Last year’s Emmy contest champ predicts historic wins for ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Mad Men’ …

Savvy user Jonathan Sydel, aka JonJon893, did so well last year when forecasting Emmy nominations — eighth place out of more than 2,500 people — that he’s now in our league of Top 24 Users to predict this year’s noms. Sydel went on to do even better at predicting the eventual winners, as he was our $1,000 champion for the 2014 Emmys. So, before you make your predictions in our Emmy nominations contest, it would be wise to consider his savvy picks.

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Sydel is 22 years old and hails from Coral Springs, Florida, where he works at a movie theater and elementary school library. We sat down with Sydel to get a feel for what he’s predicting in all the major categories, and he thinks history will be made on Emmy night … twice.

“I believe that ‘Modern Family‘ will win its sixth trophy, making history, while ‘Mad Men‘ will walk away for a fifth time, making history as well, for its final season — as did ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Breaking Bad,'” he tells us. “‘Bessie‘ will win for TV Movie, while ‘Olive Kitteridge‘ will win for Limited Series (and sweep).”

There’s time yet for Sydel to change his mind, but as of this writing, his predictions for all of the top comedy acting races are: Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”), Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”), Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”) and Allison Janney (“Mom”), whom he dubs “the new Doris Roberts — not complaining.”

For dramatic acting, Sydel predicts: Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”), Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”), Christopher Eccleston and Carrie Coon (“The Leftovers”). “Yes, I am indeed taking some interesting risks. I believe Eccleston is the new Terry O’Quinn from ‘Lost.'”

And for the longform categories, he’s forecasting wins for: Frances McDormand (“Olive Kitteridge”), David Oyelowo (“Nightingale”), Bill Murray (“Olive Kitteridge”) and Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Freak Show”), though he warns, “Watch out for Mo’Nique (‘Bessie’)!”

“Also, besides the fact that I consider myself an Emmy snob, I believe that I am an expert in selecting winning episode submissions,” Sydel tells us. “In 2012, I was actually the one user to, partially, help Jon Cryer win for ‘Two and a Half Men.’ When Tom O’Neil asked in a forum topic back then for users’ opinions on what episode Cryer should submit, since he’ll be switching to Lead, I wrote down my pick and Tom actually told Cryer in his chat that I (‘JonJon893’) suggested ‘Frodo’s Headshots.’ Cryer then went on to be nominated (as I predicted), submitted that specific episode, and freakin’ won.”

Click here to see the rest of his current predictions, click here to see Sydel’s special Wikipedia page where he forecasts this year’s episode submissions, and click here to enter or edit your own picks.

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Of the four groups making predictions at Gold Derby, the Top 24 Users did the best forecasting last year’s Emmy nominations (78.55%) compared to the Editors (77.68%), All Users (74.78%) and the Experts (74.64%). 

Who do you think will win Best Comedy Series? Make your prediction 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 Emmys line-up), 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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