RuPaul Charles (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) surprised Emmy pundits with his nomination for Best Reality Host, and now he has also surprised by winning. It was his first ever nomination, and he defeated a number of Emmy veterans. Click here for the complete list of Creative Arts Emmy winners.
It was unprecedented for a host to earn his first nomination for a show in its eighth season. What was it about RuPaul’s work hosting the series this season that has suddenly brought him to the attention of Emmy voters? RuPaul is also a judge in the competition, with each reveal of the booted contestant prefaced with a clap and “Silence! I have made my decision.” But he is even more effective as a mixer in the workroom, stirring up drama as well as bringing it out, encouraging his drag contestants to tell their stories, whether it’s being thrown out by their families for being gay or feeling empowered once they put on their first pair of heels. RuPaul’s singular blend of comedy, spectacle and heart made his work here stand out from the rest of the pack.
Charles overtook the two-time defending champ Jane Lynch (“Hollywood Game Night”), as well as past winners Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars”) and Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn (“Project Runway”), plus returning nominee Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”) and another first-timer, Steve Harvey (“Little Big Shots”).