The Academy has announced via press release the 39 eligible songs eligible for this year's Best Original Song Oscar. As I look over the list, I only noticed two songs on our on-going list of 24 at the Contenders section that didn't make the cut.

The first is "Fake I.D." from the "Footloose" remake, which I guess it was written prior to the film or something. The other is Madonna's Golden Globe-nominated "Masterpiece" from "W.E.," which you'll recall I had a hunch might be in trouble because it's the second cue of the film's closing credits (and the rules stipulate that if it's a closing credits number, it has to be the first cue).

All three tracks submitted by "The Muppets" are on there, and that's really where the story is, because at the end of the day, I expect there to be two of them in the mix. Which two is anyone's guess, but my favorite has always been "Pictures in My Head."

There are, as always, a few songs on the list that came from out of nowhere. Like three tunes from "DAM999," for instance, or anything at all from "Our Idiot Brother." But there they sit, regardless.

Chris Cornell made the cut for "The Keeper" from "Machine Gun Preacher," which could face trouble being a closing credits number and not figuring into the narrative. But he did get a Golden Globe nomination, so that keeps him visible. (I just caught his accoustic show in LA Friday night, and it was AWESOME).

Anyway, check out the full list of songs below:

"The World I Knew" from "African Cats"

"Lay Your Head Down" from "Albert Nobbs"

"Star Spangled Man" from "Captain America: The First Avenger"

"Collision of Worlds" from "Cars 2"

"Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu" from "DAM999"

"DAM999 Theme Song" from "DAM999"

"Mujhe Chod Ke" from "DAM999"

"Rainbird" from "Dirty Girl"

"Keep On Walking" from "The First Grader"

"Where the River Goes" from "Footloose"

"Hello Hello" from "Gnomeo & Juliet"

"Love Builds a Garden" from "Gnomeo & Juliet"

"Bridge of Light" from "Happy Feet Two"

"The Mighty Sven" from "Happy Feet Two"

"Never Be Daunted" from "happythankyoumoreplease"

"Hell and Back" from "Hell and Back Again"

"The Living Proof" from "The Help"

"Coeur Volant" from "Hugo"

"It's How We Play" from "I Don't Know How She Does It"

"When the Heart Dies" from "In the Land of Blood and Honey"

"Ja Nao Estar" from "José and Pilar"

"The Keeper" from "Machine Gun Preacher"

"Life's a Happy Song" from "The Muppets"

"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets"

"Pictures in My Head" from "The Muppets"

"Summer Song" from "The Music Never Stopped"

"Imaginary Friends" from "Olive"

"Sparkling Day" from "One Day"

"Taking You with Me" from "Our Idiot Brother"

"The Greatest Song I Ever Heard" from "POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold"

"Hot Wings" from "Rio"

"Let Me Take You to Rio" from "Rio"

"Real in Rio" from "Rio"

"Shelter" from "Take Shelter"

"Gathering Stories" from "We Bought a Zoo"

"Pop" from "White Irish Drinkers"

"Think You Can Wait" from "Win Win"

"The Backson Song" from "Winnie the Pooh"

"So Long" from "Winnie the Pooh"

And from the press release:

"On Thursday, January 5, the Academy will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for voting members of the Music Branch in Los Angeles.  Following the screenings, members will determine the nominees by an averaged point system of voting.  If no song receives an average score of 8.25 or more, there will be no nominees in the category.  If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiving the next highest score shall be the two nominees.  If two or more songs (up to five) achieve that score, they shall be the nominees.  A DVD copy of the song clips will be made available to those branch members who are unable to attend the screening and who request it for home viewing.  A mail-in ballot will be provided.

"Under Academy rules, a maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film.  If more than two songs from a film achieve a score of 8.25 or more, the two songs with the highest scores will be the nominees.

"To be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film.  A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits."

I'll update the Best Original Song Contenders page later today to reflect this announcement.

How do you see the Best Original Song category panning out? Have your say in the comments section below.

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

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