The oscars

Brutally honest reviews of Oscars 2024 best song performances, including Billie Eilish

Author: Editors Desk, Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY Source: USA Today
March 10, 2024 at 21:24


Ryan Gosling set to perform 'I'm Just Ken' at the Oscars"
Ryan Gosling is officially set to perform 'I'm Just Ken' at the 2024 Academy Awards ceremony." data-c-credit="unbranded - Entertainment"

Just accept that there is no escaping “Barbie.”

The billion-dollar blockbuster plowed its pink convertible through eight Academy Award nominations, including a pair for best original song.

Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, who scooped up trophies for song of the year and best song written for visual media at the Grammy Awards last month, took their wistful ballad to the Dolby Theatre stage in Los Angeles as the first performance of the 96th Oscars.

On the other end of the “Barbie”-verse is the also-nominated “I’m Just Ken,” the grandiose pop-opera crafted by Mark Ronson and Andrew Watt and delivered with ‘80s-era bandana and melodrama by the film’s co-star, Ryan Gosling.

The trio is set to perform the song Sunday, along with Wolfgang Van Halen, who plays guitar on the recording.

Performances will also come from the musically diverse lineup of Jon Batiste with “It Never Went Away” (from “American Symphony”), Becky G with “The Fire Inside” (from “Flamin’ Hot”) and Scott George and the Osage Singers with "Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)" (from “Killers of the Flower Moon”).


Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell ‘What Was I Made For?’

Billie Eilish performs “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie” during the 96th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles on March 10, 2024.
Billie Eilish performs “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie” during the 96th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles on March 10, 2024. Jack Gruber, USA TODAY


The simple song began with an understated backdrop, as if Eilish and brother O’Connell were in a recording studio, before the pastel-lit curtain rose to show the audience behind them, recalling Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s 2019 performance of “Shallow.”

With more than a few nods to the “Barbie” pink motif in the background, O’Connell sat at an upright piano, and Eilish, clad in an oversized black blazer and pencil skirt, kept her eyes tightly closed and her voice barely above a whisper as she shared the emotional ballad. A rising curtain revealed an orchestra as Eilish clasped the mic stand with her left hand and O’Connell dutifully played the song’s melancholy melody.

As she wound down the song to its last pensive note, Eilish smiled toward her brother. The audience’s ovation prompted a hug between the siblings as the camera cut to a teary-eyed Kate McKinnon (aka “Weird Barbie”) and much of the cheering “Barbie” team.
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