EMMYS: Reality-Competition Handicap

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2011 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program race.

American Idol (Fox)
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Why It Was Nominated: They can’t very well not nominate the show. It’s now been cited nine times in succession — and is still searching for its first win. American Idol has altered the primetime landscape as television’s top-rated show for the past decade. And this year’s edition with new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler — and without Simon Cowell — defied predictions of doom to enjoy a comeback of sorts. It landed 10 noms this time, its most ever.
Why It Has To Win: “We have our best chance ever this year,” believes executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. “If we don’t win it this time, we probably never will.” Quite possible indeed. Idol enjoyed a banner season replete with heavy new injections of publicity thanks to the new judges, who acquitted themselves better than expected. The competition from The Amazing Race and last year’s victor Top Chef isn’t so stiff that it’s likely to keep Idol from finally taking the big prize after eight years of trying in vain.
Why It Can’t Possibly Win: The prevailing wisdom this time is that unfortunately Idol has made the same mistake again — that is, submitting the season finale for consideration. The problem is that there’s no “competition” element in there in a category that has competition in the title. Oops. It’s got Beyonce and Lady Gaga, but then, what doesn’t? This is the same formula that’s failed eight straight times with voters, and perhaps it’s destined to remain forever thus. (more…)

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2011/09/emmys-reality-competition-handicap-172738/