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Can 'The Voice' hit a high note at the Emmys?

May 6, 2011 |  2:00 pm

The-voice-nbc-tv-showNow that NBC has a reality hit with "The Voice," the Emmys might finally welcome a new nominee to the reality-competition race. This category has remained unchanged for the last four years with the same repeating nominees: last year's champ "Top Chef," seven-time champ "The Amazing Race," "American Idol," "Dancing With the Stars" and "Project Runway."

The only other reality show to win a top Emmy is "Survivor" (2002), but that was in the catch-all special class race prior to the creation of the reality-competition category in 2003. "Survivor" went on to be nominated four more times, but "Top Chef" took over its position on the list in 2007, and things haven't changed since then.

Could "The Voice" be the show that finally breaks into this tough category?

"The Voice" is a singing competition similar to competitor "American Idol" but with a big twist: This show's judges (or "coaches," as they call them) do not get to see the person who's auditioning before them. By emphasizing voice over looks, the show has found a heartwarming and clever way of evolving the popular singing competition genre on television.

Also in the show's favor is its impressive on-screen talent. Carson Daley is the host, and the four coaches are Grammy winners Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green, Academy of Country Music Award winner Blake Shelton and Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine.

If "The Voice" fails to connect with Emmy voters, look for the list of five to return again this year. Possible spoilers include "Survivor," which could once again find itself in the race thanks to its current season focused on redemption, and "Celebrity Apprentice," which certainly has the buzz going into this voting season thanks to Donald Trump's never-ending tirade against the president. Other long-running network shows such as "The Bachelor," "Hell's Kitchen" and "Big Brother" should continue to be ignored.

— Tom O'Neil

Photo: NBC