2011 Emmy predictions: Reality Competition Program

The show airs September 18.

Over the course of the next several weeks leading up to the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards on September 18, we are going to look every weekday at a given category not only in terms of who will win, but also who should be walking away with the trophy. (To view some of our other Emmy predictions, all you have to do is head over here.)

This time around, the focus is on the category of Reality Competition Program.

The nominees

-“American Idol” (Fox)

-“Dancing with the Stars” (ABC)

-“Project Runway” (Lifetime)

-“So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox)

-“The Amazing Race” (CBS)

-“Top Chef” (Bravo)

Who will win

First and foremost, you can eliminate both “Project Runway” and “Dancing with the Stars” — while they are each enjoyable shows, neither has done anything to really stand out when it comes to what Emmy voters are looking for.

In addition to that, both “Top Chef” and “The Amazing Race”(who have both won in this category) failed to really improve on previous seasons. “Top Chef” is still a fantastic show, but it’s hard to see the voters showing up with the same passion this year.

This ultimately leaves us with two shows — “Idol” and “SYTYCD.” Both are Fox productions, are extremely well-done in terms of production, and tend to be popular. However, it seems like the stars are aligned this year for “Idol” — they proved they did not need Simon Cowell to succeed, any they had a winner in Scotty McCreery who is a viable long-term star. Meanwhile, “SYTYCD” has dropped in the ratings as of late — and even Nigel Lythgoe himself has said that he would like to see “Idol” take home this award.

Who should win

At the end of the day, the argument for “Idol” is the same — after ten years of being the most-popular show on TV, the fact that we have not seen the show win this award is appalling. While there are some problems (including some terrible judging at times and frustrating product placement), very few shows manage to inspire as much passion for its contestants. “Idol” had a sensational year in terms of talent, and it is time that it was recognized as such.

As for the other nominees, “Top Chef” is probably a strong second choice thanks to its two solid seasons from 2010 (including a pretty stellar “All-Stars”). While “The Amazing Race” was our favorite reality show for years, it has lost a bit of its luster and creativity over the past few seasons. The same goes for “Project Runway,” and “Dancing with the Stars” was lacking in the “Stars” department.

As for “SYTYCD,” it’s a worthy choice if you ignored the often-dull Vegas rounds and focus solely on the live shows.



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