We hate to say it, but the past year has not been a great one for singing competitions. Save for maybe “The Voice,” singing shows are starting to dissipate, “Survivor” cast Brandon Hantz for a second time, “So You Think You Can Dance” had an extremely disjointed summer season, and “The Amazing Race” continued to grow somewhat stale. Sadly, there were also no real additions to the mix that proved to be very exciting, and while “Ink Master” is fun, it is more of a guilty pleasure than an Emmy-worthy show.
We have our Primetime Emmy picks for Reality Competition Series below, but as always, we want to hear from you! Be sure to vote in our poll, and head on over to the link here if you want to read the rest of our Emmy preview articles.
“The Amazing Race” (CBS) – It’s not perfect anymore, but when you look at its sheer production value and the overall sense of scope that the show has, it’s difficult not to nominate it. It’s sad to say this, but these days a weak “Amazing Race” is still better than a weakened “Dancing with the Stars” or an improved but still on-the-rise “MasterChef” (which is probably our honorable mention along with “RuPaul’s Drag Race”).
“Big Brother” (CBS) – Yes, we are prepared for your snobbery here! We get it that this show appeals to the lowest common denominator at times, but this is an awards show that has honored “Two and a Half Men.” With some of Dan Gheesling’s moves last summer, this became intelligent TV, a great game of virtual strategy, and an interactive summer experience. There’s still no reality show out there that has so many people hooked.
“The Glee Project” (Oxygen) – Our personal pick to win this year. An inspiring, well-edited competition with a tangible prize (a role on “Glee”) that viewers can actually experience, and an elimination structure that actually lifts the veil on the casting process and everything that producers look for. With “Glee” officially renewed now until season 6, we’d love to see either a new season of the show either this fall (with the winner scoring an arc in the spring), or next summer in its previously-occupied time slot.
“Survivor” (CBS) – To us, this is still the original and one of the best. While not every twist works, “Survivor: Philippines” was one of the best seasons in years, and should be submitted over the inferior “Caramoan.” You get to see so much emotion, strategy, and skill packed into every episode, and few shows do this without sinking down every episode into shouting matches or melodrama.
“Top Chef” (Bravo) – If you take away that terrible last episode’s format, this would be our favorite to win it all. However, you cannot ignore the blemishes that are present here. “Top Chef” is still a great program, and one that does a tremendous job of showing us real culinary skill, and what it takes to be great.
“The Voice” (NBC) – The best of the singing shows, but even still, one that isn’t perfect. We still wish the coaches would just be quiet during the live shows, since they are in no real position to offer up criticism in their position; but there were some great vocalists this year, emotional moments, and great entertainment from the blind auditions on.