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Category: Amazing Race

Poll: What will win best reality-competition show at the Emmys?

Project runway

Last year, the Emmy contest for outstanding reality-competition program proved to be the most dramatic as "Top Chef" zoomed past "The Amazing Race," which had won the category the previous seven years in a row. Now Emmy watchers wonder: Can "The Amazing Race" rally to reclaim the prize? Can "Top Chef" do it again? Or is there another usurper in the mix?

An examination of the episodes submitted by nominees to Emmy judges (every contender submits one sample) reveals that three programs are clearly out of it: "American Idol," "Dancing With the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance."

"Stars" submitted episode No. 1204, which is filled with charming moments as Mark Ballas and Chelsea Kane dance a Viennese waltz and Kirstie Alley catches up with a lost shoe, but it's not strong enough to win.

Both "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" blundered by submitting their season finales, which are rather ho-hum viewing experiences now that we know who prevailed. A much better selection for "Idol" would've been the one in which Casey Abrams gets saved from elimination. Shrewdly, Ryan Seacrest submitted that one in the host category, but producer Nigel Lythgoe will continue to lose as long as he stubbornly sticks by entering season finales in the program race.

"The Amazing Race" has an outside shot to win. Producers submitted a lively episode: No. 1807 ("You Don't Get Paid Unless You Win") in which the teams endure catastrophes and humiliations (they must make fuel patties out of water buffalo manure) while trotting around Varanasi, India. It's entertaining and energetic, but it doesn't have what the other two nominees do in spades: heart.

This Emmy matchup is between "Top Chef" and "Project Runway." "Project Runway" could be this year's category spoiler thanks to the emotional tug of "There's a Pattern Here," which asks contestants to design fabric based upon meaningful moments in their lives. At the end of the segment, Mondo Guerra wows the judges when he submits a pattern that spills a secret he's previously kept fiercely hidden: He's HIV positive.

While "Project Runway" has the single most powerful scene, "Top Chef" serves up 90 minutes of continuous emotional fare as contestants visit Ellis Island, bond with family members and learn surprises about their ancestral histories in "Give Me Your Huddled Masses." A jaw-dropping moment occurs when it's revealed that two of the contestants are related to each other.


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Emmys: Will 'Top Chef' win again for reality competition show?

— Tom O'Neil

Photo: Mondo Guerra on "Project Runway." Credit: Lifetime,

Emmys: Will 'Top Chef' win again for reality competition show?

"Top Chef" at the Emmys in 2010

The battle for reality competition show yielded the most dramatic Emmy victory of last year when "Top Chef" zoomed past "The Amazing Race," which had won seven years in a row. What will happen next? If our forum posters are correct, it's a close fight among "Top Chef," "The Amazing Race" and "Project Runway," which is overdue to win. Below are descriptions of the sample episodes submitted to judges. At bottom: comments from our forums.

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Emmys: 'Top Chef' reheats nominations for reality-competition award

Emmy 2010 champion 'Top Chef'
"The Amazing Race," "American Idol," "Dancing With the Stars," "Project Runway," "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Top Chef" are the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards nominees for reality-competition program.

Last year, Bravo's culinary series "Top Chef," hosted by Padma Lakshmi and chef Tom Colicchio, took top honors for reality-competition program, defeating CBS' "The Amazing Race," which had won the award in all seven years since the category's inception. "American Idol," "Dancing With the Stars" and "Project Runway" were also nominated in 2010.

The Emmy Awards will take place Sept. 18 and will be televised live on Fox. We'll have all the breaking news and reactions here on Awards Tracker.


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Photo: Tom Colicchio on "Top Chef: All-Stars." Credit: Bravo.

The highs and lows of the Emmy races: The most interesting categories

Steve carell 
With more than 100 Emmy races, it’s difficult to know which contests will be the most exciting and which ones can be skipped for a bathroom break during the awards telecast. But from the way things are shaping up, here's a cheat sheet to what promise to be the five most interesting races:

Lead actor, comedy: It’s a good thing Steve Carell has a sense of humor. Even though “The Office” proved to be an Emmy darling at the start (best comedy series, 2006), Carell has lost the lead actor race five times, including once to the chap who created the original British series: Ricky Gervais (“Extras”). Now can Carell finally get the last laugh upon leaving the Yankee version? Sarah Jessica Parker was overdue for an Emmy when she ultimately prevailed for her last season on “Sex and the City.”

Drama series: Can “Mad Men” go four in a row for top drama series? Only three programs have won that trophy as many times: “Hill Street Blues” (1981-1984), “L.A. Law” (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991) and “The West Wing” (2000-2003). Its toughest rival may be “Boardwalk Empire,” which won the drama award at the Golden Globes and best ensemble at the SAG Awards. Both shows are old news, though, airing in late 2010. The usurper could be “The Good Wife.” It’s currently airing, Emmy voters love legal dramas and it’s on CBS. Most members of the academy work for broadcast networks — but a show airing on one of the Big Four hasn’t triumphed here since 2006, when “24” took it.


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