The Envelope Logo

Gold Derby

Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Bruce Springsteen

How U2 and Paul McCartney got shut out of Oscar nominations

February 2, 2010 | 11:21 am

Paul McCartney U2 Oscars Nominations Academy Awards 13579 While there were 63 songs contending for a place at this year's Oscars, only five made the final cut. Last year it was Oscar champ Bruce Springsteen who was snubbed for his Golden Globe-winning title track to "The Wrestler." This year U2 and Paul McCartney got slapped down by the music branch of the academy for tunes written specifically for films. U2 wrote and performed "Winter" for "Brothers," while McCartney did the same for "(I Want to) Come Home" from "Everybody’s Fine."

Both of these musical powerhouses have a connection to the Academy Awards. U2 lost a best song bid at the 2002 Oscars for "The Hands That Built America" from "Gangs of New York" to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" from "8 Mile."

This year, the Irish rockers and Sir Paul both lost the best song race at the Golden Globes to "The Weary Kind" from "Crazy Heart." That track — written by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett — is in contention at the Oscars, as are two tunes from "The Princess and the Frog" by Oscar champ Randy Newman, "Take It All" from "Nine" by two-time Tony winner Maury Yeston and "Loin de Paname" from "Paris 36" by Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas.

Newman, who was not a Globe nominee this year, won his only Oscar out of 17 nominations in 2001 for the song "If I Didn't Have You" from "Monsters, Inc." Among those he edged out was Paul McCartney, who was nominated for the title track of "Vanilla Sky." In 1973, McCartney and his wife Linda had landed in the best song race for the theme to "Live and Let Die" — they lost to "The Way We Were." McCartney had shared in an Oscar win with the rest of the Beatles in 1970 for their original song score to "Let It Be."

With such musical pedigrees, how did U2 and McCartney not make it into the final five this year? Oscars' Rule 16 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.

As per the rulebook, "If no song receives an average score of 8.25 or more, there will be no nominees in the category. If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiving the next highest score shall be the two nominees. If two or more songs (up to five) achieve that score, they shall be the nominees."

With five nominees this year, we know they all scored at least 8.25. Perhaps the tunes by U2 and McCartney broke that barrier as well but fell short of the even higher scores registered by the nominees.


Meryl Streep sets new record with 16th Oscar nomination

Oscar nominations -- who got snubbed: Clint Eastwood, 'Star Trek,' Tobey Maguire ...

Oscar nomination breakthroughs: 'Avatar,' Kathryn Bigelow, Lee Daniels ...

Oscars welcome dozen first-time acting nominees, including Sandra Bullock

Oscars guided by guild awards in nominations

Can 'Up in the Air' win best picture at Oscars without an editing nomination?

Shrewd DVD strategies reap rewards with Oscar nominations

Oscar nominations spread among release calendar

Videos: Tom and Pete dish those rascally Oscar nominations

Oscar nominations predictions smackdown: Tom vs. Pete

Oscar nominations predictions smackdown: Tom beats Pete

My fearless, peerless, 100% perfect Oscar nomination predictions

Poll: Will Megan Fox, Beyonce or Miley Cyrus 'win' Razzie for worst actress?

Photo: "(I Want to) Come Home" download artwork. Credit: Hollywood Records

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.

Bruce Springsteen a Super Bowl winner

February 2, 2009 |  2:42 pm


Hey, Oscars voters, were you watching? Bruce Springsteen may have gotten shut out of your Super Bowl of Showbiz when you refused to nominate him for performing the title track to "The Wrestler," but he wowed viewers of that other Super Bowl, the one in Tampa Bay, with his hard-rocking half-time show. While Jennifer Hudson performed a poignant version of the national anthem that hushed the crowd in the pregame, Bruce Springsteen delivered a four-song set at half-time that set the stadium rocking. Both performances may now be nominated by Emmy Award voters next.

As the New York Daily News reported, "The Boss promised Super Bowl viewers a 12-minute party and what the Boss promises, the Boss delivers." The time constraint meant that verses from each of the songs — "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," "Born to Run," "Working on a Dream," and "Glory Days" — had to be cut. However, that did not take away from his performance. As Rolling Stone raved, "More than 70,000 who had been jeering, heckling and cajoling each other for hours were dancing, suddenly all revelers at Bruce’s party." Even the New York Times opined: "He rose to the occasion, but never above it. And Springsteen, a reliable left-winger — when he described his band’s sound as 'righteous,' it had a splash of double-meaning grit — didn’t use his platform to advocate for anything more pressing than louder volume."

'It's not a concert, but a teaser — and it was, admittedly, an entertaining one — for Springsteen's upcoming tour," writes Todd Martens in the L.A. Times' Pop & Hiss blog.

Bruce Springsteen has had a very busy few weeks. On Jan. 11, he won the Golden Globe for his title track to the film "The Wrestler." A week later, he was a stand-out in the all-star lineup for the inaugural concert of President Barack Obama. On Jan. 22, he was snubbed by the members of the music branch of the academy when his tune did not number among the three songs that scored Oscar nominations. This omission was even more surprising given that Springsteen won an Oscar 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."

Just as Jennifer Hudson was not the first Oscar winner to sing the national anthem — Cher (1987 lead actress winner, "Moonstruck") did in 1999 — so too was Springsteen not the first Oscar winner to appear in the half-time show. In 2000, Phil Collins did so just weeks before winning an Oscar for the song "You'll Be in My Heart" from "Tarzan." In 2005, Paul McCartney performed at half-time. He, along with the other three Beatles — George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr — won the 1970 original song score Oscar for "Let It Be." And two years ago, Prince — the 1984 song score winner for "Purple Rain" — headlined the half-time concert.

Photo credit: Win McNamee / Getty Images


Jennifer Hudson sings at Super Bowl today

How did Bruce Springsteen end up snubbed by the Oscars

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.

Gold Derby Nuggets: Hey, what does Clint think of 'Gay Torino'? | BAFTA nominating process explained | How Bruce Springsteen was snubbed at the Oscars | Why U2 is performing on Grammys

January 31, 2009 |  8:22 pm


• A mischievous cyber-gremlin sneaked into this Gold Derby blog the other day and mysteriously zapped a nuggets post that included some prize items we're repeating here in case you missed them. A real gem was a link to a vicious video spoof of the plight of the Daytime Emmys show, which has been snubbed by the main broadcast TV networks for the first time in decades. At this point it's still unknown if there will even be a telecast as leaders of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences scramble to get a cable deal backup. Meantime, some wags produced a naughty video spin on the hubbub, casting Adolf Hitler as the Daytime Emmys Fuhrer who receives the latest bad news from his army commanders. Here's the link, but beware: the video is laced with profanity. WELOVESOAPS

• While we're on the subject of savage naughty spoofs of awards fare, we spotted a screamingly hilarious gay riff on "Gran Torino" that's also packed with profanity, but just as funny. Instead of Clint Eastwood facing down racist thugs, "Gay Torino" stars writer-producer Brian Reiss as flamboyant chap who knows how to toss his pink scarf around and outrageous insults too, while taking on a street gang of homophobes. FUNNYORDIE

• Among nuggets zapped by the gremlins was news that writer-director John Patrick Shanley will receive the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for lifetime achievement from the Writers Guild of America East at its awards gala Feb. 7 at the Hudson Theater in New York. His screen adaptation of his Tony Award-winning play "Doubt" is nominated for best screenplay by the guild and Oscars voters. The Writers Guild of America West has tapped Carl Reiner and former president Victoria Riskin as recipients of its Valentine Davies Award for contributions to the entertainment industry, which will be bestowed Feb. 7 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. Hopefully, Reiner will recover from food poisoning by then so he can attend. He was supposed to host the Directors Guild of America awards show tonight, but "Two and a Half Men" star Jon Cryer stepped in.


• "Australia" isn't the only film with high Oscars expectations that got skunked with nominations came out. With the help of some of The Envelope's forum posters, I compiled a photo gallery of past snubees worth recalling, including "The Shipping News" and "Alexander." OSCARS DUDS

• Also check out our photo gallery of top contenders for the Indie Spirit Awards to be bestowed Feb. 21. Features lots of little-seen scenes from 30 flicks, including award categories they compete in. Here's a full list of nominations. INDIE SPIRITS PHOTOS

• Elsewhere at The Envelope, Scott Feinberg has been dispatching reports from the Santa Barbara Film Festival and Pete Hammond is musing over allegations of an Oscars conspiracy against "Slumdog Millionaire." My two cents on the latter biz: There is no conspiracy! Please don't get me all wound up on this subject or I'll have to launch into my frequent tirade about that old balderdash about a smear campaign against "A Beautiful Mind"! FEINBERG FILES, NOTES ON A SEASON

• The first round of BAFTA voting, which involves the whole membership, produces a long list of 15 candidates in each section (five asterisked as the choice of the relevant chapter for each category, such as acting or sound, and 10 selected by the BAFTA membership at large). This year, the nominations, which come from the second round of voting, mirror the chapter preferences in all but four cases. In other words, 75 out of 79 nominations matched the chapter vote. BAFTA introduced chapter voting only in the last couple of years, with the intention of drawing attention to otherwise overlooked talent. But there's concern in BAFTA circles that the chapters have started to exert a distorting influence over the final outcome. BAFTA officials plan to conduct a detailed review of how the chapter system is working after this year's awards. In the meantime, the areas where the membership vote does diverge from the chapters offer a clue about which film has the greatest BAFTA support. Neither Dev Patel nor Freida Pinto were among the five picked by the acting chapter, but the membership voted to nominate them nonetheless (Patel replaced Michael Sheen in lead actor, and Pinto pipped Viola Davis in supporting actress). That establishes "Slumdog Millionaire" as the clear favorite for the film prize, which, like the four acting awards, is chosen by the whole membership. VARIETY

• How Bruce Springsteen failed to be Oscar nommed for title track to "The Wrestler": First, the spots aren't guaranteed — songs are ranked by voters on a 6-10 scale, and only movies that garner an 8.25 or higher make the cut (which creates the possibility that there could be no nominees, but they're hoping that never happens). That's why only three songs were nommed. More important, that 6-10 scale isn't just voted on once — it's voted on twice, first on the merits and the second on how a song works in the film. So a song that plays the end-credits — especially one that plays the end-credits without any visuals behind it — is going to be disadvantaged. Which is pretty much what happened to Springsteen; the song is more powerful because it comes in on a black screen right after the film's powerful final moments. But it's kind of hard to talk about how it worked in the context of the film, since it's not really in the film. That means it's possible Springsteen nabbed an average of 10 on the merits, but only a 6 on how it worked in the film, which is why it didn't make the 8.25 cut. RISKY BIZ


• Cablecaster TCM kicks off its annual "31 Days of Oscar" schedule Sunday morning at 6 a.m. with "My Favorite Year," the 1982 comedy that earned Peter O'Toole the seventh of his record eight losing best actor bids. The channel has scheduled a wide array of films that were either Oscar contenders or winners. On Oscars Sunday, the day starts with "The Country Girl," which won Grace Kelly an Oscar over sentimental favorite Judy Garland up for the 1954 musical remake of "A Star is Born," while the original 1937 version — starring the very first best actress, Janet Gaynor — airs opposite the ceremony. This feast of films wraps up March 4 at 4:30 a.m. with "Eskimo," winner of the first Oscar for editing in 1934. TCM

Jeffrey Wells says: It's no secret that Wayne Kramer's "Crossing Over" (Weinstein Co., 2.27), which I saw last night, has had a difficult (some would say agonized) post-production history. The integrity of Kramer's vision violated up the wazoo, all kinds of re-editing and arguing about which cut works better, Sean Penn's footage being cut from the film over his discomfort with an Iranian honor-killing subplot, etc. Generally speaking a film that goes through this much grief and second-guessing ends up feeling muddled and compromised all to hell. I'm not saying that "Crossing Over" is a masterwork — it's not. It uses a familiar strategy — five or six story lines woven into a social-issue tapestry — in an attempt to be an illegal-immigrant "Traffic." But it's really "Crash." HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE


• A quick scan of the nominations shows that U2, a perennial Grammy favorite, is not up for any Grammys on Feb. 8 because the Irish band didn't release anything during the Oct. 1, 2008-Sept. 30, 2009 eligibility period. And therein lies the rub. Not only is U2 playing the show, but the rumor is they are opening it. With a new album coming March 3, the timing is perfect for them, but their appearance shows just what a delicate dance NARAS (the body that puts on the Grammys) must negotiate between trying to earn high ratings and staying true to honoring the current slate of nominees. Last year's ratings were the third-lowest in the history of the show (it still drew more than 17 million viewers, so that's hardly anything to sneeze at) and the Grammys, like almost all awards show, are reexamining what they need to do to boost ratings without completely selling out. HITFLIX

• "The Office" spin-off starring Amy Poehler was supposed to debut after this Sunday's Super Bowl, back when the network thought it would be ready (and that it would be an actual "Office" spin-off). Instead, they've produced a star-studded, hourlong edition of "The Office." This could be a disaster. Or at least, there's a disturbing precedent for it. In 1998, "Third Rock From the Sun" got the same treatment, but it's 1996's special episode of "Friends" that has us worried. Guest stars Brooke Shields, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chris Isaak and Julia Roberts (who, preposterously, was dating Matthew Perry at the time) all contribute to what's generally considered one of the very worst episodes of the show. Sunday's "Office" will feature Jack Black and Jessica Alba, and involve the Dunder-Mifflin gang watching a pirated Hollywood movie. (Prepare for lots of 'tsk-tsking,' Internet pirates.) If the episode ends with Dwight in Alba’s thong, we’re turning back to ESPN. NEW YORK VULTURE

Brian Lowry opines: Although the TV business once revolved around the race to reach 100 episodes in five years - promising untold syndicated riches — both business and creative considerations in key areas indicate a shift away from that model. For starters, few dramas — especially those with continuing story lines — cash in on syndication anymore, and DVD boxed sets sell just as well with fewer episodes. A significant source of income is also derived from international sales to territories like the U.K., where viewers are accustomed to limited six- or eight-episode "seasons." At the same time, producing a smaller number of episodes could be an act of creative self-preservation. VARIETY

Photos:,, MGM, Island Records

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.

Bruce Springsteen's 'Working on a Dream' probably won't fare well at the Grammys

January 25, 2009 |  2:20 pm

This has not been a good week for Bruce Springsteen. First he gets shut out of the Oscars for his title track to "The Wrestler" and now his new album — "Working on a Dream" — has been dismissed by most music critics. Lucky for the Boss, the CD includes a bonus track of the tune "The Wrestler," which won best song at the Golden Globes. Perhaps that has a glimmer of Grammy hope ahead. Not the rest of it.


Joel Slevin of the San Francisco Chronicle said, "It's hard to believe that the Springsteen of 'Working on a Dream' ever produced works of poignancy and intensity." From Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune: "Both overdone and remarkably slight, 'Working on a Dream' ranks with the forgettable 'Human Touch' (1992) as the most underwhelming Springsteen studio release."

Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times thought, "The best thing that can be said about 'Working on a Dream' is that it's boisterously scatterbrained, exhilaratingly bad." And as James Reed of the Boston Globe notes, "Curiously, 'Working on a Dream' comes with a DVD on the making of the album, but it's safe to say this isn't a classic that warrants it. You'll just have to wait for the next curveball."

While Bruce Springsteen has won 18 Grammy Awards, only one of them came in a top three category (song, record and album of the year). That one win — for song of the year — was back in 1994 for "Streets of Philadelphia" from the film "Philadelphia." Springsteen also triumphed at the Academy Awards with that tune.

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

Gutsy Grammy predix: DoubleD forecasts top nominees

October 24, 2007 |  7:22 am

Now that the Grammy eligibility period is over (Sept. 30), I asked our forums moderator Darrin "Double D" Dortch to stick out his tender neck and bravely forecast the top three races — record, album and new artist of the year — in advance of nominations being unveiled on Dec. 6. See below, then compare to the predix of our other moderator, David "Guru" Schnelwar (CLICK HERE).

You can listen to Darrin and my podcast chat about his Grammy predix — CLICK HERE to Download MP3 File! Note: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.

The words south of this sentence are Darrin's.


"Irreplaceable," Beyonce
"Umbrella," Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
"Radio Nowhere," Bruce Springsteen
"Stronger," Kanye West
"Rehab," Amy Winehouse

"Smile," Lily Allen
"Home," Daughtry
"It's Not Over," Daughtry
"1234," Feist
"Thinking About You," Norah Jones
"No One," Alicia Keys
"Makes Me Wonder," Maroon 5
"The Sweet Escape," Gwen Stefani featuring Akon
"The Way I Are," Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson
"Until the End of Time," Justin Timberlake
"What Goes Around," Justin Timberlake
"Before He Cheats," Carrie Underwood

This is an odd year because two of the biggest songs — Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and Robin Thicke's "Lost Without You" — aren't eligible for Grammy consideration because both tracks were submitted last year before they became hits.

Predicting record (and song) of the year nominees this year is a real crap shoot. I really don't feel confident in saying any of these songs are frontrunners to be nominated. Grammy voters usually try to give us a mix of commercially successful songs and singles that made artistic statements. The past few years, however, the record of the year nominees have been almost solely made up of big hits.

Rihanna and Beyonce have had two of the year's biggest hits so I'm assuming both are likely nominees, but will voters really go for both in this category? Beyonce is the likelier nominee since she's been twice nominated in this category, but Rihanna has been a bigger force on the pop scene this year. Springsteen and West are past nominees in this category and are critical darlings this year so that should hopefully land them repeat nods here, though Springsteen's single isn't making an impact on the charts.

I feel most confident in predicting Winehouse's "Rehab" for a nod here and in song of the ear. It's easily the most interesting, if not controversial, record of the year. If one or more of the above five don't make the cut, we could see Grammy darlings like Norah Jones or Alicia Keys earn a spot or see a past nominee (Gwen Stefani) show up here. Keys, in particular, has a huge advantage since her song is currently sitting in the Top 5 on the pop and R&B charts. If not, last year's best new artist winner, Carrie Underwood, could steal a spot for her 'boyfriend done me wrong' country ditty. Underwood's song has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for over a year.

To Continue Reading, CLICK HERE!

Continue reading »



In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:

About the Blogger

Pop & Hiss



In Case You Missed It...