Awards Tracker

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Category: Top Chef

Emmys: Tom O'Neil's daredevil predictions

Of all Hollywood showbiz awards, the Emmy is most confounding to predict because winners are chosen by small juries viewing sample episodes submitted by nominees as examples of their best work. But I've investigated all entries and I enjoy jumping off cliffs ... so here goes.

Emmy Q
Prediction: "Mad Men"
Runner-up: "Boardwalk Empire"

Prediction: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Runner-up: Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"

Prediction: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Runner-up: Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"

Prediction: John Slattery, "Mad Men"
Runner-up: Josh Charles, "The Good Wife"

Prediction: Margo Martindale, "Justified"
Runner-up: Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"

Prediction: "Modern Family"
Runner-up: "Parks and Recreation"

Prediction: Steve Carell, "The Office"
Runner-up: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"

Prediction: Laura Linney, "The Big C"
Runner-up: Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Prediction: Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Runner-Up: Chris Colfer, "Glee"

Prediction: Jane Lynch, "Glee"
Runner-up: Betty White, "Hot in Cleveland"

Prediction: "Downton Abbey"
Runner-up: "The Kennedys"

Prediction: Edgar Ramirez, "Carlos"
Runner-up: Laurence Fishburne, "Thurgood"

Prediction: Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce"
Runner-up: Jean Marsh, "Upstairs, "Downstairs"

Prediction: Tom Wilkinson, "The Kennedys"
Runner-up: Guy Pearce, "Mildred Pierce"

Prediction: Evan Rachel Wood, "Mildred Pierce"
Runner-up: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"

Prediction: "Project Runway"
Runner-up: "Top Chef"

Prediction: "The Daily Show"
Runner-up: "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon"


Uh-oh! Is 'Mad Men' in trouble at the Emmys?

Poll: What new TV series will be the next Emmy champ?

Emmy diva smackdown: Julianna Margulies vs. Elisabeth Moss

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

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,

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.

Continue reading »

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.

Can Jimmy Kimmel snag the Emmy from Jon Stewart? [video]

Jimmy kimmel jon stewart"I don't know if there's anything that can be done," Jimmy Kimmel sighs when I ask him how he thinks Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" can be stopped from winning the Emmy for best variety series for a ninth consecutive year. Desperate times call for desperate actions, perhaps? Why not try something diabolical?

"Jon's great, obviously, and, if we were to try and poison him, he'll probably get the sympathy vote," Kimmel says. "He'd end up winning posthumously and mocking us all."

I have an idea for Kimmel, whose late-night show has not yet been nominated in the category. If "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" breaks in this year, he might conspire with the folks at "Top Chef," who figured out how to stop "The Amazing Race" from winning best reality-competition show last year for an eighth time.

"I would consult with a bunch of chefs?" Kimmel asks. "It'll be like a Justice League meeting and we'll figure this out?" Hmmm … he agrees that that's a very interesting scheme.

Kimmel is also in the running for a second Emmy. On the ballot is a song he wrote with his staff by taking Kanye West's outrageous tweets and stringing them together with melody. Josh Groban came on Kimmel's show in January to perform the tune, which got replayed more than 2 million times on YouTube.

"Unwillingly, Kanye may get nominated for an Emmy," Kimmel adds. "I don't think he has any idea he's on the ballot. Kanye really wrote most of it, so it would be fantastic if Kanye were to win an Emmy!"

Kimmel is no stranger to Emmy glory. Back in 2004, he won a Daytime Emmy along with Ben Stein as co-hosts of the game show "Win Ben Stein's Money." We discuss all that in our webcam chat below.

-- Tom O'Neil

Left photo: Jimmy Kimmel. Credit: ABC

Right photo: Jon Stewart. Credit: Comedy Central

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.


Continue reading »

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

Padma Lakshmi Top Chef News"It was a complete shock," Padma Lakshmi confessed, talking about "Top Chef's" Emmy victory last year as best reality-competition show. "The Amazing Race" had prevailed the previous seven years and was easily expected to repeat, but "Top Chef" pulled off a jaw-dropper.

Can the show do it again? Yes, truth be told, but the "Top Chef" host said she doesn't know the secret recipe.

"If I knew what the secret formula was, I'd be brewing it in my kitchen right now," she said in our webcam chat.

Lakshmi said she does know what she'll add to her own Emmy dish if she's again nominated for best host of a reality program, as she was in 2009 when cited along with Tom Colicchio. She said she plans to submit one of two episodes to the Emmy jury: the special "Sesame Street" episode or the Ellis Island segment. Below, she explains further.

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Padma Lakshmi. Credit: Bravo

Can 'Top Chef' whip up another Emmy?

Top chef tv news"Top Chef" pulled off a shocking upset at last year's Emmys, winning best reality-competition show over "The Amazing Race," which had triumphed the previous six years. Of course, "Top Chef" also beat "American Idol," which has, surprisingly, never won and remains overdue.

Now that "Top Chef" has wrapped its latest season, does it have the right recipe for Emmy success again?

Some of our forum posters believe the program has sustained its quality this year as it brought back 18 past contestants for another chance to prevail. Winner turned out to be Season 4 runner-up Richard Blais.

"This is my favorite season of the show so far," writes our poster Benito Delicias. "I loved having them all back, I loved every minute of it whether I agreed with the results or not."

A different poster believes another TV program has the inside track this year based on the episode choices it has to submit to Emmy judges. Atypical says, "If 'Project Runway' submits either 'There Is an "I" in Team' or 'There's a Pattern Here,' then I'm predicting them to win reality-competition program outright."

Read more comments here.


Full Show Tracker coverage of 'Top Chef'

-- Tom O'Neil

Poll: Can 'Amazing Race' rally to beat 'Top Chef' and 'American Idol' at the Emmys?

Amazing race charms tv newsNow that the new season of "The Amazing Race" is underway, TV viewers can decide: Is it good enough to help the show win the Emmy race for best reality/competition TV show again?

Until last year, "The Amazing Race" ruled the Emmy contest seven years in a row – dating back to when the category was created. The CBS program was a serious contender to repeat last year, while "American Idol" was considered to be its chief rival. However, "Top Chef" ultimately derailed "The Amazing Race's" amazing Emmy juggernaut.

The 18th season of "The Amazing Race" features 11 losing teams from previous TV seasons, vying for a new chance to win $1 million.

In Sunday night's episode, contestants were instructed to travel 2,700 miles from Japan to Lijiang, China, aboard trains, yaks and gondolas. Among the challenges they faced: searching through thousands of dangling charms to find the 12 Chinese zodiac animals.

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Episode 4 of "The Amazing Race" Season 18. Credit: CBS


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