted the Oscar-nominated theme for the latest James Bond flick, stirring our obsession with that silky alto once more.
Team Three 6 Mafia
Three 6 Mafia “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” – In 2005 a pimp and the Mafia got over on the Academy Awards. The only thing greater than this catchy single from the movie Hustle & Flow becoming the second rap song to win an Oscar, is getting to watch people dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns say, “pimp” with very solemn expressions all night long. Oh, and let’s not forget the dancing pimps and working girls during the Three 6 Mafia performance of the track.
Team Miss Jackson
Janet Jackson “Again” – The youngest Jackson may not have received rave reviews for her film debut as title character of movie Poetic Justice, but she snagged an Academy Awards nomination anyway by penning “Again” with long-time writing/producing partners Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. While Janet didn’t get the statue at the big show, she did manage to hold the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 hostage for two weeks in late 1993, Poetic Justice has become a cult classic and those braids (thankfully) have never surfaced again .
Team Slim Shady
Eminem “Lose Yourself” – Eminem didn’t thank his mom’s spaghetti for the most popular line of his Oscar-winning rap song (first in history), because he didn’t show to accept the award. That doesn’t make Em any less deserving of the statue. He wrote his 12-week-long #1 hit in between filming takes on the set of 8 Mile for its soundtrack and recorded it in a portable studio in one take. Is there an Academy Award category for that?
Team Counting Crows
Counting Crows “Accidentally In Love” – The alt-rockers appearance on the Academy Award list of nominees was no mistake. The catchy tune was bound to resonate on the charts and with Oscar voters due to its affiliation with box office smash Shrek 2. The “Mr. Jones” band even peppered the video for their hit with a lip-syncing animated bunny. I dare you to not smile. You have no soul. And apparently neither did the Academy because Counting Crows went home empty handed. Did they deserve it?