The 2021 Academy Awards are changing things again.
Producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh announced Friday that the best original songs will be performed during a pre-show special. Oscars: Into the Spotlight.
Celeste, HER, Leslie Odom, Jr., Laura Pausini, Daniel Pemberton, Molly Sandén and Diane Warren will perform the five original songs nominated in their entirety ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards. One performance will be recorded in Húsavík, Iceland, and four at the Dolby Family Terrace at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
“We have created some serious pre and post game actions to improve our main event,” said Collins, Sher and Soderbergh. “Our suggestion is to tune in to the whole thing, otherwise you’ll miss out on something really unexpected and fun.”
In the spotlight will be a 90 minute celebration hosted by HamiltonAriana DeBose and Bad trip star Lil Rel Howery. The special will “highlight the nominees’ journey to Hollywood’s biggest night, give fans around the world a definitive sneak peek at the party and, for the first time, bring Oscar music to the festivities,” according to the statement. press. DJ Tara will also be making a special appearance.
Additionally, following the Oscars completion this year, ABC will broadcast a live after-party titled Oscar: After Dark. It will be hosted by Colman Domingo and Andrew Rannells, with interviews from film critic Elvis Mitchell.
Both specials are produced by Michael Antinoro and David Chamberlin, along with producers Collins, Sher, and Soderbergh.
ET spoke with director Glenn Weiss, who is in charge of this year’s event, about why they won’t be using Zoom and still keep people safe during the ceremony in person. ET learned in March that the producers were opting for a small, intimate ceremony over a virtual hybrid.
“I think we’ve all had a bit of Zoom fatigue to some degree,” Weiss shared. “As a result of that, we really wanted to bring a distraction-free celebration. We wanted to bring something where people at home are a part of it and are experiencing this room in the same way.”
“We really just want to focus on honoring this industry and honoring the artisans in this industry,” Weiss continued, adding that she felt that a human presence will elevate the ceremony and the experiences of attendees and those on stage.
The 2021 Oscars will air live on Sunday, April 25 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT on ABC. In the meantime, stay tuned for ETonline.com for full coverage of the Oscars.