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It’s Deja Vu All Over Again in Emmy Reality-Competition Category

Voters nominate the same slate year after year in the Emmys’ most boring category

Attention, Emmy reality voters:

You’re fired.

The tribe has spoken, and it’s time for you to go.

I’m sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the race.

The marquee Emmy category in the much-maligned but hugely popular reality television arena, Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, has officially become the most boring category at the Emmys. 

The Amazing RaceAnd that’s not just because “The Amazing Race” has won every single year the category has been in existence.  In fact, forget about the winners – let’s just look at this year’s nominees:

“The Amazing Race,” “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars,” Project Runway,” and “Top Chef.”

That’s the exact same lineup as last year’s nominees.

And the year before that.

And the year before that.

Sure, Emmy voters brought some new faces into the Outstanding Reality Program category, with the new shows “Undercover Boss” and “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.”  In fact, that category has one of the weirdest, most varied slates in the entire Emmy lineup, with Oliver and “Undercover Boss” up against past nominees “Antiques Roadshow,” “Dirty Jobs,” “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” and “MythBusters.”

But in the Reality-Competition category, it’s more of the same – even after a year when a couple of other shows seemed primed to challenge the old favorites.

“American Idol,” after all, had what was by consensus one of its weakest seasons.  “Survivor,” meanwhile, had one of its strongest, an all-star faceoff with a memorable array of competitors and a classic villain.  And even Donald Trump’s silly “Celebrity Apprentice” had a rock-star winner, Bret Michaels, who was felled by a stroke but came out of the hospital to claim his prize at the grand finale.   

But none of those, apparently, impressed the voters, who seem to  have decided that most reality shows are no good, and the only ones it's safe to nominate are the ones that they've already nominated.  Now we’ve had 40 nominations over the eight years of the category’s existence – and those 40 have gone to only 10 shows. 

“Amazing Race” and “American Idol” have eight nominations in eight years, “Project Runway” has six, “Dancing with the Stars” has five, “Top Chef” has four. 

At least “Survivor” can find consolation in the fact that its host, Jeff Probst, is back in the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program category, where he’s won both years the award has been given.

And, of course, he’s up against Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”), Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars”) and Heidi Klum (“Project Runway”), who’ve been his fellow nominees every year – as well as Phil Keoghan from “The Amazing Race,” who’s only been nominated two out of the three years.

Sad to say, it’s enough to  make people who care about these categories the Biggest Losers.