Awards Tracker

All things Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys

Category: Dancing with the Stars

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.


Blame cranky Dr. House because Hugh Laurie hasn't won an Emmy?

Can any comedy series dethrone 'Modern Family'?

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

— Tom O'Neil

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

Emmy contenders: The nominees speak their minds

Sue Sylvester 
With all the excitement over their Emmy nods, the nominees have a lot to think about these days. But more important than what they will wear or who they will thank at the Sept. 18 ceremony were far more pressing questions such as, “Is Jane Lynch going to tease me?” The Envelope had a chance to run this and other thoughts past some of the Emmy contenders; here's what they're thinking:

As Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” Jane Lynch can be downright mean. With her as host, are you nervous that she’ll poke jabs at you during her monologue? And what would she tease you about?

“Who could be the meaner person.”
— Margo Martindale, “Justified”

“She probably could talk about my [character’s] terrible wardrobe. Or the fact that I never smile.”
— Mireille Enos, “The Killing”

 “I love her, I think she’s going to be incredible. But we should all be a little worried.”
— Connie Britton, “Friday Night Lights”

“Bring it! It’s all in good fun.”
— Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”

Betty white “Oh, she’s a great gal; she’s fun. I’m not afraid of her. I’m a big fan.”
— Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland”

"I’ve known her for a long time. She’s certainly a searing character. She’s always been very sweet to me in person, so I’m hoping she might give me a 'get out of jail' card [otherwise] I’ll just have to roll with the punches."
-- Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory"

“If she brings me up in her monologue, I’ve got reason to be nervous. But she’s very funny. I hope I can be recognized by her. That would be an honor.”
— Kyle Chandler, “Friday Night Lights”

“I’ve worked with Jane. She’s a great broad and hilarious. She can do anything she wants. She can sit on my lap. Or maybe I can sit on hers.”
— Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

“I’d be so happy to get a hard time from Jane Lynch. She could say anything and I’d laugh. I adore her!
I’m sooo excited. I’m such a huge fan!”
— Evan Rachel Wood, “Mildred Pierce”

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Can 'So You Think You Can Dance' waltz off with top Emmy? [poll]

So you think you can dance news

After years of shocking neglect at the Emmys, "So You Think You Can Dance" is finally getting serious recognition. It's not only nominated for reality-competition show for the first time, but Cat Deeley is up for host.

Given the show's enormous popularity with TV viewers, that may not seem like a big breakthrough, but it is. "So You Think You Can Dance" has been so far out of Emmy favor that for the last four years it has won the category for best choreography but wasn't nominated for reality-competition show. By comparison, "Dancing With the Stars" made the top race every time.

"Dancing With the Stars" hasn't won the top Emmy, though. "Top Chef" pulled off an upset last year over "The Amazing Race," which won the previous seven years. Now that "So You Think You Can Dance" has made the contest, do you think it can — and will — win?


Ricky Gervais: Give Steve Carell the Emmy!

Can Louis C.K. pull off an upset at the Emmys?

Emmys: Will "Modern Family," "Glee" or "The Big Bang Theory" win for comedy? [Poll]

— Tom O'Neil

Photo: Marko Germar and Melanie Moore perform on a recent episode of "So You Think You Can Dance." Credit: Fox TV.

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.


HBO dominates the Emmy nominations

Can 'Top Chef' whip up another Emmy?

Padma Lakshmi was shocked by 'Top Chef's' Emmy win [Video]

— Nardine Saad

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

The highs and lows of the Emmy races: The five most predictable categories

Jon stewart 
It's often difficult to predict which show or performance will win an Emmy. That's what makes the awards ceremony so exciting. But sometimes, in some categories, the results are a gimme. Here's a look at the five most predictable categories.

Best variety series: Last year, “The Daily Show” won best variety series for an eighth consecutive year even though it submitted a ho-hum episode to Emmy jurors. Surprisingly, it beat such fierce competition as Conan O’Brien’s farewell on the “Tonight” show and “The Colbert Report’s” visit to a U.S. Army base in Iraq where President Obama appeared via satellite. Forget it. “Daily Show” can’t lose.

Guest drama actress: Speaking of unstoppable winning streaks, “Law & Order: SVU” seems to have a lock on the guest drama actress category. It has won for the last four years (Leslie Caron, Cynthia Nixon, Ellyn Burstyn, Ann-Margret) and offers a lot of top candidates this go around: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Maria Bello, Joan Cusack, Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Christine Lahti, Debra Messing and Rita Wilson.

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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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Kirstie Alley wants an Oscar for starring in 'Dancing With the Stars'

Kirstie alley dancing with the starsKirstie Alley admits to being an "airhead" about some things. While training to appear on "Dancing With the Stars," she told reporters how clueless she had been about the grueling regimen endured by professional hoofers. Now she seems to be a bit, ahem, confused about Hollywood trophies.

After she survived this week's elimination and reaped her first 10 score, Kirstie said that, if she won the show, it would "be like winning an Oscar. Because it's something I haven’t won before. It’s something I’ve always really wanted. It’s a different category, but I feel like we were just nominated."

Different category? Maybe she meant different universe. Maybe she's just a bit dizzy after all of that spinning and leaping on the show.

Oscars, of course, are for film, Emmys for TV. Alley has been nominated eight times for an Emmy: five times for "Cheers," once for "Veronica's Closet" and twice for TV flicks. She won for "Cheers" in 1991 and for the telefilm "David's Mother" in 1994. Alley has never been within 1,000 miles of Oscarland.

"Dancing With the Stars" has lost the Emmy bout for best reality-competition show five consecutive years. It not only lost for best reality-competition show each year, but -- worse -- it was also beaten for the trophy for best choreography. Maybe some of Alley's past Emmy glow can help the show now?


Can Kirstie Alley finally turn 'Dancing With the Stars' into an Emmy winner?

'Glee' Emmy submissions shocker: The Changs are out!

No Emmy divas among 'Hot in Cleveland' stars

-- Tom O'Neil

Will Kirstie Alley's crash hurt 'Dancing With the Stars'?

Kirstie alley dancing with the starsAs if "Dancing With the Stars" hasn't had enough trouble at the Emmys, Kirstie Alley's spill could trip up its award hopes too.

It's bad enough that "Dancing With the Stars" has never won the Emmy for best reality-competition show. From 2006 to 2009, "Amazing Race" zoomed past it, and "Top Chef" came out on top last year. Worse, America's most-watched dance show has never won the Emmy for best choreography. For the last four years, it has lost that contest to rival hoofer program "So You Think You Can Dance."

On the other hand, maybe Kirstie Alley's addition to the show is an Emmy lucky charm. She's won twice, after all: best comedy actress for "Cheers" in 1991 and best actress in a TV movie for "David's Mother" in 1994.

-- Tom O'Neil

Can Kirstie Alley finally turn 'Dancing With the Stars' into a winner?

Kirstie alley dancing with the starsNever mind for a moment the prospect of Kirstie Alley winning on "Dancing With the Stars." The real cliffhanger is: Can the double Emmy champ help the Emmy-snubbed program finally claim TV's highest honor in a top category?

"Dancing With the Stars" has tripped up five consecutive years in the Emmy derby. It not only lost the race for best reality-competition show each year, but -- worse -- the trophy for best choreography too.

From 2006 to 2009, "Amazing Race" zoomed past "Dancing With the Stars" to win best reality show. Last year, "Top Chef" pulled off an upset. "Dancing" lost the choreography Emmy for the past four years to a rival hoofer program: "So You Think You Can Dance." Before that, in 2006, it lost to "High School Musical."  Tom Bergeron has contended three times for best reality host, losing each time to Jeff Probst ("Survivor").

The show has won seven Emmys, but none of them in a top race; all victories were in the crafts categories, for makeup, hairstyling, costumes and technical direction.

On Monday night's episode, audiences watched such luminaries as "Karate Kid" fan-favorite Ralph Macchio, talk show host Wendy Williams, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, pin-up Kendra Wilkinson and model Petra Nemcova dance the fox trot and the cha-cha-cha. The inclusion of Kirstie Alley was the most interesting to Emmy fans, though.

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