One day after focusing on the category of Outstanding Reality Competition, we are now shifting our 2012 Emmy focus to something that is integral in order to make these shows work — good hosting. Do you remember on e of the reasons why “The X Factor” was such a disappointment this past fall? It’s because Steve Jones didn’t work out.
With it being pretty clear just who are the best hosts in the business, there is a little less disparity this time around in our series between the people who should be nominated, and the ones who actually are.
The deserving nominees
Jeff Probst, “Survivor” (CBS) – Even if he wins this show every year, it’s always earned. Jeff takes hosting to the next level by not just handling the narration and color-commentary on this show wonderfully, but by actively engaging and challenging the contestants of “Survivor” to make key decisions and dig within themselves to find out what they are truly made of. Nobody else could do his job and do it as well.
Tom Bergeron, “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC) – If there is one person deserving of taking down Probst, it’s this master of all things silly. If it wasn’t for Tom, “Dancing with the Stars” would not have the camp factor that makes it so endearing. He recognizes the competition aspect of the show, but at the same time he keeps things light-hearted thanks to his sharp wit and unabashed lack of vanity.
Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox) – While her duties are a bit more serious than Tom, Cat also knows how to have a good time — and like with him, she is also well aware of how to keep the live shows moving at the right pace without cutting anyone off or being disrespectful. You shouldn’t have to be reminded that a host is working hard, and with Cat it all seems to come easy.
Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol” (Fox) – Take everything we said about Cat, and it works the same for Ryan. While at times he can come across as a bit distant, he’s also incredibly respected now as a big player in entertainment. He has enough fun to not be considered uptight, and without him “American Idol” would not be the same.
Nick Cannon, “America’s Got Talent” (NBC) – Nick Cannon is not at his best when the “America’s Got Talent” producers force him to say canned lines, but he is absolutely fantastic when it comes to getting involved and engaged with the contestants. He understands humor better than anyone, and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Plus, you have to admire someone who has improved every year he has been on the show.
RuPaul Charles, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Logo) – Take away RuPaul, and there is no show to speak of here. When you consider how much face time the man has brought to a network with a pretty small viewership, it’s astounding. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a gem of a reality show, and his constant sense of fun and energy is a big reason why.
Honorable mention: Donald Trump (“The Celebrity Apprentice,” based solely on the work he puts in on the show)
The likely nominees
Jeff Probst, “Survivor” – From the voters’ standpoint, he’s won every year — and they tend to recognize fewer new faces in reality than any other genre.
Tom Bergeron, “Dancing with the Stars” – Everything we said about Probst can also be said here. He’ll be nominated, and deservedly so.
Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance” – The only thing we are worried about with Cat is that “The Choice” may leave a bad taste in voters’ mouths, but even with this they have to recognize that she is one of the best hosts out there.
Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol” – We have a feeling that Seacrest, based on his star power and the show’s high ratings, will be nominated every year until he either leaves or the show ends.
Phil Keoghan, “The Amazing Race” (CBS) – This is where we differ from the Emmys. While Phil is a great host who loves the adventure of the show he oversees, he also doesn’t really do that much on an average episode. We prefer to recognize hosts who are actually more involved, and really help the show to stay successful.
Betty White, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (NBC) – Yes, this show is considered a reality show — and with that, it’s hard to see the Emmys passing on an opportunity to nominate Betty White again for a silly half-hour program that starts to feel the same after a couple of weeks.
Likely to receive votes: Heidi Klum, “Project Runway” (even if her show is starting to show its age)
Who do you think are the best nominees in this field? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and continue to check back daily for more Emmy talk!
Photo: The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences