Creative Arts Emmys mysteries solved: All those shocking wins

Hey, how did two-time Oscar champ Jane Fonda and Emmy darling Michael J. Fox lose at the Creative Arts on Sunday? And how did Carrie Preston, Dan Bucatinsky and others pull all off those jawdropping victories? (See full list of winners here and read recap of evening here.)

Fonda had been considered a shoo-in to win Best Guest Actress for her role on “The Newsroom,” but Carrie Preston surprised many awards watchers by accepting her first Emmy ever. On “The Good Wife,” Preston portrays that kind of quirky, savvy lawyer who’s much smarter than she appears. Her character had a full story arc in the episode she submitted to Emmy judges, while Fonda really had just one, big speechifying scene. Result: Screen time and impact helped to push Preston over the edge.

Also of note, Preston’s character was eerily similar to the kinds of characters that David E. Kelley used to write on his various lawyer shows — everything from “Ally McBeal” to “The Practice” to “Harry’s Law.” And lest we forget, Kelley was responsible for winning nearly 40 Emmys for his vast array of cast members over the decades. Simply put, never bet against a quirky lawyer!

For Drama Guest Actor, Michael J. Fox was predicted to win finally for his third consecutive nomination on “The Good Wife.” But it was “Scandal” scene-stealer Dan Bucatinsky who prevailed for playing the gay White House journalist on the ABC sudser. Bucatinsky’s episode submission had the most heart and emotion out of the entire roster in this category. So, even though Fox was the much bigger name, Emmy voters felt like giving Bucatinsky a hug after watching his entry.

VIDEO: Q&A chats with four guest acting winners

For Comedy Guest Actress, Elaine Stritch was predicted to win for her character’s death episode on “30 Rock,” but it was recent Oscar winner Melissa Leo (“Louie“) who jumped onto the Emmy stage. How’d she pull it off? Voters likely checked off Leo’s name because she gave the funniest performance. She gets to physically harm co-star Louis C.K. after their sexual tryst in a parked car, and physical comedy always plays good on camera. Extra points went to Leo for portraying a loud, boozy, over-the-top character — all qualities that typically win awards.

For Reality Host, Tom Bergeron was predicted to take home his second consecutive trophy for “Dancing With the Stars” — his episode submission this year was even better than his winning reel in 2012. So how did the hosting duo of Heidi Klum/Tim Gunn for “Project Runway” pull off the well-deserved win? The secret weapon is Gunn. In the past, Klum was nominated here solo and always wound up losing. But with the strategic addition of Gunn this year, voters were finally able to rally around someone whose screen time and impact made them come back for more each week. While Klum mostly acts as a judge on the show, Gunn has special one-on-one moments with the contestants and helps mentor them throughout every task. This give-and-take proved to be the winning combination for Emmy judges.

What other Creative Arts Emmy wins surprised you? Sound off in the comments section below.


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