Emmys 2011: The Reality-Competition Race In Review - Including Our 5 Dream Nominees

Secretariat is widely considered the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and yet not even he retired undefeated. Similarly, the Emmy race for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program turned into a real horserace last year when Top Chef claimed the top prize and broke The Amazing Race‘s stunning streak of seven consecutive victories.

Which shows are most likely to enter the starting gate when the Emmy Derby begins with nomination announcements on July 14? We handicap the likeliest contenders… after this.

More 2011 Emmy Races In Review: Supporting Comedy ActorSupporting Comedy Actress | Lead Comedy Actor | Lead Comedy Actress | Outstanding Comedy Series

Review this slideshow of the major contenders — including TVLine’s Dream Nominees — then vote below for who you think are the FIVE best. And check back Wednesday for our review of the Outstanding Drama Series race!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jake says:

    Now where’s the Drag Race? Those shows above are very very oooooooooooooold, except for The Voice. If I could vote, it should be Ru!

    • Debbie M says:

      RuPaul is my write-in vote also!

      • djm says:

        I wrote in Drag Race too – sorry, but Project Runway is so tired I couldn’t even remember when that was on – it seems like it was years ago. And I couldn’t be more over their LAME judges – even worse than the American Idol panel. I also think America’s Next Top Model has had two good seasons lately – since the show was elevated to something more important than Seventeen Magazine it is a much better show.

      • Teresa says:

        Make that another Drag Race. I wonder if the entire “other” vote is for RPDR?

    • bitty says:

      Rupaul is my write in too. It’s one of the funniest things on TV and Ru is a natural comedienne.

  2. Valerie says:

    Why is Deadliest Catch here? Did any other reality TV show really have a more compelling story then the death of Capt Phil Harris?

    • maj says:

      That isn’t considered a reality competition show. It would be nominated in just the Reality Series category.

  3. Alexandre Leal says:

    No other show right now is as inventive and entertaining as Ru Paul’s Drag Race!

    And rooting for this extremely unlikely nomination is so much fun!

  4. RuPaul’s Drag Race!! It has more charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent than any other show in this category!

  5. Rachel says:

    Any other year I’d say Project Runway but last season was a travesty.

    • jm says:

      Indeed. The Project Runway producers used their hearts not their heads and choose an undeserving winner. MANDO should have won period! And for that, I hope it does not win the Emmy!

    • melissa says:

      Totally agree with you Rachel! Project Runway is normally my favorite reality show, but I can’t get the bad taste out of my mouth from last season. I’m just hoping that the new season will make up for such bad judgement.

  6. MacTheMovieguy says:

    I also included RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s a shame that the show was able to get a critic’s choice nomination, but was omitted by TVLine. Come on guys… really?

    • jm says:

      I agreed with you. It does deserve an emmy nomination along with the critic choice award nomination. But the more conserative emmy voter won’t vote for Drag Race to the nominated or win the emmy.

  7. Amy says:

    American Idol is seriously on your dream list? This year was completely ridiculous! If the award goes to most strings pulled and interference by producers, plus judges not doing their job, then sure it should win.

  8. NamelyNorm says:

    Ru Pauls Drag Race gets my vote for competition show and Ru for Best Host. I mean which other host does triple double duty like Ru? He mentors,and judges in and out of drag. Come one?! People may think Ryan Seacrest is the hardest working Queen in showbiz but we know its really Ru! Can I get an amen!

  9. 4F says:

    Count me in as someone who wrote in Drag Race.

  10. Rock Golf says:

    Ok, I’ve thought this over very carefully.
    [Pause for slow pan of all eligible contestants]
    And after much consideration…
    [Close-up shot of each potential nominee, accompanied by a loud bass drum at each cut]
    I’ve decided that my vote will go to….

    Break for commercials

    Voiceover: Rock Golf is about to announce his selection on TVLine’s Best Reality Series contenders.
    After much consideration I’ve decided that my vote will go to any reality series that doesn’t pull crap like this six times every episode.

  11. Triple M says:

    I really think America’s Next Top Model was top notch for the past two seasons… Ever since its elevation for the past two seasons, I’ve never done that to any other Top Model cycles… Why is that if it’s The CW, then it has to be ignored? Oh well I’ll go for Project Runway or The Amazing Race….

  12. Richard says:

    Too many are missing: RuPaul’s Drag Race; Top Chef: Just Desserts; Design Star; Hell’s Kitchen; The Bachelor; Wipeout; Chopped; Cupcake Wars; America’s Got Talent; Masterchef; Worst Cooks in America; Shark Tank; Work of Art: The Next Great Artist; Dance You Ass Off; The Biggest Loser; America’s Next Top Model; Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker…

  13. als says:

    WWE Tough Enough was a kick ass show! (Believe it or not) Stone COld Steve Austin is the best reality show host EVER!

  14. Alex says:

    I’d really love to see The Voice get a nomination, at the very least. It was (and still is!) a refreshing breath of fresh air during a positively maddening season of Idol.

  15. Justin says:

    America’s Next Top Model, Rupaul’s Drag Race and Big Brother should be included. Guilty pleasure TV is the very definition of reality competition. It would never happen. But it totally should.

  16. Rachel says:

    I think Project Runway (even if you didn’t like Gretchen winning, it was still a good season!) and So You Think You Can Dance should get more credit than they do!

  17. jm says:

    I don’t see ether of the winning the emmy.

  18. DennyS says:

    SYTYCD! The show has been snubbed for far too long! It’s always amazing to see them struggle, grow and dance with every iota of their being. + it’s the only show I get goosebumps from watching so… that’s pretty spectacular.

    I think the Voice is the most overrated thing on TV right now. It’s not that great of a singing competition. I’d say even with AI’s disastrous season, they still had better vocalists than “THE VOICE”. Most of the singers are sharp, flat, off key and all over the place(on songs that aren’t THAT tough to sing mind you).

    • Laugh says:

      I had to check and see if I had actually made this post…very well said! I wasn’t blown away by The Voice’s pre-chosen pool of contestants. Even when we realized that they ran out of singers and they had to re-audition I realized that uh-oh, we just have to make do with the people who are here. The judges bickering and making it all about themselves is very grating…I don’t like Christina Aguilera, she comes off as very childish and I am so tired of them just showing her fake boobs. They deserve to be on that Worst Augmentation List along with Tori Spelling. Gross. That is not off topic, btw, since the directors of The Voice keep shoving CA’s boobs in our face. Ick. I could tell early on that the judges weren’t critiquing honestly like they do on Dancing With the Stars and SYTYCD (best show eva’!). I cringed at MOST of the singers on the live show (and most of the judges when they performed Queen) and kept waiting for the hammer to drop. Never did. If I can’t get the judges to speak the truth then I don’t need to pick up the phone and vote. So I didn’t.

      They tried the whole Judges-coaching-their-team before…remember Dance War (is that what they called it?) with Carrie Ann and Bruno as the coaches? I think they had MUCH more talented contestants on their show! The format they had didn’t work, but the talent DID.

  19. AJ says:

    Very happy Top Chef won last year. It should make it in again along with usual nominees American Idol, Amazing Race and Dancing with the Stars. Hopefully they will shake things up with the 5th slot and nominate Ru Paul’s Drag Race but they may play it safe and go with The Voice.

  20. So I guess TV line is homophobic?

  21. VBarkley says:

    I only voted for Amazing Race and reluctantly voted for Project Runway. Mondo was robbed.

  22. JoshP says:

    Drag Race is amazing I hope its nominated. Could you Imagine the red Carpet?