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How Bruce Springsteen got shut out of the Oscar nominations

January 22, 2009 |  1:00 pm

While there were 49 songs contending for a place at this year's Oscars, only three were nominated — two tunes from "Slumdog Millionaire" and Peter Gabriel's "Down to Earth" that played over the closing credits of "Wall-E."


That meant a surprising snub of previous Oscar champ Bruce Springsteen, who just won the Golden Globe for the title track to "The Wrestler." Bruce Springsteen won at the Academy Awards in 1993 for the song "Streets of Philadelphia" from the film "Philadelphia." And he was nominated two years later for the title song of "Dead Man Walking," but lost to "Colors of the Wind" from "Pocahontas."

So how did he not make it into the final race this year? The Oscars' Rule Sixteen sets out the criteria for winnowing the list of eligible songs down to the final nominees. There was no need for the executive committee of the music branch to recommend that there be only three nominees as the number of songs far exceeded the threshold of 25 that might have triggered such action.

Unlike other branches — such as acting, which uses a preferential ballot — the music makers screen clips of all the eligible entries and then score them on a sliding scale from 6 to 10 with half point increments in between. If a member has a song in contention, they are ineligible to vote. Only those songs that score an average of at least 8.25 out of 10 among the participating music branch members are eligible to be nominated.

Since there were only three nominees this year, we know that they were the only ones to make this cut-off score. Even if Springsteen's song scored 8/10 from everyone voting, the academy has ruled that this would not be enough to merit an Oscar nomination.


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Photo: Columbia Records

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The comments to this entry are closed.


The Academy Awards have become irrelevant. Springsteen doesn't get a nomination. Eastwood doesn't get a nomination. Jackman is the host. I predict the lowest ratings since the beginning of the ratings.

Bruce got robbed in the Grammys way back in 85 with Born in the USA losing to Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" Here he is 25 year's later and still going strong. The acadamy needs to get a grib and leave their ego's at the door.

It does not make sense, or maybe the voting members are deaf as well as blind. (CCBB - come on)

This song is hands down the most meaningful film related piece of music for the year, easy.

Just typical Academy. Oscar has lost it... once again!

Lose Bed springs,The Rebel! He is now embedded and deserves his entitlement's

Why wasn't the dark knight nominated.
They've lost the plot
I loved Slumdog, but The Dark Knight was very very good.

If you listen to O Saya, MIA lyrics has captured essense of slumdog.

Probably they would have taken other song of slumdog and nominated the BOSS

Another good reason to ignore the Oscars. Have they even begun to realize that they are quickly becoming as irrelevant as the RIAA?

This was a horribly written article. I still don't get it.

But come on - we should have expected it. Remember what happened to Into the Wild last year? Oh, and BFCA/Globe winner Mick Jagger for Alfie? The same problem here.

Bruce was robbed by the Grammys a few years back when his brilliant CD "The Rising" lost Album of the Year to Norah "Where Is She Now?" Jones. Now the Academy Awards also proves how out of touch and lacking in taste and common sense they are by snubbing Bruce for even a measly nomination. Pathetic.

This is stupid. "O Saya" is not as good a song as "The Wrestler." Obviously, jealousy of The Boss, Sasha Fierce, and even Miley Cyrus (though she didn't deserve it anyway) are the real problems here.

What a let down. The Wrestler captured the true essence of the film.
Blame the Academy and the "music branch members" for the lame rule and lack of taste.

AJ, I don't think so.

The Oscar rules state that there will be no fewer than three songs and no more that five nominated. So, Bruce could have been No. 4 and received a nomination, had it registered the required average point total.

Verrrrrrrrrry interesting. So it's not necessarily that the music branch is stupid (I love the entire Slumdog soundtrack, but Bruce was very worthy) it's just that their system is stupid. VERY stupid.

Biggest upset for me. Just makes no sense.

Not necessarily. Couldn't "The Wrestler" have a high enough score but a fifth song was below the 8.25?



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