LOS ANGELES – It could’ve gone down as one of the harshest moments in Oscar history.
The orchestra swelled just as petite Best Original Song co-winner Marketa Irglova stepped up to the microphone to speak following partner Glen Hansard. The pair won for their tune “Falling Slowly” from the indie musical “Once,” but only Hansard gave an acceptance before their moment in the spotlight seemed to be over.
“This is amazing. Make art. Make art. Thanks,” he said.
Irglova could barely muster a polite “Thank you” before the orchestra, led by conductor Bill Conti, cut her off. After a commercial break, host Jon Stewart brought the 19-year-old Czech musician back on stage for a second chance to give an acceptance speech.
She took full advantage.
“The fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible,” Irglova said during take two. “And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream, and don’t give up. This song was written from the perspective of hope, and hope, at the end of the day, connects us all, no matter how different we are.”
Irglova’s second-chance speech lasted just over a minute. She said she was just as surprised as everyone else in the audience about the spontaneous and rare reprieve.
“When I went backstage, they said they were going to have me go back out,” Irglova said after the incident. “It was great to get that chance, and I’m very grateful to them for doing that.”
Oscar producer Gil Cates said the show director was looking down and queued the music when Hansard finished speaking.
“She was accidentally played off. No one wanted to play her off. … I asked her to come back. I asked Jon to please bring her back. It was a very emotional moment.”