While Ray has never won, her show claimed Best Talk Show (Entertainment) in both 2008 and 2009. However, as she's not a credited producer of the program, Ray does not have an Emmy of her own. She has reaped five previous bids for hosting (three for “Rachael Ray” and two for her Food Network cooking show “30-Minute Meals”). This year she submitted the same episode entered in the Best Talk Show race which focused on the life of an inner city culinary arts teacher. Tooley calls the episode “excellent” and admires Ray's “caring style. Kleenex was a must-have.” However, kudrownian4evah wasn't as impressed, arguing that “[Ray] was essentially a narrator, rather than a true hosting presence … Her demeanor was warm and full of admiration for her subject, but she was ultimately not enough of a presence for her to warrant a Best Host win.”
Kudrownian4evah thinks the real frontrunner is “The View,” whose hosts (Sherri Shepherd, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Whoopi Goldberg) claimed this prize in 2009. That was the first time in Daytime Emmy history that multiple hosts won the category. This year, they've submitted an episode with two significant events: (1) the return of Walters after heart surgery, and (2) an interview with Barack Obama, the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show. The episode “balanced the personality of the hosts with the gravity of the subject matter quite well” according to kudrownian4evah. “Who knew that these women could entertain, inform and behave all at the same time?” Tooley also admired the submission, calling it “fun to watch” and rating it “9 out of 10,” though he only ranks the episode third.
Our posters also disagree on two other contenders: Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa (“Live with Regis and Kelly”) and the hosts of “The Doctors” (Travis Stork, Andrew Ordon, Jim Sears, and Lisa Masterson). Tooley thinks, “Academy voters will definitely be glued to their TV screen” when watching the “Doctors” sample episode, about the crisis in Haiti, but kudrownian4evah feels, as with Rachael Ray's submission, that “the subject matter here is unquestionably powerful, but it does little to actually showcase their hosting abilities.”
Philbin and Ripa entered their Halloween show, in which the hosts appear in costume as various celebrities. Tooley writes it off as “a weak show” and ranks them last, but kudrownian4evah finds it “refreshing”; unlike many of the other submissions, it “allowed the hosts themselves to shine, and shine they did.”
Neither of our pundits has high hopes for Mehmet Oz. The Oprah Winfrey protege won this award last year, but though Tooley admires his submission – an episode of story updates called “In Case You Missed It” – he ranks it fourth. And kudrownian4evah minces no words: “Dr. Oz is an affable, passionate physician, but I’ve always felt his charms would be better suited to a question and answer style webcast. This episode did nothing toward changing my mind.”
Our posters are unable to come to a consensus. Did Rachael Ray or the “Doctors” do enough to prevail? Or is Barack Obama the key to victory for “The View”? Perhaps our experts are wrong and Mehmet Oz will make it two in a row. Visit our message boards and sound off.