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Emmy Analysis: Outstanding Competition Reality Series

With the ever changing landscape of television, the various categories of the Emmy awards often have a lot of variety and differences to offer. Every year there’s new shows and the categories get shaken up as audiences pick up on new things to watch that interest them. However, if change isn’t really your thing and you prefer more stability, watching multiple seasons of shows as they come out every year for comfort, the Outstanding Competition Reality Series category is definitely for you.

Of the series nominated, many of them have already had multiple nominations over previous years they’ve been airing. The Amazing Race received nominations and even won the category as early as 2003. It’s no secret that the Television Academy is comfortable with their picks in this category, and probably won’t be straying too far away from what they usually choose.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Holding the crown in this category since 2018, RuPaul’s Drag Race is the easy choice as the winner for this category. After RuPaul won the award yet again for Outstanding Host of a Reality Competition Series in the Creative Emmy Awards this weekend, and it’s companion show RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked won Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program as well. After 19 nominations it’s easy to assume they’ll crown this series as the winner yet again this year.

The Voice

Before Drag Race reigned supreme, The Voice held onto the title for about three years. If anything is going to break it’s record, it would be easy to understand how The Voice would replace it to retake the title. It’s incredibly unlikely for this to happen, but as we’ve already covered, the Emmys usually like to go with what they’re comfortable with. The show has started to take a slight decline after the more frequent rotation of coaches, making it slightly harder to maintain viewership. It’s hard to imagine anything taking Drag Race’s firm grip on the category, but this would be the one to do so.

The Amazing Race

Winning consecutively since the category’s conception in 2003 up until YEAR, and then winning again on and off until The Voice replaced it, The Amazing Race has been a consistent and solid showing in the Reality Competition Series category. Rightfully so, the show is always new and exciting with the different locations around the world teams have to travel to, and it’s an easy family show for voters to watch at the end of the week. It provides a form of escapism for everyday families, and vacation ideas for the wealthier television academy members. It’s easy to see why it’s a loved show and consistently shows up in nominations.

Top Chef

The last familiar nomination on this list is also one of the least likely repeat nominations to win. Top Chef has shown up in the nominations for this category on and off since 2007. It was also the first show to break the streak that was held so tightly by The Amazing Race in 2010 (only to then lose again the very next year). Seeing as how Top Chef only has one win under its belt, it’s hard to see it pulling off a win.

Nailed It

The newest nomination to the bunch is also the least likely to win. Nominated every year since its debut season in 2017, this show is fairly young and still gaining an audience. Host Nicole Byer had her first nomination for an Emmy this year along with this show, which is a telltale sign that it’s definitely picking up some steam. If there’s an upcoming show that’ll be crowned the next supreme of this category, Nailed It definitely stands a chance at holding the title. For now though, I don’t exactly think it’s Nailed It’s time.

Prediction: RuPaul’s Drag Race
Sleeper: The Amazing Race


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Written by Tyler Strandberg

Tyler Strandberg is a Film, TV, and Media analyst from Minnesota. His enjoyment of film started in 2016, and he has been writing film reviews as a hobby ever since.

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