This week, ABC’s long-running medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” went where few dramas have been before: the musical episode. While many of the cast members got their musical moments in the spotlight, it was Tony winner Sara Ramirez (“Spamalot”) who stole the show in a gut-wrenching performance worthy of an Emmy award.
In the much-hyped episode titled “Song Beneath the Song,” Ramirez’s character Callie Torres was involved in a messy car accident that put her in a coma. While she lay in bed for the duration of the episode, she imagined that all of the doctors, as well as herself, were singing and dancing around the hospital. Even though the episode received mixed reviews, Ramirez’s performance of Brandi Carlile‘s “The Story” is being singled out.
Ramirez joined the ABC series in 2006 at the height of its popularity. Initially just a recurring guest star, she was promoted to the main cast at the start of the third season. While a trio of other actresses have received Emmy nominations during her tenure at “Grey’s,” Ramirez has never been recognized by the television academy. After her performance in the musical episode, is all of that about to change?
Katherine Heigl remains the only Emmy winner among the show’s sprawling cast. She took home the Supporting Drama Actress trophy in 2007, and then infamously failed to enter her name in the running the following year because she didn’t think the material warranted recognition. Heigl was never nominated again.
Sandra Oh was nominated five consecutive times for “Grey’s” (2005-2009), while Chandra Wilson has been up for four (2006-2009). Both ladies failed to receive nominations last year, which doesn’t bode well for their chances this time around. The show’s only actor nominated for a supporting role was T.R. Knight (2007).
Previously, “Grey’s Anatomy” was a two-time nominee in the Best Drama Series race. The show lost its 2006 bid to “24” and its 2007 race to the final season of “The Sopranos.” Don’t count on the series receiving a reprieve for the top award this year. Usually when a show has been off Emmy’s radar for so long, it’s unlikely to return.
Industry awards are suckers for the kinds of grand-standing performances that Ramirez gave this week. Musical-comedy “Glee” received an impressive 19 Emmy nods last year, with Supporting Comedy Actress winner Jane Lynch smartly submitting to voters the only episode in which her character sang. At the movies, Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) became an instant Oscar winner for her memorable rendition of “And I Am Telling You.” All of this bodes extremely well for Ramirez, who all of a sudden has a lot of buzz heading into the final two months of Emmy eligibility.
Watch Sara Ramirez perform the show-stopping number here: