Best Emmy nominations predictions: Meet our 3 top scorers

Nearly 2,500 people entered our contest to predict the 2015 Emmy nominations, and three users reaped the highest scores on our Emmys leaderboard: GOZackielMarsh in the win position, Umur Tas in the place position and Jscott in the show position. They join Gold Derby’s list of top scorers. So, how did they pull off such an impressive feat and what are they hoping will prevail on Emmy night?

Emmys comedy showdown: ‘Modern Family’ vs. ‘Veep’ vs. ‘Transparent’

Screen name: GOZackielMarsh

Real name: Zaimary Marsh

Win position: 1st place in our predictions contest with 76% accuracy and 20,324 points

Contest prize: $500 Amazon gift certificate

City: Buckeye, Arizona

Occupation: Secretary

Prediction secrets and tips: “I did really well because me and my oldest son, who I named the account after, did the predictions together. We knew this would be a big year of change at the Emmys because of the influx of new, younger voters and figured that would manifest itself in the downfall of a couple perennial nominees like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ in Best Comedy and a lot of the ‘Modern Family’ crew in the acting categories. We also put a lot of stock on the Emmys embracing shows in their final seasons, such as ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Parks and Recreation.’ Finally, we went with our gut feelings in a couple of categories and that worked out a couple times. While it’s an old joke that the Emmys get it wrong every year when it comes to quality, this year was better than most, maybe because the categories are becoming more and more stacked with talented people both in front and behind the camera.” See Marsh’s winning predictions.

Gold Derby editors’ reactions to Emmy nominations: OMG, hooray and huh?

Screen name: Umur Tas

Real name: Umur Cagin Tas

Win position: 2nd place with 75% accuracy and 27,591 points

Contest prize: Not eligible because he’s not a U.S. citizen (see contest rules)

City: Istanbul, Turkey

Occupation: Student

Prediction secrets and tips: “Well, my secret is I’m watching lots of TV and predict which show has the upper hand. And, of course, I’m an awards season freak. That’s why you can say I’m familiar to which way ATAS wants to go. When it comes to Emmys, all you have to do is research previous years’ nominees and add new shiny things to the mix. Also: No CW shows, no Golden Globes toys, no great FX dramas. Every time I’m betting, I choose the dark horses. Like Regina King in ‘American Crime.’ Her performance was something spectacular and It was obvious to me that the academy would not resist to it. So I bet on her category, which paid me back in the end. I’m rooting for two of my favorite shows, ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Veep.’ If ‘Modern Family’ pulls another boring win … whatever, I really don’t want to think about that possibility. And Jon Hamm MUST win. He’s the king of TV for a very long time and that flawlessly shaped head needs a crown!” See Tas’ winning predictions.

Top 10 Emmy nominations snubs: Jim Parsons, ‘Empire,’ ‘Jane the Virgin,’ ‘Outlander’ …

Screen name: Jscott

Real name: Josh Sisskind

Win position: 3rd place with 75% accuracy and 23,340 points

Contest prize: $200 Amazon gift certificate

City: Fairfax, Virginia

Occupation: Geospatial Software Engineer

Prediction secrets and tips: ​”I’m a sports fan as well, and fill out a bracket for the NCAA Men’s Tournament. The one thing I always try to do is not look for an upset. I think that is what I did here, too — I wasn’t trying to be too clever, but picked what I thought the voters would pick​​​. ​I really wanted to predict the leads from ‘The Americans,’ but I knew in my heart that they wouldn’t get the recognition they deserve. I also focused on Amazon and Netflix, where I feel there is so much buzz right now. It is almost like the voters want it to be known that they are hip and cool (although the shows are deserving). The big surprise to me is the omission of ‘Jane the Virgin,’ and I do believe it is because it is on the CW. I am not sure if this has been looked at, but I think more voters are watching Amazon and Netflix than FX and the CW. I used my big bets on the categories I was most confident about, but also where I might get some bang for my buck. For example, I was very confident about my picks for Best Drama Actress, including Elisabeth Moss (final season recognition), but she was running 50/1 odds. That pick alone probably put me into the Top 3. I used the other 200 point bets on Miniseries and Drama Guest Actress, since the pool for realistic nominees was smaller than other categories. For categories I was not overly familiar with, I went with the Experts, Editors and Top 24 Users. I figured that most of the other ‘predictors’ out there would do the same, so it would be a wash if they were right or wrong. I thought Uzo Aduba and Cat Deeley had great chemistry during the telecast and were genuinely happy for each other when the other (and their show) was nominated. I wish they would announce a few more acting categories, though. As an East Coaster, I liked the later starting time — it coincided perfectly with lunch!” See Sisskind’s winning predictions.

Emmy outrages! Top 20 bitchiest comments from our forums

Will “Modern Family” win a record sixth time as Best Comedy Series? Make your predictions for that category and others below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Average Gold Derby users just like YOU turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Make all of your Emmy predictions and you could win a place of honor on our leaderboard, a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmy winners), and one of three contest prizes: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. Prizes will be bestowed as gift certificates to be redeemed at Amazon. See our contest rules for more info.

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