“Shallow” performance is the only memorable moment of 91st Academy Awards

The audience held its breath as Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga walked on stage holding hands while the melody of “Shallow” began to play.

At Sunday’s 91st Annual Academy Awards, Gaga and Cooper’s original song “Shallow” won “A Star is Born” its lone Oscar out of the eight categories it was nominated for. Their performance of platonic love arguably may have been the most entertaining aspect of the Oscars, since the rest of the telecast was filled with the same excessive camera angles on audience members and cut-off speeches that made last year’s Oscars garner “the worst TV ratings since TV came into the picture,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

The performance was shot from an upstage angle, making the audience act as a backdrop to Cooper and Gaga’s forbidden love story. Their chemistry was undeniable, even though they claim to just be close friends who appreciate each other’s artistic talents. To make matters worse, Cooper’s fiance, supermodel Irina Shayk, was in attendance to witness the performance from the crowd. Gaga also recently ended her engagement to Christian Carino.

The rest of the world faded away for a few minutes as Gaga and Cooper lost themselves in each other on stage, belting out “I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in.” Their chemistry sparked attention in spades leading up to the Oscars.

Viewers stormed to Twitter to debate if the co-stars were fighting the urge to kiss onstage. Although nothing physical ensued, Gaga’s acceptance speech highlighted her deep appreciation for Cooper.

“Bradley, there’s not a single person on the planet that could have sang this song with me but you. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you so much,” Gaga said.

On Monday, Gaga took to Instagram to recap the events of the previous night. Alongside  a picture of she and Cooper sharing the piano on stage, Gaga wrote, “Nothing could be more special than sharing this moment at the Oscars with a true friend and artistic genius.”

In contrast to their fiery performance, the Oscars were fairly bleak. Viewers have become accustomed to having acceptance speeches getting cut off, and camera angles focusing on  audience members for too long. Despite the increase in viewership this year, the event’s popularity has been steadily declining for years, according to a Variety article.

The awards show drew a 7.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 29.6 million viewers on Sunday. That is up from a 6.8 rating and 26.5 million in 2018,” the article said. “While that is up from last year’s historic low, this year was the second smallest audience ever for an Academy Awards telecast.”

The Academy will need to change a lot in the coming years to gain newer audiences. As for now, Hollywood’s biggest night will only be memorable for the fans of “A Star is Born.” Gaga and Cooper’s gorgeous performance left a lasting impression, while the rest of the Oscars was rather forgettable.