Jeff Probst of “Survivor” has owned the Best Reality Show Host category at the Emmy Awards since it was created in 2008. He has edged out emcees of other top-rated reality competitions series including three-time also-rans Tom Bergeon (“Dancing With the Stars”), Heidi Klum (“Project Runway’) and Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”). While they couldn’t knock Probst off his perch, RuPaul might well rule the race this year. The drag diva is the centerpiece of the first-ever Emmy campaign mounted by cable network Logo, home of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
“Drag Race” recently concluded a much buzzed-about third season. Logo sent screeners to all 14,000 ATAS members and is touting the host’s male/female personae — “Two hosts for the price of one Emmy!” — on Facebook. RuPaul, who is also a producer of “Drag Race,” opens each episode sans drag, decked out in a dapper suit and tie, to explain the week’s challenges. Later he appears, bewigged, dripping with sequins and tottering around on sky-high heels, to head up the judging panel. He also emcees a companion series — “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked”.
RuPaul’s extensive wardrobe certainly outshines Probst’s blue button-down shirt, wrinkled board shorts and sandals. While Probst remains popular with Emmy voters, his show has found less favor as of late. Back in 2001, “Survivor” won a special class Emmy. Two years later, the Emmys added the Reality-Competition category but “Survivor,” which launched the genre, failed to win any of its four bids. It was bested by “The Amazing Race” from 2003 to 2006 and has not contended since.