The Academy must be really eager to win back all the people it alienated recently with its Oscars cast gaffes. Every attempt to shorten the ceremony has been met with outrage, and now there’s major back-peddling. Not only will every category be announced during the telecast, every Best Original Song nominee will be performed. The Academy teased on Twitter that “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns would be “performed by a surprise special guest,” and now we know who that guest is: Bette Midler. Midler is a friend and longtime collaborator of the song’s co-writer, Marc Shaiman.
Shaiman was Midler’s music director for many years, and he recommended “Wind Beneath My Wings” for her in Beaches. He will most likely accompany Midler on the piano during the telecast.