How Musical Numbers Stole The Show At The Oscars

by Kevin Studer

The three best musical moments of the Oscars came from people who were not even nominated for awards.

As always, the awards telecast featured performances from the nominees for Best Original Song and this year, the performances provided some of the most noteworthy moments of the night.

Everything was awesome when Tegan and Sara performed “Everything is Awesome” (from "The Lego Movie") with The Lonely Island, and Adam Levine left it all on the stage when he performed “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again.”

The emotions were palpable when Tim McGraw performed Glen Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from his documentary “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.” And, Rita Ora sounded amazing performing “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights.”

However, the start of the night was one of the biggest highlights of the evening. Neil Patrick Harris came up from beneath the stage and, after a brief intro, broke out into a musical number that everyone expected.

The opening song, called “Moving Pictures,” which last year’s Best Original Song winners, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, wrote, and was a tribute to the movies.

Harris danced onstage to some classic scenes, most notably to the umbrella around a light pole, a la “Singin’ In The Rain.”

Then, Harris appeared in some scenes of classic Hollywood movies like “Star Wars” and “The Wizard of Oz,” before appearing in “Into the Woods” with Anna Kendrick as Cinderella.

Kendrick then joined him on stage in her Cinderella costume and Jack Black, who rapped a different version of Meryl Streep’s part in the film’s opening number, soon joined them.

Harris continued the number without Kendrick and Black and then finished with a bang. He showed exactly what an entertaining host should do at the beginning of an awards show: capture attention.

The next great musical moment came not in a song, but in the presentation of the Best Original Song award.

Harris introduced Idina Menzel after joking about how John Travolta infamously butchered her name as “Adele Dazeem” at last year’s ceremony.

Once Menzel took the stage, she introduced her great friend “Glom Gazingo,” aka Travolta. It was a terribly cute moment, when he came onstage and finally got her name right, recreating his “wickedly talented” line.

It was funny to watch, if not slightly awkward, with Travolta continually touching Menzel’s face. And, Menzel got the last laugh by making him let her present the award, for fear of getting the names wrong again.

Though, perhaps the greatest musical number of the night came in a tribute to one of the greatest musical movies of all time.

After touching the lives of multiple generations for 50 years, past Best Picture winner “The Sound of Music,” received a musical tribute from Lady Gaga.

While I’m sure many people (like myself) were holding their breath when Gaga’s name was announced, She gave a stunning performance of “The Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”

At the end of her performance, Gaga stepped to the side, and, as everyone was hoping, the forever-elegant Julie Andrews took the stage.

On her way on to the stage, the cameras cut to Meryl Streep applauding for her and there was something so magical about seeing the Queen of Hollywood cheering on the Queen of Genovia.

Andrews then embraced Gaga with tears in her eyes and thanked her for her incredible performance.

Andrews spoke about how everyone on the production of the film always felt blessed to be part of the production (though Christopher Plummer hasn’t always acted so blessed.

She also said she feels as though she was just making the movie and suddenly, she was at the Oscars. It was a beautiful moment seeing everyone’s favorite nanny just as beautiful and sweet as we remember her.

For an awards show meant for the movies, it’s funny that the music was perhaps the most memorable part. We all truly were “blessed with the sound of music."