The 88th Academy Awards were something of a rollercoaster ride for Sam Smith. This year Smith shared a nomination with Jimmy Napes for their song 'Writing's On The Wall' from the James Bond flick, Spectre. Riding waves of ecstasy down the red carpet, both Smith and Napes were undeniably thrilled to be a part of the ceremony that evening. The writing duo even shared a cup of tea with Ryan Seacrest before heading into the auditorium.
Then it was time for Smith to perform. From the opening note, you could tell Smith was shaky. Throughout the course of the song the notes kept missing their mark, leaving Smith visibly distraught. To his credit, Smith pushed through the performance and gave it all he had, receiving substantial applause at the end. Check out the performance below.
Recovering admirably, Smith continued to enjoy his evening. Then the night took an unexpected turn in his favor. 'Writing's On The Wall' took home the Oscar for Best Original Song, beating out the likes of Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, and Antony Hegarty. Smith and Napes climbed the stairs to the Oscar stage, visibly elated with their surprising win.
Smith's acceptance speech, although sweetly genuine, was plagued with miscalculated remarks. During his speech, Smith made reference to an article from Sir Ian McKellen, stating that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar. What Smith failed to realize however, was that McKellen actually said no openly gay man had won a Best Leading Actor Oscar. Also slipping Smith's mind was the fact that there have been many openly gay Oscar winners in the past such as:
- Sir Elton John in 1995 for The Lion King
- Dustin Lance Black in 2009 for Milk
- Bill Condon in 1999 for Gods & Monsters
- John Gieguld in 1982 for Arthur
- Steven Sondheim in 1991 for Dick Tracy
- Howard Ashman in 1990 & 1992 for The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast
- Alan Ball in 2000 for American Beauty
- John Corigliano in 2000 for The Red Violin
- Pedro Almodóvar in 2000 and 2003 for All About My Mother and Talk to Her
Although Smith's speech may have been a bit misleading, I can't help but feel sorry for the poor guy. He had a rough night, and like most individuals, I'm sure he was a bit nervous and overwhelmed up there on the Oscar stage. Personally, I think Ryan Seacrest spiked that red-carpet tea a bit too much, resulting in Smith's shaky performance.
In an interview with the BBC later that evening, Smith stated,"It (the performance) was the worst moment of my life. Singing was horrible. I hated every moment of it." However, like the good-natured man that he is, Smith wasn't going to let it effect his evening too much. He was seen joking around after the ceremony, even telling the BBC that he wanted to see The Spice Girls perform the next Bond theme song.
However bumpy it may have been, the night was not a complete waste for Smith. He won an Oscar for Pete's sake. And he learned something new. Win-win situation. I'll bet on the ride home, Smith, contemplating his new LGBT history lesson, was softly singing to himself "I know I'm not the only one...".