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Emmy Predictions: Competition Program – Can ‘Nailed It’ or ‘Top Chef’ Overcome RuPaul?

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE EMMYS COLLECTIVE
Visit each individual category, according to the awards show from THE EMMYS HUB
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(DRAFT>>>PRE-SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON)

2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING COMPETITION SERIES

UPDATED: Aug 10, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY“RuPaul’s Drag Race” has won an incredible 19 Emmys overall in its tenure thus far, including three consecutively in this category. Though it’s down in its nomination tally this year, going from 11 to nine, that shouldn’t be cause to count out our favorite fashion and culture competition all rolled into one. The incumbent is likely to snatch another trophy.

Once a dominating force at the Emmys, with 10 wins in this category alone, the broadcast adventure-race staple made its return to the ballot after sitting out last year’s eligibility window. This time “The Amazing Race” also picked up mentions for editing, cinematography and directing, which gives it a bit of a renewed boost of visibility. However, the Academy occasionally changes in this category, but even so a return to the winners’ circle would be a big surprise.

The third time could be the charm for the streaming baking-comedy series. The visibility of “Nailed It” only increased (last year’s nom for host Nicole Byer was history-making and she’s being celebrated in that category again now), and the Television Academy has been known to shake up this race from time to time. The hard part is that the incumbent winner (for the past three years!) “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is still on the air and going strong. So, this one may need to bake a little longer before seeing gold.

This cable cooking series only won this category once (in 2010), though there have arguably been a few close calls in other years. (It has been a consistent ballot presence since 2007.) This year, “Top Chef” picked up five nominations in total, including one for its now trio of hosts. Overdue narratives are powerful to play, but enough voters must feel like they’re making up for a past snub for it to make a difference.

The broadcast singing competition hasn’t won this race since 2017 (though it has been a ballot staple since 2012), and there are quite a few voters that feel it has a ballot spot that should have gone to “The Masked Singer” or “Legendary” instead. With that said, though, “The Voice” still managed an impressive seven overall noms, one of which was for directing for the anniversary season’s premiere. It’s not impossible for this fourtime category champion to be crowned again, but it may be an uphill battle to get enough chairs to turn around this time.
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The viewing platform for Emmy nominees opens on Aug. 13, with final-round voting, beginning on Aug. 19 at 9:00 am PT until Aug. 30 at 10:00 pm PT.

Check out the full rankings of the category’s nominees in the chart below.


TOP CHEF — “Shellfishly Delicious” Episode 1813 — Pictured: (l-r) Shota Nakajima, Gabe Erales, Dawn Burrell — (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo)
Courtesy of David Moir/Bravo

ALL SUBMISSIONS & RANKINGS:

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Competition Series)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television’s most prestigious artistic award. There are many records held for both wins and nominations in the near eight decades.

For wins: Since the category’s creation in 2003, CBS’ “The Amazing Race” has won this prize 10 times, the most of any reality competition program. NBC’s “The Voice” has the second-most wins with four followed by VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” with three.

For nominations: CBS’ “The Amazing Race” has the most nominations in this category with 17 followed by “Project Runway” and “Top Chef” with 14 each. “American Idol” is the most nominated series in this category to never have won.


2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, is given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards recognize excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes – Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements) and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.

  • The 73rd Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 pm est on CBS and on-demand on sister streamer Paramount Plus.


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