M.I.A. Might Get In Bed With The Oscars

Oscar has a little problem this year, and I’m not just talking about the fact that no human being likes The Reader even though the Weinsteins bought it a Best Picture nod. Actually, that is part of the problem. This year’s batch of Best Picture contenders are a moribund lot with no real consensus favorite and no Dark Knight-style blockbuster up there to boost ratings. Sure, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button is doing alright at the box office, but it has to make about $100 million more to even recoup, and it has as many detractors as it has supporters. Slumdog Millionaire is the only real “story” to surround this year’s Academy Awards, so you can imagine that the producers of said awards show really want M.I.A. to perform a little bit of her song from the movie, “O Saya,” on Sunday night. There is just one problem: She’s worried about her condition, what with her recently having a baby and all.

M.I.A. doesn’t want to back out like Mr. Party Pooper, Peter Gabriel, who balked at the show’s baffling Best Original Song medley decision. She discussed appearing via satellite from bed or via hologram like Will.i.am on Election Night. Oscar producer Laurence Mark has a better idea! Why not bring her bed to Los Angeles?

“She’s eager to perform … we’ve said things like ‘we’re willing to have her enter on a large bed,'” Mark is reported to have told the WENN network. “We’ll make it as easy for her as we can.”

Huh. Yeah, having her fly out there to lie in a bed is a waaaay better idea than just performing from home. Getting back to Peter Gabriel, I once saw him in concert, and he performed “Shock The Monkey” from a giant bed, writhing around under the covers. It was the kind of high-concept showmanship that you just don’t see much anymore—so, the more I think about it, the more I am all for this big bed idea. Hell, bring the baby along with you and plop it right in next to her. Put the bed on a rising platform that also spins, maybe with some sort of glittery animal like a jaguar underneath, just like Peter Criss‘ cat drum riser in KISS. Perhaps there could be a big flashing M.I.A. sign behind her. Here, I’ve mocked it up:

I think this could be a real ratings booster! But if they are going to all of this trouble for M.I.A., what of Mr. Gabriel? Is M.I.A. gonna be rolled out on a bed for 60-ish seconds? I highly doubt that. If they up her time, will PG’s song still get the shaft?

(As for the hologram thing, I have one simple rule in this life: beyond the normal things necessary to keep myself alive–breathing, eating, pooping–never do anything that will.i.am has done. It’s served me well thus far.)

MIA offered bed to perform from at Oscars 2009 [Guardian]