Can Lady Gaga continue her march toward global domination by conquering Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, Pee-wee Herman and Oprah Winfrey at the Emmy Awards in September? She is nodded in the race for best variety special. It's her first Emmy nomination and she has a decent shot at taking the award home with the flamboyant and ultra-intense "Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour" for HBO.
Lady Gaga has already won five Grammy Awards in her young career. Her most recent album "The Fame Monster" was the backdrop for this concert tour, which has been critically acclaimed and earned more than $227 million, making it one of the biggest in concert history. She was also named Billboard's Artist of the Year for 2010.
To win the Emmy, she will have to overcome one of the most difficult adversaries possible: the Kennedy Center Honors, which won this category last year and has had great success at the Emmys for more than three decades. The most recent edition of the annual celebration of the arts featured tributes to Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Bill T. Jones, Merle Haggard and Jerry Herman (pop/rock, country, dance and Broadway all rolled into one night). The other competitors are "Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On" (a spirited concert performance for New Year's Eve), "Carrie Fisher in Wishful Drinking" (a gutsy, soul-baring one-woman show) and "The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway" (a re-creation of his popular stage schtick).
The ace in the hole for Lady Gaga is that her concert experience is certainly the most energetic and combustible of the works nominated. If voters want to embrace a hot star, she is really the only one in the mix.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball Tour poster. Credit: HBO