A summary of the 2017 Oscars

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Despite the drama, many viewers still found the Oscars to be lackluster.

Evan Rocha, Staff Writer

2017’s iteration of the Academy Awards was significantly more controversial than previous years, and with good reason. The Oscars have suffered a continual decline in ratings and viewership since 2010, and this year was no exception. There are a variety of theories as to why this occurs, ranging from decreasing interest in the awards show to the 8:30 p.m. EST start time. The awards show is held at 5:30 on the Pacific coast, which is convenient for them, but for the three quarters of the country living elsewhere, it means the awards show can last as late as midnight. To compound onto this, the show is usually held on a Sunday.

The show itself also had a pretty unimpressive lineup. Damien Chazelle’s La-La Land was up for 14 Oscars, and won six. Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, despite being critically acclaimed, was only up for a few Oscars and won none. Typical Oscar-bait films like Manchester by the Sea and Lion were also up for awards.  Emma Stone and Casey Affleck picked up the awards for Best Actor(s) in their respective films La-La Land and Manchester by the Sea, and Original Song, Director, and Original Score were given to La-La Land.

At one point in the show, host Jimmy Kimmel revealed that he had arranged for an unsuspecting tour bus of people from outside to be led onstage in front of the hundreds of Hollywood stars. As the group came out, the audience and Kimmel surprised them, much to the tourists’ enjoyment. Jennifer Aniston gave away her designer sunglasses, and Denzel Washington congratulated a couple on their engagement.

The Oscars also featured multiple performances by a variety of singers and musicians. Justin Timberlake performed his hit song “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and John Legend performed two Oscar-nominated songs from La-La Land. Sting gave a great acoustic performance, and Auli’i Cravalho and Lin-Manuel Miranda performed “How Far I’ll Go,” Miranda’s hit song from Moana.

Despite all of these A-List performances and Jimmy Kimmel comedy-ing his heart out, this year’s Oscars will forever be remembered for Warren Beatty’s life-and-death battle with the English language. Beatty had been summoned to announce the winner of the Best Picture award but was bested by the card’s wording, making a Steve-Harveyesque mistake in which he announced La-La Land as the winner, when in fact Moonlight had received the Academy’s votes. This mistake resulted in shed tears by nobody except Damien Chazelle, who is likely cursing Beatty’s name as of writing this article.

However, even with all of these exciting moments, this year’s Oscars received the lowest ratings since 2008. For all of the reasons listed above, as well as many other reasons not listed here, the Oscars are not as popular as they used to be, and this iteration in particular stood out. In asking a small sample of students at East Lake, the majority described this year’s Oscars as “alright” or “not noteworthy,” which is a killer for hype-based awards shows like this.