Saturday, November 18, 2023

A late celebration of RuPaul's birthday with the Emmy nominations for 'Drag Race'

In addition to yesterday being Life Day, it was also RuPaul Charles' birthday, which I learned when my wife told me about all the celebrities she shared her birthday with.* Because it was her birthday, I had better things to do than use the day to write a tribute post, opting instead for George Santos not running for re-election after ethics report, closer looks from Colbert, Meyers, and Kimmel, which was much quicker. However, I still want to celebrate by picking up where I left off in Pete Davidson hosts as 'Saturday Night Live' returns, which I ended by telling my readers to "stay tuned" as "The next installment will be about the competition shows, but that might be a while." Now that the actors strike is over, it's time.

I begin with RuPaul's Drag Race's sole nomination at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Reality Competition Program
The Amazing Race (CBS)
RuPaul's Drag Race (MTV)
Survivor (CBS)
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)
With last year's winner Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls not competing, I expect RuPaul's Drag Race will win easily. So do the experts at Gold Derby, eight of whom have picked it to win. Only one disagrees, choosing Top Chef instead. The site's fans agree, voting RuPaul's Drag Race the winner for Competition Program at the Gold Derby Awards. I'm in good company.

Speaking of Gold Derby, the site hosted Making of ‘RuPaul's Drag Race’: Fun roundtable with producer and 3 crafts artisans in June.

Making of ‘RuPaul's Drag Race’: Fun roundtable with producer and 3 crafts artisans. Guests are executive producer Tom Campbell, production designer Gianna Costa, composer Leland and choreographer Miguel Zarate. Gold Derby editor Rob Licuria hosts this special behind-the-scenes panel for 2023 Emmy contenders.
Tom Campbell repeated what I quoted last year: "I make a political statement every time I bat my false eyelashes" — well-said and a perfect quote to explain why I cover this show.

Follow over the jump for the categories nominated at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

First, the categories I covered in 'Queer Eye' leads structured reality shows at the Emmys - again.

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program
Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness – Queer Eye (Netflix)
Nicole Byer – Nailed It! (Netflix)
Padma Lakshmi – Top Chef (Bravo)
Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph – Baking It (Peacock)
RuPaul – RuPaul's Drag Race (MTV)
RuPaul has won this award every year since 2016 and I expect will again. So do the experts at Gold Derby; five experts pick RuPaul, while one thinks Padma Lakshmi will win. Sorry, Fab Five, just be happy to be nominated.
RuPaul also repeated as Reality Host at the Gold Derby Awards, adding even more confidence in my prediction.

Since one expert picked her, I'm sharing Padma Lakshmi (Taste the Nation) was surprised to learn about Cambodian community near her hometown.

Padma Lakshmi ('Taste the Nation') was surprised to learn about the Cambodian community near her hometown. The series is Emmy-nominated for Hosted Nonfiction Program, and she also has noms for Reality Host and Competition Program for “Top Chef.” This segment is part of the Gold Derby 'Meet the Experts' documentary panel for 2023 Emmy nominees hosted by contributing editor Charles Bright.
I keep writing that it's a good day whenever I learn something new, and it seems that Padma Lakshmi agrees.
Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Reality or Competition Series (Area)
A Black Lady Sketch Show: "Peek-A-Boob, Your Titty's Out" – Cindy Chao, Michele Yu, and Lizzie Boyle (HBO)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: "Museums" – Eric Morrell and Sabrina Lederer (HBO)
Queer Eye: "Speedy for Life" – Thomas Rouse and Tyka Edwards (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race: "Blame It on the Edit" – Gianna Costa and Brad Bailey (MTV)
Saturday Night Live: "Host: Steve Martin & Martin Short" / "Host: Jenna Ortega" – Akira Yoshimura, Keith Ian Raywood, Andrea Purcigliotti, and Danielle Webb (NBC)
Saturday Night Live won this award five years in a row so I picked it win this award last year, but RuPaul's Drag Race won instead. I think the two shows are the co-favorites, but I'll wait to make my final pick after I look at the competition shows and scripted variety programs.
I'm not quite ready to give up on the Emmy voters reverting to form by voting for Saturday Night Live, but I'm not as confident as I was last year, so I'll stick to picking both as co-favorites.

Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program
Love Is Blind – Donna Driscoll, Stephanie Lewis, and Claire Loeb (Netflix)
Queer Eye – Quinn Fegan, Jessica Jorgensen, Keya Mason, and Lauren Levine (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race – Goloka Bolte, Ethan Petersen, Adam Cook, and Michelle Redwine (MTV)
Top Chef – Ron Mare, Sena Rich, and Erinlee Skilton (Bravo)
The Traitors – Erin Tomasello, Jazzy Collins, Moira Paris, and Holly Osifat (Peacock)
While this is the other nomination for Love Is Blind, hence the preview image showing its hosts, I think this contest is between Queer Eye and RuPaul's Drag Race in the absence of Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. I'll make the call after examining the competition shows.
Before making my call, I'm sharing Gold Derby's Ethan Petersen and Goloka Bolte ('RuPaul's Drag Race' casting directors): 'So much love and passion'.

Ethan Petersen and Goloka Bolte ('RuPaul's Drag Race' casting directors): 'So much love and passion goes into every step of producing this show.' In the dazzling grand finale episode, it was drag veteran Sasha Colby winning over Anetra, Luxx Noir London and Mistress Isabelle Brooks. Gold Derby editor Rob Licuria hosts this webchat.
Petersen and Bolte repeat the political angle of the show, which supports a maxim John Michael Greer The Archdruid repeats whenever he has the opportunity, most recently in Science as Enchantment "politics is downstream from culture [and] culture is downstream from imagination..." RuPaul's Drag Race displays the relationship among imagination, culture, and politics well.

In the absence of last year's winner, Love on the Spectrum, U.S., I think RuPaul's Drag Race is the favorite to win this category.
Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program
The Amazing Race – Eric Beetner, Kevin Blum, Trevor Campbell, Kellen Cruden, Jay Gammill, Katherine Griffin, Jason Groothuis, Darrick Lazo, Ryan Leamy, Josh Lowry, Paul Nielsen, and Steve Mellon (CBS)
Queer Eye: "Speedy for Life" – Toni Ann Carabello, Nova Taylor, Jason Szabo, Widgie Nikia Figaro, Sean Gill, and Kimberly Pellnat (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race: "Wigloose: The Rusical!" – Jamie Martin, Paul Cross, Ryan Mallick, and Michael Roha (MTV)
Survivor: "Telenovela" – Bill Bowden, Evan Mediuch, Francisco Santa Maria, Plowden Schumacher, Andrew Bolhuis, Jacob Teixeira, and James Ciccarello (CBS)
Top Chef – Steve Lichtenstein, Ericka Concha, Blanka Kovacs, Eric Lambert, Matt Reynolds, Jay M. Rogers, Brian Freundlich, Brian Giberson, Malia Jurick, Brian Kane, Daniel Ruiz, Anthony J. Rivard, Annie Tighe, and Tony West (Bravo)
Again, I think this contest is between Queer Eye and RuPaul's Drag Race in the absence of Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. I'll make the call after examining the competition shows.
I'm picking RuPaul's Drag Race to win.

Next, the categories I covered in 'Welcome to Wrexham' leads unstructured reality programs at the 2023 Emmy Awards.
Outstanding Directing for a Reality Program
The Amazing Race: "Patience, Is the New Me" – Bertram van Munster (CBS)
Queer Eye: "Speedy for Life" – Ali Moghadas (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race: "Wigloose: The Rusical!" – Nick Murray (MTV)
Top Chef: "London Calling" – Ariel Boles (Bravo)
Welcome to Wrexham: "Wide World of Wales" – Bryan Rowland (FX)
The most recent previous winner in this field is RuPaul's Drag Race but I don't think it's a lock to win this category. I wouldn't be surprised if Welcome to Wrexham pulls a Cheer by winning.
As I wrote in 'Queer Eye' leads structured reality shows at the Emmys - again, "Queer Eye is also a previous winner, so I wouldn't completely count it out." That written, I'm still bracing for an upset by Welcome to Wrexham.
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera) (Area)
The Amazing Race: "The Only Leg That Matters" – Jim Ursulak, Troy Smith, and the Production Mixing Team (CBS)
Deadliest Catch: "Call of a New Generation" – Jared Robbins (Discovery Channel)
RuPaul's Drag Race: "Wigloose: The Rusical!" – Erik Valenzuela, Sal Ojeda, David Nolte, and Gabe Lopez (MTV)
The Voice: "Live Top 10" – Michael Abbott, Randy Faustino, and Tim Hatayama (NBC)
Welcome to Wrexham: "Do or Die" – Mark Jensen (FX)
This is a new category in this incarnation, so I can't rely on its track record. That written, I still think that music nominees have the edge in sound categories, all other things being equal, so that would favor The Voice and RuPaul's Drag Race for "Wigloose: The Rusical!" However, Welcome to Wrexham is the only reality series nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera), so I would not count it out for this award.
The last three categories all included nominations for "Wigloose: The Rusical!" so I'm sharing ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 15 Queens perform ‘Wigloose’ LIVE for Emmy voters.

Wow! That makes for a great finale, so I'm stopping here. I will return with more Emmy nominations no later than World Television Day. In the meantime, stay tuned for the highlights of tonight's Saturday Night Live with Jason Momoa. Anyone expecting him to play or at least reference Aquaman?

*Today is Mickey Mouse's birthday, but I don't feel like having the animation nominees cut in line, just like I didn't feel like writing about the nominees from Star Wars on Life Day. They'll get their turn.

Previous posts about the 2023 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards

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