Emmy analysis: Jane Lynch makes us laugh, but Tim Gunn saves the day

Now that Gold Derby has exclusively uncovered all of the Emmy episode submissions in the Best Reality Host race, it’s time to put on our Emmy judging hats and analyze their contents and surmise how voters may respond.

First, a refresher: last year the duo of Heidi Klum/Tim Gunn (“Project Runway“) proved too tempting for the TV academy to pass up, as they claimed victory on their first combined nomination. Previously, Klum submitted her name individually but was never able to win. Can they defend their title this year against the rest of the bunch that includes hosting newcomer Jane Lynch (“Hollywood Game Night“)?

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Let’s start with Lynch’s episode. Just like Howie Mandel (“Deal or No Deal”) in 2008, Lynch is nominated for a game show instead of a reality program, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Emmy voters. In her episode submission “Party Boys vs. Game Night Girls,” Lynch rules the proceedings from beginning to end as she acts as ringleader to a host of celebs including Martin Short, Jason Alexander, Valerie Bertinelli and Julie Bowen. One of Lynch’s greatest moments is when she ribs Bowen on the air for stealing Emmys from her over the past few years during their epic “Glee” vs. “Modern Family” battles over Best Comedy Supporting Actress.

Lynch’s emcee stylings are both professional and hilarious. She doesn’t fall under the pressure of being in the room with such comic legends as Short and Alexander, and in fact, she finds a way to humanize them when she shows honest surprise at learning Alexander never won an Emmy in his career. Her dominance in this outing reminds us of the years when Jeff Probst would always take front and center dealing with issues from his “Survivor” contestants. If voters want to reward an out-of-the-box, worthy choice, they’ll go with Lynch.

But if Emmy voters instead want to honor familiar faces who really upped their games this year, they’ll likely support the Klum/Gunn duo. The entry they submitted — the camping episode, “Let’s Go Glamping!” — was one of the most talked-about episodes from Season 12 of “Project Runway” thanks almost entirely to Gunn using his sole “Tim Gunn Save” of the season to save a deaf contestant after he was voted out. The tears flowed in the final minutes of the episode, giving voters a whopper of an impact scene. If this turns out to be a winning episode for the duo, Klum needs to give a big thank you to Gunn at the Emmy podium for saving the contestant she actually was responsible for voting out.

See full list of Emmy episode submissions here

Seven-time nominee Tom Bergeron (“Dancing With the Stars“) and four-time also-ran Cat Deeley (“So You Think You Can Dance“) are the only nominees representing live shows this year. Bergeron submitted the recent Season 18 finale that saw ice dancer Meryl Davis crowned the winner. Though there was nothing spectacular that stood out with his entry, Bergeron is a recent Emmy winner (2012) and thus shouldn’t be discounted. Meanwhile, Deeley chose to submit the “Top 20 Dancers” episode of Season 10. Deeley recently told Gold Derby that she chose this episode because she enjoyed her “off-the-cuff moments” with guest judge Wayne Brady.

As for the other two nominees — Anthony Bourdain for “The Taste” and Betty White for “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” — it’s hard to think Emmy voters will reward them when there’s such great competition this year. Bourdain is actually a mentor, not a host, on the cooking competition and his most impactful moment in the “Street Food” episode submission is when his team wins the reward challenge by cooking up a spam dish.

Just like the past two years when she was nominated, White is once again relegated to sitting in a house set and saying pre-written lines directly to the camera while the elderly prankings are going on elsewhere. This year she submitted the Season 3 premiere “Welcome Back: Taking Advantage,” the first episode to air on Lifetime after NBC canceled the show last year. Her continued appearance in the reality host race is baffling considering her lack of screen time and impact on the show. But hey, she’s Betty White. What’s not to love?

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As for Gold Derby’s combined racetrack odds in the Best Reality Host race, Lynch is in first place to win with 11/10 odds, Klum/Gunn are in second place with 7/5 odds, Deeley is in third place with 16/1 odds, Bergeron is in fourth place with 33/1 odds, and White and Bourdain are tied for last place with 100/1 odds each.

What Reality Host do you think will win the Emmy based on these episode submissions? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu, then sound off in the comments section below.

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