We aren’t buying this theory that WALL-E will benefit from a vote split here because (a) the two Slumdog Millionaire songs don’t suck, unlike that unholy trifecta from Dreamgirls two years ago (or the Enchanted ones from last year); (b) the Grammy-winning WALL-E tune sounds as if it was composed by Randy Newman; and (c) the academy doesn’t really care about correcting epic-length losing streaks in the tech categories (sorry Thomas Newman). We’re not even sure that “Down to Earth” has more support than “O Saya,” because we know how many more times the latter has been downloaded and listened to, and no praise we’ve read for “Down to Earth” has equaled that of YouTube poster amoebchen’s fondness for “O Saya”: “Makes me want to dance, laugh, dream and cry at the same time!!!” For better capturing the essence of Slumdog Millionaire, or because I can’t listen to “Jai Ho” without thinking of it as a Bollywood remix of Despina Vandi’s “Gia,” my personal vote goes to “O Saya,” but I’m okay with it losing as long as M.I.A.’s water doesn’t break for another two weeks. And though it’s true that “Jai Ho” has yet to provoke homages from third-world prisons in its honor, it’s still the only song here that can be reasonably called a phenomenon—the song that plays during Slumdog Millionaire’s ecstatic closing credits, inviting the audience’s applause before sending them on their giddy way.
Will Win: “Jai Ho,” Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: “O Saya,” Slumdog Millionaire