Oscars Predictions: Original Song – Did Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Performance Give Awards Boost for ‘Wakanda Forever?’
Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.
LAST UPDATED: Feb. 12, 2023
2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Original Song
CATEGORY COMMENTARY: Rihanna soared (literally) during the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
The high-flying spectacle (which also revealed a surprise pregnancy) comprised the musician’s biggest chart-toppers such as “Umbrella” and “Diamonds.” Notably not sung was her Oscar-nominated song “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” which she shares with Tems, Ludwig Göransson and Ryan Coogler. It’s a fair assumption that she’ll be singing the song at the upcoming 95th Oscars ceremony set to take place on March 12. However, with voting not opening until March 2 and the Oscar nominees luncheon set for Monday, Feb. 13, could her showstopper have provided a boost to overtake the current front-runner “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR?”
More than 3,100 Oscar statuettes have been handed out in the past 95 years. Of those, only 18 were awarded to Black women. This year, five Black women are nominated for Oscars, all from the Marvel superhero sequel — Angela Bassett (supporting actress), Ruth E. Carter (costume design), Camille Friend (makeup and hairstyling), Rihanna and Tems (original song). Six of the seven Black nominees in all 23 categories this year come from “Wakanda Forever.” If Carter wins, she’ll be the first Black woman to win more than one statuette in any category.
Seven original song winners in Oscar history have had Black artists attached. Of the seven, two included Black women — Irene Cara (“Flashdance”) and H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). Will Rihanna join this elite group?
We’ll see what unfolds the rest of the awards season.
See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective. To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.
See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.
ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:
|And The Predicted Nominees Are:|
|1||“RRR”||“Naatu Naatu” by Kala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj||Variance Films|
|A fictitious story about two legendary revolutionaries and their journey away from home before they stLofty Sky Distributiond fighting for their country in the 1920s.|
|2||“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”||“Lift Me Up” by Tems, Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna and Ryan Coogler||Marvel Studios|
|The nation of Wakanda is pitted against intervening world powers as they mourn the loss of their king T’Challa.
|3||“Top Gun: Maverick”||“Hold My Hand” by Lady Gaga and Bloodpop||Paramount Pictures|
|After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.|
|4||“Everything Everywhere All at Once”||“This is a Life” by David Byrne, Ryan Lott and Mitski||A24|
|An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.|
|5||“Tell It Like a Woman”||“Applause” by Diane Warren||Samuel Goldwyn Films|
|Stories of women, both in front of and behind the camera.|
2023 Academy Awards Predictions
BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT
The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on ABC on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
2022 category winner: “No Time to Die” by Billie Eilish and Finneas from “No Time to Die” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
About Variety Awards Circuit:
Variety’s unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online and provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year’s awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes — Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety’s leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.
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