For the first time since 1979, the Oscars have revealed who is on its shortlist for Best Original Song (and score) ahead of the official nominations, giving us all the chance to speculate -- and for a few unlucky artists to be very disappointed. The prospective nominees are:
Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson and Willie Watson - "When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings" (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs)
Sampha - "Treasure" (Beautiful Boy)
Kendrick Lamar and SZA - "All The Stars" (Black Panther)
Jonsi and Troye Sivan - "Revelation" (Boy Erased)
Dolly Parton - "Girl in the Movies" (Dumplin')
Arlissa - "We Won't Move" (The Hate U Give)
Emily Blunt - "The Place Where Lost Things Go" (Mary Poppins Returns)
Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda - "Trip A Little Light Fantastic" (Mary Poppins Returns)
Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan and Mark Ronson - "Keep Reachin'" (Quincy)
Jennifer Hudson and Diane Warren - "I'll Fight" (RBG)
Gal Gadot and Sarah Silverman - "A Place Called Slaughter Race" (Ralph Breaks the Internet)
The Coup and Lakeith Stanfield - "OYAHYTT" (Sorry to Bother You)
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper - "Shallow" (A Star is Born)
Thom Yorke - "Suspirium" (Suspiria)
Sade - "The Big Unknown" (Widows)
Of all the songs from Mary Poppins Returns, neither of these would have been my pick. I'm also shocked that "Shallow" is the only song from A Star is Born being considered -- many critics assumed "I'll Never Love Again" was a shoe-in to win and personally, I demand justice for "Always Remember Us This Way." But looking at this list, there is one clear winner: Thom York's gorgeous title song from Luca Guadagnino's reimagining of Suspiria.
Here's my ultimate prediction:
Presenter Celine Dion announces Thom Yorke as the winner, and he's not even in attendance so Lady Gaga accepts for him. "For which mother were you anointed?" she asks Dion, slowly tearing open her chest, pulling out the sunglasses she wore on the cover of The Fame. She walks through the Dolby Theater, row by row, as Nicole Kidman, Glenn Close and Melissa McCarthy beg for death. Rami Malek, stripped naked, wails something halfway between a howl and a song. "Keep dancing," cries Gaga, "you're all so beautiful, just dance!" Then she announces a new release of tickets for Enigma.
Five songs will be nominated for the Academy Awards on January 22.