Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie takes home Oscar gold
With only two entrants, original song might not have been the most competitive category at last night's (2/26) 84th Annual Academy Awards, but Bret McKenzie made the most of it.
The singer/actor and one half of musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords took home the Oscar for his song "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets," beating out the only other contender, "Real in Rio" from "Rio".
"He's just a normal frog," McKenzie said during his acceptance speech of Kermit the Frog, the subject of his now Oscar-winning song. "And like many stars here, he's a lot shorter in real life."
The New Zealander, who has also appeared in two of the three films of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and will also appear in "Rings" director Peter Jackson's upcoming "The Hobbit," thanked late Muppets creator Jim Henson for creating a "magical world". "It's a true honor to work in the shadows of such legends," he said.
"Man or Muppet" was principally sung in the film by Jasen Segel and Peter Linz, who voiced the Muppet Walter.
In the night's other musical category, composer Ludovic Bource rode the evening's sweeping tide for eventual best picture winner "The Artist," taking the Oscar for original score and beating out a pair of entries from legendary film composer John Williams ("War Horse," "The Adventures of Tintin") as well as Howard Shore for "Hugo" and Alberto Iglesias for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."
In a broadcast notably light on Oscar's traditionally over-the-top musical numbers, Esperanza Spalding provided a highlight, singing "What a Wonderful World" with backing by the Southern California Children's Choir during the show's annual memorial segment to Hollywood figures who have died over the last year.