Never 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.