There was no host, we know that whole story.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, nominated for Best Song for “All the Stars,” wouldn’t perform for any of the stars. The reason? “He wanted to make it all about Black Lives Matter,” said one source. The other, he wanted a huge stage production. His “song,” as turns out, can’t just be performed on a stage, simply.
There was no involvement with “real people”– no one got pizza or cookies, or whatever. There was no wading into the audience for selfies.
It was just a clean, economic Oscars. And surprise! The ratings went up. Six percent. More people watched than in many years.
One definite help: the Grammy-ing of the show. Queen opened with Adam Lambert replacing Freddie Mercury. (If only someone had replaced Brian May. He’s quite unfriendly in person.) Also increasing interest were Bette Midler, Jennifer Hudson, and obviously the pairing of Lady Gaga with Bradley Cooper.
This year, 29.6 million people watched, up from 26.5 million last year. And last year was down down down from prior years.
In Hollywood, success means that’s the way it will go next time. So next year, when the Oscars air two unholy weeks earlier on February 9th, expect no host, a big rock band or Beyonce opening the show, and a very efficient set up. No more yada yada. Just cut to the chase.