‘Shark Tank’ Season 8 finale: Will Bridal Buddy help it win 4th Emmy for Best Structured Reality Program?

Friday’s “Shark Tank” Season 8 finale introduced the sharks to Bridal Buddy, a lightweight slip worn under a wedding dress that helps brides use the bathroom in privacy. Just when the highly personal pitch from Heather Stenlake of the Poconos, PA looked to be hitting a snag, Stenlake’s model assistant Marissa spoke up and gave a powerful speech for why the sharks should bet on her.

Gold Derby editors Chris Beachum, Daniel Montgomery and myself were on hand for the filming of that “Shark Tank” season-ending pitch during our set visit last September on the Sony lot. One secret of the show: since all the sharks are incredibly busy, every segment for the entire season is shot at Sony Studios in either June or September of each year. See photos below.

After three consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Structured Reality Program, will the emotional Bridal Buddy episode help the show win its fourth trophy? While on set we asked the sharks about the show’s Emmy haul, and Barbara Corcoran joked, “We’ve been trying to get a piece of that for years.” Unfortunately, per Emmy rules, the sharks themselves are not eligible to win as they are not producers on the ABC program.

Regarding the show’s Emmy victories, Mark Cuban replied humbly, “It’s all these guys,” referring to the hard-working production staff that was in the midst of setting up the Bridal Buddy pitch that was coming up next. Mr. Wonderful himself, Kevin O’Leary, was eager to take photos with the Gold Derby gang, even telling us to sit in the empty chairs of Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec, who had temporarily stepped away.

Producer Clay Newbill was also smiling ear-to-ear, proud of the show for having won a third trophy at the Creative Arts Emmys just one week prior. Season 8 of “Shark Tank” concluded Friday, May 12 on ABC, just one day after the broadcast network renewed the long-running reality program for Season 9.

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Beachum, O’Leary, Montgomery in the “Shark Tank” chairs
Dixon in the “Shark Tank” hallway

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