Emmys 2011: Who Deserves the Award for Best Reality Show Host?

Emmy Season is upon us, and with a little more than five weeks until the Sept. 18 ceremony, we here at TVLine decided it was time to find out who you’re rooting for in all the key acting and show categories. We’ll kick things off today with the race for Outstanding Reality Show Host, a category that’s only been in existence since 2008, and has been won all three times by Jeff Probst. Of course, don’t assume Survivor‘s fiesty ringleader is a shoo-in for the four-peat; he faces tough competition from American Idol‘s Ryan Seacrest and Dancing With the Stars‘ Tom Bergeron, both of whom are nominated for the fourth consecutive year (but are still seeking their first wins), as well as The Amazing Race‘s Phil Keoghan (up for the third straight year), and first-time nominee Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance).

Take our poll below to vote for your favorite, then hit the comments to justify your pick!

Every afternoon for the next month, we’ll launch another “Who Should Win” Emmy poll, so come back to TVLine.com every day to weigh in on who’s most worthy of TV’s biggest honor, and to stay up to speed on all our races, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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. Aprilcot26 says:

    CAT! It’s a travesty that this is the first year she’s even been *nominated*! She’s a host that you can tell cares about her contestants. I love Idol, but I can’t stand the smirky condescension of Ryan Seacrest.

    • jw says:

      Cat is gorgeous, affable, self-deprecating, willing to step up for the contestants, keeps it all flowing, curious and engaged, excited about the show and the work. She’s everything a host is supposed to be…and absolutely beautiful while doing it. Tom Bergeron has the same qualities…well, except the gorgeous part.

      • Matt says:

        Last night on the finale of Dance just epitomized how great a host Cat is. Insightful questions, playful banter with the judges, even serving as an agent for a contestant!

        Beautiful, bubbly and brilliant. If she doesn’t win in a landslide, it’s because the Emmy voters aren’t actually paying attention.

    • Lisa Torres says:

      I just can’t wait to watch her get her award. She is awsome. GO CAT DEELEY!:)

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly…….What you said about Ryan Seacrest is soooo true !!At times I feel as tho Mr. Seacrest feels as tho he’s bored or above it all because of his wealth. But then again..he has so many other things/jobs going on all at once he may be tired.(retire then?)He,he,he,……anyways LOVE U CAT !!!!!

  2. majamababe says:

    Gotta go with Jeff. I like all the others, but Jeff is the man. He’s got a great webpage too.

      • KevyB says:

        The Probst love is annoying. He has the easiest job of the group. He yells at them during games and then questions them at tribal councils? So? Those tribal councils go on for HOURS, and they air the best 10 minutes. Ooooh, how tough! It’s a billion times harder to host a live show and not giving it to a live host will forever be a travesty.

  3. Ken says:

    Has to be Probst. Especially after some of the tribal councils last season with Phillip. Plus he’s proving to be the most fan-interactive host that I’ve seen, tweeting along with the shows.

    • Captain says:

      Agreed. He’s certainly one of the most hands-on hosts. Frankly I don’t quite understand the love Cat Deeley gets. I have nothing against her but I’ve seen hosts better than her. Honestly, I think the host of So You Think Dance Canada (Leah Miller) is better.

      • JayK* says:

        I kinda liked Leah the first season but I can’t stand her now. I skip through as much of her talking as I can. Cat, however, is nothing but dazzling and sweet and lovely.

      • Jayk* says:

        I kinda liked Leah the first season but I can’t stand her now. I skip through as much of her talking as I can. Cat, however, is nothing but dazzling and sweet and lovely!

      • Tanya says:

        Really? I think Leah Miller is just AWFUL! (and I’m not just talking about whatever she did to her face) Everytime I watch SYTYCD Canada I cringe when she speaks and attempts to be even a fraction as genuine and honest as Cat Deely is.

        • tripoli says:

          Completely agree. Can’t watch Leah Miller at all. She was okay during her Much Music days, but now, with the face, and the lack of real personality or hosting skills, I just can’t stand her. And as much as I love Probst, who’s definitely worthy of the honor, I’ve gotta give my vote to Cat Deeley. I don’t regularly watch SYTYCD but I’ve always appreciated how genuine and kind she comes across as. Not to mention, she’s just great at the gig as a whole. Hope to see her get a little more recognition for her work.

      • sadtroll says:


        Excellent trolling. “Frankly, I think a botox giggling mess who is trying her hardest to mimic Cat Deeley, is better.”


      • We're on to you says:

        Oh Leah Miller…using “Captain” as your username to throw everyone off is very clever of you.

      • unchatenfrance says:

        Are you kidding? Leah Miller is awful. Her comments are shallow and asinine, there are a lot of awkward moments, and she asks the judges the same questions (and always in the same order, from one end to another). Cat Deeley’s hosting is just effortless, while Leah’s is most belaboured.

  4. Paige says:

    Cat Deeley all the way! She’s gorgeous, funny, charming, and actually cares about the contestants. She always looks genuinely excited for the show. lol She must win.

  5. Tanya says:

    CAT! CAT! CAT! She was so adorably excited over the nomination – seeing her win would be fantastic!

    • fivecallmemom says:

      Has to be Cat Deeley. It’s a shame it’s the first time she has been nominated. She has everything that a host should have. Especially when it comes to live TV. I would think that LIVE TV would be the hardest to host, as you just never know what someone is going to say, do or what might happen … like sets dropping the back ground, a dancer falling off the stage and so forth. Cat always seems to have the best control of the situations she is presented with. And – her enthusiasm for the show is infectious.

  6. S says:

    Defs Cat Deeley. You can see how much she cares about her contestants every year (she throws them a BBQ every 4th of July!), plus she sticks up for them when the judges get out of line/too harsh. She also keeps the show on track.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Cat is great obviously. But I wouldn’t be disappointed if Tom Bergeron finally got the nod.

  8. alek says:

    Cat Deeley. No one is as charming. She’s great to the dancers, the audience. She deserves it.

  9. Michael says:

    As much as I wanna say Cat as a fellow Brit, I’m torn between her and Probst – he’s just a legend, she’s amazing. I’d be happy either way.

  10. João Amaral says:

    easy, cat

  11. Gitte says:

    Tom Bergeron FTW!!!

  12. Melanie says:

    Cat Deeley! It’s crazy that she hasn’t been nominated before now because she’s deserved the nomination for a long time and has deserved to win just as long. She does a great job every year and this past year was no different. She handles surprises well and keeps the show moving and isn’t just someone announcing. She’s a part of the show and it wouldn’t be the same without her.

    Cat Deeley FTW!

  13. Thea says:

    The thing about Cat is, she’s on live and has shown herself to be equal to anything that happens onstage. Tom Bergeron and Ryan Secrest are good live hosts, but for my money they’re still just shy of Cat’s ability. I love Phil – really, I do love Phil – but he doesn’t have as much to do as the others.

  14. jujututu says:

    I love Cat Deeley, but her show is awful. Good on her for trying to class it up, I guess, but for me, the best host is still Phil from TAR. He has a lot more to do.

    • wendeeloo says:

      First – I wish people who say something is “awful” would explain WHY they think it is – because “So You…” showcases actual Talent by dancers who don’t have many outlets to perform in. Also, Phil Keoghan “has a lot more to do”?! Like travel to foreign countries and stand on a rug and say “sorry you HAVE been eliminated from the race” It’s not like he is improvising like the very quick and witty Tom Bergeron – whose skills are under-rated yearly by Emmy voters.

      • Lana says:

        I am for Cat but I do love Tom too, I love his smart ass remarks that are funny. I’ve liked him since Hollywood Squares, however Cat shows so much love for the dancers every year and really helps them handle their departure from the show. She just brings so much love to the show that spills over to her viewing audience. Also she is the best dresser of all the other nominees!!

    • JayK* says:

      Phil has a lot more to do????? You mean stand there and be taped reciting lines? I love Phil (and Jeff) but I think there’s a lot more going into a two-hour live show.

  15. Melissa says:

    Any one but jeff… he is super borning and i cannot understand wy he keeps winning, or why on earth that show is still on the air!
    please please anyone but him!!!!!!!!

  16. PattiH says:

    Ryan’s is long overdue. With all the talk about what will happen if certain judges leave, it is Ryan who keeps the show going. I personally love Cat too, but think Ryan deserves it more. Oh, I don’t think hosting a taped show compares to hosting a live show. Ryan, Cat, and Tom have it much more difficult than Probst or others that do a show that is taped, edited, and then shown. No comparisons between that and trying to get it all done live!

  17. Renee says:

    I think any one of the “live” hosts has a way more difficult job than either of the taped shows. It’s very easy to edit out gaffes and timing problems. Probst has won enough anyway. Amazing Race already dominates the category for Reality Shows, and the host is really minor in comparison to the rest of the show.

    For my money Tom and Cat are at the top – Tom with his amazing one-liners in the middle of craziness, and Cat for her endearing manner and good timing. The edge goes to Tom, but Cat just behind him.

  18. LindaT says:

    I’d like to see one of the hosts of a live show win this award. Hosting a live show is a tough job — there is no room for mistakes (re-takes aren’t an option!). The host really needs to be able to think on their feet, and his/her performance can affect the pacing and energy of the show.

    Probst and Keoghan are good at their jobs, but Survivor and TAR are pre-taped, and the show’s editing (and the option of having multiple re-takes) can enhance the host’s performance.

    My personal favorite is Cat Deeley, but I’d be fine if Bergeron or Seacrest won instead.

  19. Rick says:

    It has to be Jeff again. As much as I love Cat, she is really just a “news giver”. Really, all she does is give out the results, and introduces the next segment. Jeff does it all though. He is explaining every challenge, he talks to all the contestants when they are injured or something, he is moderating tribal council and digging around for good television, he is commentating throughout every challenge, he moderates the reunion show, plus all the stuff he does not on the show: live tweeting during each episode, interacting with the fans, running his website and posting episode blogs/vlogs. Nobody does more for their show, period, and that is why Jeff, until he retires, should always win this award.

    • Mary Lynn says:

      Anyone who truly believe Cat is just a news giver does not watch the show regularly. I fell in love with Cat in the very first season. She keeps everyone on track, truly loves the contestants and is as genuine as anyone I have ever seen on TV. She deserves the Emmy and has for a very long time. Tom has always had a co-host, and as for the ones on taped shows, anything can be edited. Go Cat.

  20. jean says:

    Jeff owns that award by now, & it would take a fantastic feat by someone else to take it from him. I don’t know how he would be hosting someone else’s show, but u kinda get the impression that no one else could replace him. He earns his awards in Tribal council.
    The closest competition I think is from Cat Deeley, because in a Live show, she is great on her feet. Very alert, charming, funny, everything. Love Tom Bergeron as well, seems like he has the same qualities as Cat only not as pretty.
    But Jeff is in a different league, & I don’t think anyone should or ever will take it over him, unless it’s a sympathy vote.

  21. Vivi says:

    Ms. Cat Deeley for the win!

  22. jrs says:

    No contest…it’s Probst all the way!

  23. Cathy says:

    You guys are all crazy!! Tom Bergeron is THE BEST HOST EVER! Seriously, don’t get me wrong, I love Cat and all, but she can’t adlib for crap. Tom is funny and smart and can keep a show rolling like a total pro. I have no idea why he doesn’t get more love!

  24. Amy says:

    Love Cat! (Apparently you people love her too as she has the largest picture here.)

  25. G-Mom says:

    Cat Deeley!! I do like Ryan and Tom (I don’t watch the others, but I have seen DWTS-which I DON’T like). Cat is live and can handle anything or anyone. She is warm, funny, sweet, and also beautiful. You can tell how much she loves and supports the contestants. And she DOES have a 4th of July BBQ each year for them at her home. My favorite host by a mile! It’s high time she was nominated!!

  26. Deej says:

    Cat Deeley is so overdue for this.

  27. Sam says:

    I love The Amazing Race, but Phil has to be the second worst host (sorry, Nick Lachey) that I’ve ever seen. He seems to vaguely loathe the contestants, and he often comes off as an arrogant jerk.

  28. Claire says:

    OK, I picked Cat. If it were earlier in Survivor’s run, I’d pick Jeff because his responsibilities are so much more than any other host, and his ability to pull them off is such a hugh contribution to the success of Survivor. But he’s already won a bunch of these things. And really Cat is magnificent, just about never a wrong note (something you certainly can’t say about Ryan).

  29. Jason says:

    The fact that reality television is being given Emmy consideration, in any form, is beyond depressing.

  30. Ben says:

    I wouldn’t mind Jeff losing this year, because I think he has allowed and defended survivor going down the ‘stunt casting’ route. He is still fantastic on screen, but he plays favourites too much. I like to see a little more objectivity from my hosts. While undoubtably in my mind Probst is the best reality show host in history, I don’t think he is the best this year. Give it to Phil Keoghan or Ryan Seacrest.

  31. Brian says:

    Cat is authentically funny and doesn’t have to resort to insults to get a laugh. She also makes sure the show keeps moving and keeps the audience engaged. She loves everyone basically and couldn’t be nicer. To top it all off she is gorgeous. She should win hands down.

  32. Linda says:

    My vote is for Cat.

  33. Steve says:

    Nick Cannon deserves to win for AGT. He is hysterical, great on his feet, and also a good host. What? He’s not nominated?!

    • MaryLynn says:

      I agree that Nick is great. He is the best thing on AGT. Cat however is always wonderful, every show, every year.

  34. Guy says:

    It want it to be Cat Deeley. She is just one awesome host. You might crucify me here but i actually hope it is Ryan Seacrest. Sure he may annoy the crap out of you but the job he does is very good.

  35. Dan Moody says:

    Probst. 100%. Nothing is scripted. Has to play it as it comes. Survivor has been on forever and he’s still there every week.

  36. Kathy says:

    Cat! Of course.

  37. NoOceanInKansas says:

    Really? This is an actual Emmy category?

  38. Christie says:

    That would be Ms. Cat Deeley, the best host on television. Of course, it’ll probably go to Jeff Probst (who is great, to be fair), but Cat is just so energetic and on point, and, let’s face it, it’s a harder job to keep live TV from going horrible awry and over-time. She kills it every week.

  39. Brandon R. says:

    Cat is definitely my top choice…I just started watching SYTYCD regularly this season, but I’ve loved her for longer than that. She keeps the show running smoothly, but also makes it wonderfully unpredictable. She’s endlessly charming, fun, and you can tell she cares. I’d also love if Tom won, though. His hosting and wit really elevate DWTS, and even though they always saddle him with a lifeless cohost, he’s terrific at his job. Ryan deserves props for keeping the Idol machine running smoothly, but although he was much improved this season from S9’s trainwreck, he’s still not very appealing. If a non-live host were to win, I’d rather it be Phil…I love his hosting style, he has to juggle tons of locations across the globe, and I’m pretty sure he’s involved a lot behind the scenes (he’s an executive producer on TAR, I believe).

    • Brandon R. says:

      (ETA: It turns out Phil’s not an Executive Producer, but he definitely does much more than just host, from what I’ve heard.)

  40. Candace Scott says:


  41. Monroe says:

    Cat all the way!!

    Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance).

  42. Don says:

    Cat Deeley without a doubt! She is so human, so real, and truly a fan of the show she’s involved in. Absolutely one of the best reality show hosts in the biz today! The nomination was OVERDUE…the award is deserved and DUE!

  43. Cari says:

    She can take a bad review from the judges and still make the contestants smile. She’s witty, she’s quick and she has fun. Its a joy to watch her. I can’t count how many times my husband and I have said, “I love Cat” or “Cat is just so awesome.” She totally deserves the Emmy and I hope she wins.

  44. jen says:

    Cat! Definitely! ! She cares so much about the contestants. Its really genuine!

  45. Jane says:

    Tom Bergeron and Cat do the best interacting with contestants and improvising banter. Probst is a distant third.

  46. coral says:

    definitely Cat! she has such a great personality and style. She makes the show so much fun:)

  47. sue says:

    Definitely Cat. She is a gracious host and truly shows she cares. Plus she’s quirky and defintely is playful and interactive and not just a drone standing there reading lines. She puts her own spin on things….and last year when she ripped on what one of the judges said to a contestant….it was awesome. She’s always putting in her thoughts and feelings. I wish more people watched the show because she is just fantastic. Nothing but love, Cat.

  48. Shellie says:

    Cat has the best time and she makes you feel your a part even at home. I think she deserves the Emmy all the way!!

  49. Jess says:

    Cat Deeley all the way! She keeps the show moving, knows how to improvise when things try to get awkward, acts like a friend to the judges and contestants, and overall puts her HEART into the show.