Emmys 2011: What Show Should Win for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program?

Only two shows have taken home the prize since Emmy introduced the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program award in 2003. CBS’ The Amazing Race proved irresistible to voters for seven consecutive years, until Bravo’s Top Chef broke its streak by taking home Emmy gold in 2010. This year, both prior champs will face competition from a field of long-running bridesmaids: Fox’s American Idol (up for the Emmy for the ninth consecutive year); Project Runway (nominated for the seventh straight year); and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars (in the running for the sixth straight year). Plus, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance enters the fray for the very first time.

Which reality competition deserves top honors when the Emmys are handed out Sept.18? Take our poll below to vote for your favorite — TVLine voting closes Sept. 10, so act now! — then hit the comments to justify your pick!

Every day 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. Brenda says:

    It’s always The Amazing Race for me!

  2. kevin says:

    Repeat for TOP CHEF!

  3. jimmy says:

    How come The Voice & Big Brother aren’t nominated?? Those are my reality obsessions!;)

  4. Jesse says:


  5. Chmarin says:


    It’s long overdue. Season 7 (and season 8, for that matter) wasn’t the best one, but I’m looking at the entire show from the beginning, and it seriously deserves some recognition. If Idol wins over SYTYCD, I might just blow my brains out.

    • Laurie says:

      I’m with you. I’m having problems with Kat…she’s loud and annoying that it becomes about her than the dancers. The kids that go through this process are beasts and work their butts off. It’s an amazing show, and despite my aversion to the ballroom dances (usually the kiss of death for the weekly send-offs), I’ve learned a great deal about dance and I love watching the kids grow and become awesome dancers. I love the underdogs that all of a sudden are capable of doing anything like Chadd, Joshua, Legacy and my favorite Russell.

      • Gray Skies says:


        Cat is the least annoying host out there. She is always paying attention, and is very quick witted. She is so nice to everyone, and she seems very modest, and down to earth. Not only should the show win, but she also needs to win.

      • Fozziebear says:

        No, Cat is awesome as a host in my opinion. She keeps things moving, keeps it light and obviously cares a lot about those kids. Now, on the other hand, the host of our SYTYCD Canada bites big time. Can’t stand her.

      • Lynnie says:

        If Cat is running against Heidi Klum, I’ll pick Kat every time. Heidi is sooo cold!

  6. Jala says:

    I WOULD say Project Runway… But after LAST year’s disaster of a season, they don’t deserve it.

  7. Samantha says:

    I don’t really think reality tv shows deserve any sort of award BUT I chose Project Runway. Amazing Race is pretty good though.

  8. Reena says:

    SYTYCD for the WIN!! Amazing race is a good show but its time for something new to win…while both shows are great they are also COMPLETELY different and for the dancers, Cat and the producers and staff each week (twice a week if you are counting both performance and results shows) they have to put on something new and fresh. I think as far as an all around competition reality show it should win…to the person who asked about The Voice and Big Brother I think (not 100% sure) it has more to due about when they aired fitting into the guidelines for Emmy voting but I could be wrong about that.

    • Tina says:

      This years dancers were totally awesome. I was glued to the TV every time it was on. I almost cried this week because it was over.

  9. J.Norman says:

    I would vote for the Amazing Race for 2 reasons.

    1) It is the best reality show

    2) It is truly the ONLY reality show on this list. The others are actually talent shows.

    There is a difference between talent and reality. Or, if you prefer, talent shows are a sub set of reality shows.

    • Eli says:

      Technically TAR is more of a reality competition show, but I’ll agree with you it fits the reality tv moniker better than the other 5 shows.

    • SlezakFan says:


    • SHAWN says:

      I LOVE The Amazing Race. I’m a big fan of the dancing reality shows, too, but TAR has a wider appeal and the camera work outdoes any other show by far. Top Chef is also great, but I’d love to so TAR get the Emmy back. Maybe Padma and Tom can cook a meal for all the TAR contestants on an episode!

  10. davey says:

    Any show that isn’t associated with Nigel Lithgoe should win.

  11. DryedMangoez says:

    As long as its not American Idol, it should be okay.

    But will always root for TAR! Time to reclaim your throne!

  12. Lori says:

    ‘The Amazing Race” should win they always overlook “Survivor” for some reason. I also don’t want anything that has Nigel lithgo’s (however you spell it) name on it to win. SYTYCD,AI no way.

  13. Sue says:

    The Amazing Race should win….

  14. Pam says:

    I am torn between the Amazing Race and SYTYCD. The Amazing Race has gotten kind of repetitive.

  15. Amy says:

    I think Amazing Race should win best reality show because it is and Cat Deeley should win host.

  16. Terri Bartlett says:

    Out of all of them, I really like “So You Think You Can Dance” and it deserves emmys, as does Cat Deely.

  17. Rajan Littaua says:

    SYTYCD always makes me find at least an hour out of my hectic sked just to watch,even in youtube..Cat really deals with the natural out-of-script personality of each finalist in season 8, never been a die-hard of the show, but now Cat had convinced me with her hosting prowess to know more about the contestants and their passion..For the Win!!!

  18. Brandon says:

    I voted for “So You Think You Can Dance.” I know a lot of people have negative opinions of Nigel Lythgoe, but I still think it’s the best reality-competition show on TV. The contestants on that show, particularly the dancers from this most recent season, are beyond incredible. I hope Cat Deeley wins for hosting, too. It’s about time SYTYCD got some recognition!

  19. Tammy says:

    So You Think You Can Dance is an amazing show! Love the diversity in contestants and judges.

  20. brenda says:

    So you think you can dance hands down… the talent this yr was incredible… I cried at leat once per episode.

  21. Carla Bell says:

    In my opinion, “So You Think You Can Dance” is the best TV show ever, in any category!!

  22. Alison says:

    SYTYCD all the way!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Broni says:

    I think it should be “So You Think You Can Dance”. I watch most of the reality shows nominated, but SYTYCD is the only one that I CAN’T WAIT to see each week and the only one I’ve gone to see live on tour for the past 3 years. It’s the best!!

  24. Cliff says:

    Actually, I’m surprised SYTYCD is on the list. Going by the weekly ratings in the Entertainment Weekly, their rating have drop well down the list from seasons past. Many friends felt as I did, I got tired of every week, the judges went on and on about who was their favorite and who should win. Most people hated the guest judge format. Most had nothing to add and it took up to much time that should have been devoted to the contestants. Like with Dancing With The Stars, I have never understood why, after a couple dances, do they begin fawning, pawing and kissing the whole time the judges give their comments or being interviewed. Mark and Derrick are the absolute worst, dancing apparently throws them into heat, they practically assault their partners. Many times it was very clear their partner seemed a little uncomfortable with it.

  25. Eunice John says:

    SYTYCD all the way!!!!!!!!!

  26. Koben says:

    I’ve would say So you thnk you can dance,but season after season show getting worse and worse. This season sucks as previous three seasons. Ratings also confirmed that. So.. none of this shows. Sorry

  27. cailean says:

    SYTYCD FOR THE WIN! Best reality show Ive ever watched! Cant wait for the next season! :D

  28. Alice says:

    SYTYCD. The best every year!!!!!!!

  29. Amy A says:

    Ever since SYTYCD started I’ve been a fan. It’s my favorite show and now that the season is over I go into withdrawal! Love, love, love this show. Love the choreographers & the dancers. I voted for my favorites every week. I was so glad that Melanie won because she was my absolute favorite. Actually the top 4 were my favorites, in the exact same order they ended up in, so obviously the American public that was voting & I were in agreement. This show definitely deserves to win!

  30. QuietCait says:

    So You Think You Can Dance all the way. Primo entertainment with the tops in athleticism and artistry.

  31. Lesley says:

    So You Think You Can Dance ALL THE WAY!!!!!!! Deserved it since season one! Also, season seven was utterly amazing and my all time favorite. :)

  32. Sarah says:


  33. Sara says:

    So You Think You Can Dance

  34. Bonnie says:

    I watch most of the above reality shows but the one that deserves the Emmy is So You Think You Can Dance. Cat Deeley is the best hostand deserves to place one on her mantle. :) If she has one that is.

  35. Pookie says:

    It doesn’t matter what you people say SYTYCD won’t win lol

  36. Juanita Boisvert says:

    I vote for So you think you can dance it is so amazing_ or else i would say its dancing with the starts

  37. Melanie says:

    I’m hoping for SYTYCD; it’s the only show in the past years I’ve really gotten into. The viewers can connect on a personal level to the dancers, and the overall show allowws people to invest in it and follow it. And Cat really is amazing. Amazing Race has gotten repetitive over the years, and is getting a little old. And American Idol is on a decline……Sadly though, I can’t see SYTYCD winning.

  38. dani says:

    Most definitely Amazing Race!

  39. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Is amazing. Always every year.

  40. christopher says:

    So you think you can dance is the best show on Tv.

  41. lee says:

    rupauls drag race.

  42. Smitha Vinoth says:

    My vote goes to so you think you can dance n project runway both are THE BEST OF REST one iz purely dance another is fashion :) i think dance n fashion goes hand in hand :)

  43. sheikia says:

    The new show Expedition Impossible should be on this list. It’s like Amazing Race except better.

  44. James says:

    ‘The Amazing Race’ gets my vote because it is the one that is, by far, the least subjected to producer manipulation or public bias. It is actually based on the talent/skill of the competitors involved, and is therefore closest to reality for me.

  45. edwarddwoodjr says:

    So You Think You Can Dance!

  46. Fan says:

    SYTYCD and Amer. Idol are very different from the other reality shows. Most of the reality shows are completely edited. SYTYCD and Idol have many LIVE shows. Those are much more difficult to do, especially more difficult to do well. I think there should be two different categories of EMMY for reality shows.

  47. skyfan says:

    How come Fox News was not nominated? They compete with reality MOST effectively…

  48. Ron Swanson says:

    I know it’s a guilty pleasure, but the best reality show in my opinion is Big Brother. Yes, I know I will get hell for saying that, but I’ll take my BB over crap like American Idol any day of the week and yes, Idol is crap no matter what anybody says.

  49. ana muller says: