Dear Gossips,   

In yesterday’s open I mentioned that Halle Bailey has been confirmed as a presenter at the Oscars, leading to speculation that she may be introducing Beyoncé. Yesterday Variety had an exclusive, reporting that the Academy has been negotiating with Beyoncé’s team since last Monday to perform “Be Alive”, her Oscar-nominated song from King Richard, co-written with Dixson, from a tennis court in Compton which, of course, is where Richard Williams trained his daughters Venus and Serena.


According to Variety, this would be a live performance to open the show, possibly with Will Smith involved somehow, which would then mean Will would then have to quickly make it back to the Dolby for the rest of the show. That would also mean Will would have to skip the red carpet arrivals and if this is true, Beyoncé wouldn’t be walking the carpet either. Or helicopters on standby. 

But there’s also this detail in the Variety report: 

“Numerous insiders close to the industry and to the city government said that it’s possible Beyoncé would abandon the concept entirely if any of her plans were to be revealed.”

LOL, does this qualify as a “reveal”? 

Did Beyoncé stop taking the Academy’s calls the minute Variety hit publish on their article? 


Deadline,  however, has a slightly different take on the situation. 

“Last year [at the Oscars], the songs were separated into a pre-show before the Oscars, but if the Academy succeeds in getting Beyoncé, she will be a high point for the show, for sure, though it hasn’t been made clear where the performances will be done, and there has been rumor she will sing from tennis courts in Compton where Venus and Serena Williams honed their game. That would require a pre-tape, and word is that Beyoncé only wanted to do that if all the other songs were pre-taped or had the option. She didn’t want special treatment, so maybe it happens live, and maybe it happens at the Dolby Theatre. The Academy would not comment.”

None of this is surprising. Beyoncé is the biggest star in the world and one of the most elusive. This is basically like a unicorn of an opportunity to involve her somehow – so they’ll do anything they can to make it work with her. And even then they have to wait for her to actually say yes. Which tells you where the power is here. They want and need Beyoncé more than Beyoncé wants and needs the Oscars, both the trophy and the actual appearance. 

Yours in gossip,