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In 1969, one thing thrilling occurred on the Oscars.

After studying off the 5 nominees for Greatest Actress on the 41st Academy Awards, a glance of utter shock swept throughout presenter Ingrid Bergman’s face as she opened the envelope. “It’s a tie,” she stated to gasps from the viewers. “The winners are Katharine Hepburn in ‘Lion within the Winter’ and Barbra Streisand…”

The remainder of Bergman’s announcement was inaudible as the gang erupted in applause for the “Humorous Lady” star. Hepburn, who at that time had gained two out of her 10 Greatest Actress Oscar nominations, wasn’t in attendance, so the highlight shined solely on Streisand. Wearing a sheer black sequin pantsuit with a Peter Pan collar and bow, the 27-year-old checked out her golden statue and uttered, “Good day, attractive!”

Sure, they’re extremely unlikely, however ties have occurred at Hollywood’s greatest awards ceremony. Counting the one in 1969, there have been six in Oscars historical past. The others:

  • 2013 (85th Oscars) – Sound Enhancing: Paul N.J. Ottosson (“Zero Darkish Thirty”) and Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers (“Skyfall”)

  • 1995 (67th Oscars) – Brief Movie (Reside Motion): Peter Capaldi and Ruth Kenley-Letts (“Franz Kafka’s It’s a Great Life”) and Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone (“Trevor”)

  • 1987 (59th Oscars) – Documentary (Function): Brigitte Berman (“Artie Shaw: Time Is All You’ve Received”) and Joseph Feury and Milton Justice (“Down And Out In America”)

  • 1950 (22nd Oscars) – Documentary (Brief Topic): Richard De Rochemont and James L. Shute (“A Probability To Reside”) and Chuck Jones and Edward Selzer (“So A lot For So Little”)

  • 1932 (fifth Oscars) – Actor: Fredric March (“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”) and Wallace Beery (“The Champ”)

How Ties Are Calculated And Confirmed

First off, one other historical past lesson. It wasn’t all the time the case that a tie meant a dead-even vote. Initially, Academy guidelines said that if a fellow contender got here inside three votes of the winner, each would obtain the award. That’s what occurred forward of the 1932 ceremony, when March really obtained another vote than Beery.

By 1950, although, the principles had been modified to require an precise tie for multiple contender to get an Oscar.

Now, a voting primer.

The Academy has strict guidelines to find out which people or movies might be nominated for an Oscar. With the intention to submit both for nomination, producers or distributors should signal and submit an Official Display screen Credit (OSC) kind in early December (The Oscars telecast is normally in late February or early March) proving their films meet Academy standards for consideration ― standards like film-length and theatrical launch data.

As soon as the eligible nominees have been decided, the Academy mails ballots to voting members that very same month. Members are allowed to decide on as much as 5 potential nominees, ranked so as of choice, in classes that correspond to their distinct professions ― actors nominate actors, movie editors nominate movie editors, and many others. In relation to Greatest Image, although, all voting members get to appoint a movie. This yr, the preliminary votes for Oscar nominations started rolling in (through mail and a web based submission system) on Jan. 5, with a deadline of Jan. 12. 

To find out the ultimate listing of nominees, accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers use a preferential voting system ― they take the entire variety of nomination votes obtained for every specific class and divide it by the entire doable nominees plus one to get a “magic quantity” threshold. For instance, say there are 600 potential ballots for the Greatest Director class. Accountants would divide that quantity by six (since there are 5 doable nominees), and the “magic quantity” required to develop into an official nominee for Greatest Director could be 100 ballots. (Greatest Image is the one class that may have as much as 10 nominees.)

Then, following the nominations announcement in January, the precise awards voting begins. (Each Academy member can solid a vote for every class throughout finals voting.) In line with a supply near the Academy, 23 out of the 24 Oscars classes are tabulated utilizing a “winner-takes-all” system, that means the individual or film with probably the most votes in every class wins ― interval. If two or extra nominees obtain this with the actual identical variety of votes, all of them develop into winners.

“There could possibly be a four-way tie if all [the nominees] obtained the identical variety of votes,” the supply stated. “That’s by no means occurred ― it’s solely ever been tied between two individuals or two movies ― however sure, it could possibly be a three-way tie or a four-way tie if that’s how the votes shook out.”

(For the report, as many classes include 5 nominees, it may be a five-way tie.)

The one class that may by no means find yourself in a tie is Greatest Image, as a result of the winner is set utilizing that earlier preferential voting system, quite than winner-takes-all. This yr, the 7,200 voting academy members will rank the nominated films so as of choice, then accountants at PwC will kind the ballots primarily based on members’ first-place selections, eliminating the movie with the fewest No. 1 votes. As is apply, votes for eradicated movies will go to the second-ranked film on every of the respective ballots. And this course of continues ― at every stage, the film with the fewest No. 1s will get eradicated, and its votes are redistributed to the ballots’ subsequent selections — till one movie has at the very least 50 % plus one of many whole vote.

“Mainly, it ensures that the profitable movie has probably the most assist of the Academy that’s doable,” the supply advised HuffPost. “So it’s really probably the most democratic manner of tabulating the votes.”

Because the supply famous, “the Academy itself doesn’t contact the ballots in any respect” through the voting course of. As an alternative, accountants at PwC depend each poll “by hand.” If a tie does happen, these PwC accountants would conduct a number of recounts to substantiate the draw. 

A rep for PwC didn’t reply to a request for remark. 

So What Occurs At The Ceremony?

As soon as the ballots are counted (and recounted) and the envelopes are sealed, solely three individuals on the planet know upfront who the winners are ― or whether or not a tie has occurred ― the chosen PwC accountants. 

After final yr’s Greatest Image debacle ― when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway obtained Emma Stone’s Greatest Actress envelope by mistake and introduced “La La Land” because the Greatest Image winner as a substitute of the particular victor, “Moonlight” ― the Academy and PwC determined to nominate a further accountant, on prime of the 2 who stay side-stage, to take a seat within the manufacturing sales space through the present. 

“There would be the two on the facet phases, as they all the time are, and they’ll every have their very own set of envelopes and proceed that apply,” the Academy supply stated. “Then a 3rd balloting accomplice shall be with the director within the truck to assist if there is a matter ― remedy it faster, if that is smart. Because the Academy CEO [Dawn Hudson] stated in one among her statements, we don’t anticipate [a mistake] taking place once more in one other 90 years. It’s fairly buttoned up at this level.”

A tie isn’t essentially a difficulty for the winners ― if something, it’s only a good shock. However for a presenter, issues might get complicated, which is why the Academy additionally added extra “worst-case state of affairs” rehearsal time to their new protocol. 

“It’s unattainable to know what to do in that state of affairs, however they do prep presenters upfront that ties are a chance,” the supply stated. “It’s very clear on the cardboard that it’s a tie and what to say and what to do.” 

Mark Wahlberg, who introduced the Sound Enhancing tie in 2013, was positively taken unexpectedly. “No B.S., now we have a tie,” he stated as the gang erupted in whispers.

“After I heard it was a tie, my thoughts form of went, ‘Can this occur? What are they going to say? Does no person go as much as get the award? Do now we have to have a recount?’” Karen Baker Landers advised HuffPost. She, together with enterprise accomplice Per Hallberg, tied with Paul N.J. Ottosson for the Sound Enhancing award that yr.

“The air form of obtained sucked out of the room, and you might hear murmuring. Trying again, it was superior to be part of that however on the time it was very complicated,” Landers stated.

“The entire thought that you just really had two films tying with hundreds of votes is fairly cool,” Hallberg stated.

Landers and Hallberg had been honored to develop into part of Oscars historical past in additional methods than one, however they know that if a tie happens in an appearing class this yr, it could be a a lot greater deal. 

“They’d have extra enjoyable with it,” Landers stated. “Possibly each the winners come out onstage collectively? It was very straight the best way that we did it with them. Paul got here up, walked off. We got here up, walked off. I’m pondering, ‘Did I point out it was a tie? Did now we have enjoyable with that in any respect?’ I don’t suppose we did.”

Hallberg added, “It’s an evening for the Academy to honor their very own membership, however then on the identical time it’s a TV present and I’m positive they’d do one thing fairly completely different with it if [a tie involved] actors. That will be extra alongside the road of leisure, proper? That’s the truth of it.” 

The awards season race has been fairly predictable thus far this yr, with Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) and Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outdoors Ebbing, Missouri”) taking dwelling many of the main actor statues, whereas Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards”) and Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”) have earned constant accolades for his or her supporting roles.

However simply in case 1969 repeats itself, listed here are all the nominees within the appearing classes: 

Sally Hawkins, “The Form of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outdoors Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Girl Chook”
Meryl Streep, “The Publish”

Timothée Chalamet, “Name Me by Your Identify”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Girl Chook” 
Octavia Spencer, “Form of Water” 

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Venture”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outdoors Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Form of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All of the Cash within the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outdoors Ebbing, Missouri”

Right here’s to hoping for one more spherical of reside Academy drama. 

CORRECTION: In a earlier model of this story, the movies that gained for Sound Enhancing on the 85th Oscars had been attributed to the incorrect editors. Paul N.J. Ottosson gained for “Zero Darkish Thirty” and Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers gained for “Skyfall.”    

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