The Oscar nominations don't officially drop until January 24, but the short list for the Best Original Song has been released. On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 39 songs vying for the big prize at the Academy Awards next year.
Two of Elton John's "Gnomeo & Juliet" tracks — including his Lady Gaga duet, "Hello Hello" — made the list, along with multiple tracks from "The Muppets." will.i.am's "Rio" track, "Hot Wings," Mary J. Blige's "The Living Proof" from "The Help," and Zooey Deschanel's "Winnie the Pooh" track, "So Long," are all in the running.
More alternative fare like songs from "Machine Gun Preacher" (Chris Cornell, "The Keeper"), "We Bought a Zoo" (Sigur Rós' Júnsi, "Gathering Stories") and "Win Win" (the National, "Think You Can Wait") have also made the preliminary cut.
Noticeably absent from the list is Madonna, who contributed the track "Masterpiece" to her directorial effort, "W.E." Reuters reports that the song, which is [article id="1676052"]up for a Golden Globe[/article], does not qualify because it's placed a minute and a half into the end credits and not as "the first music cue," per Academy rules.
The songs will be narrowed from 39 when voters are sent three-minute clips or view the tracks at special Academy screenings and score the songs. To be eligible for the nod, the song must be scored a minimum 8.25 on a scale of six to 10. The show is slated to take place February 26 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
What track should win the Oscar for Best Original Song? Sound off in the comments below!