Oscar performances are never flamboyant like the Grammys, so we didn't expect Gwyneth Paltrow to hoist herself up on a piano flanked by psychedelic puppets. But if only someone had done anything interesting, the four biggest musical moments (aside from Trent Reznor's not-so-surprising win for his score for "The Social Network") wouldn't have been such a snore.
The worst part: The sound mixing was off, so Newman's goofy voice was drowned out by his piano and the other instruments.
The best part: The sound mixing was off, so Newman's goofy voice was drowned out by his piano and the other instruments.
Alan Menken, Mandy Moore, and Zachary Levi
The worst part: Awesome Mandy Moore had to share the stage with the guy from "Chuck."
The best part: Wait, the guy from "Chuck" can sing!? (Apparently he wouldn't mind making an album, too.)
A.R. Rahman and Florence Welch
The worst part: The fact that Florence + the Machine's Welch didn't get to sing one of her own songs -- but she held it down for Dido, who couldn't make the ceremony, and hopefully made a few new fans.
The best part: Rahman and Welch's big, ethereal voices blended perfectly together. This was The Amp's favorite of the four Best Song performances.
The worst part: Jennifer Hudson introduced her as "a singing sensation and country music's newest star." Really? With no album out? Newest star?
The best part: "Coming Home" from "Country Strong" is not Diddy-Dirty Money's "Coming Home," one of the most abysmal songs of 2010.
The PS 22 Chorus
The worst part: OK, these kids were clearly lip synching.
The best part: But they're way better at it than Britney Spears! These talented 10-year-olds from Staten Island only got a few seconds at the end of the broadcast to sing "Over the Rainbow," but they were totally adorable and endearing. Too bad they couldn't find a way to squeeze some of their more offbeat indie rock catalog into their performance -- if Arcade Fire ended the Grammys on "Ready to Start," someone should have let these kids bust out some Ariel Pink.
[Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]
- Justin Timberlake
- Gwyneth Paltrow