Yesterday Oscar co-host Anne Hathaway and the show’s co-producer Bruce Cohen told the school choir for PS 22 — an elementary school in Flushing, Queens — that they’ll be taking the choir to Los Angeles to perform at the Academy Awards on 2.27. 40 cute kids singing on-stage at the Kodak…cool. But why? What’s the connection?

It’s obviously Cohen’s idea because he’s the one stirring the kids up and introducing Hathaway, etc. Did Cohen attend PS 22 as a kid or something? Flying out 40 kids plus a teacher or two plus a chaperone for each kid plus hotels and transportation and meals — that’s a lot of dough to spend ($200,000? 90 to 100 people x how much per person?) for a single musical sequence that’ll be nice to see and hear but — let’s face it — isn’t going to matter all that much to 99% of the viewing audience.

I’m sorry but Cohen just seems like a second-rate Alan Carr type — glamour and tinsel, a gladhander. He and his co-producer Don Mischer both seem this way. One of their first moves was to try and re-hire Hugh Jackman as host (and what, have him sing “Top Hat”?). Their subsequent decision to have Hathaway and James Franco co-host struck most discerning observers as an odd call, to put it politely. I’m just getting all these indications that the Oscar telecast is going to be wildly low-rent in some way.

Update: I realize that for some, these kids are considered a huge YouTube sensation with millions and millions of hits, and that they do covers of songs, etc.