2018 Emmy predictions slugfest: ‘Voice’ vs. RuPaul, Sam Bee vs. John Oliver, and hooray for ‘Rick and Morty’! [WATCH]

“I am going with ‘The Voice’ for two reasons,” Riley Chow states about the Emmy contest for Best Reality-Competition Program. That was one of many categories we discussed during our recent Emmy slugfest that included myself, Chow and our fellow Gold Derby contributors Zach LawsAmanda Spears and Tom O’Brien (watch above), where we discussed contests for variety shows, reality shows, animation and more.

One of the reasons Chow thinks “The Voice” is out front “is that it broke into a couple categories this year, which I didn’t think was possible this late in its run.” He also points to the Producers Guild as the canary in the coal mine: “At the Producers Guild Awards they have fewer slots and ‘Drag Race’ can’t get in there, and that’s the only other industry award where they’re just voting for the program itself.”

O’Brien was quick to counter that “RuPaul’s Drag Race” still has a lot going for it. The ratings for “Drag Race” have continued to increase, which is almost unheard of for a show in its 10th season. The show also increased its total nominations, going from 7 last year to 10 this year — tying “The Voice” in total bids. And “Drag Race” requires its contestants to excel in multiple areas, compared to “The Voice” which mainly showcases a person’s singing ability. O’Brien even cited the phenomenon that was “Miss Vanjie,” who became a viral meme after being eliminated first this past season, which shows how “Drag Race” continues to be a driving force in pop culture.

When it comes to the category of Best Reality Host, we’re all of the mindset that RuPaul Charles will probably claim his third consecutive trophy regardless of whether “Drag Race” wins the top prize. But Spears does think another nominee might have a chance: “I would love to see W. Kamau Bell win because he’s doing something different than everyone else in the category,” she argues. “But they like to repeat and three seems like a good number for RuPaul before they stop and find someone else.” Laws added that “he’s such a presence on that show. His whole personality is such a performance and is so much a part of why you watch.”

In the race for Best Variety Talk Series, we’re in agreement that John Oliver‘s HBO show, “Last Week Tonight,” will probably take the prize for the third year in a row. However, Tom O’Brien gives a special shout-out to Samantha Bee for earning her second nomination for “Full Frontal” following controversy over her use of the C-word to refer to Ivanka Trump. Bee was responding to the first daughter’s insensitivity to migrant families being forcibly separated at the border.

“This has always been a good show that has been bubbling in contention every year, but this year the academy said, ‘Okay, you’re on the hot seat and we’re going to give you a vote of confidence,'” O’Brien says. Spears and Laws both think that if any program has a good shot at taking down Oliver, it would be Bee’s TBS show.

We also discussed the race for Best Animated Program, which was my opportunity to gush over the fact that Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” finally got into the race. They submitted the fan-favorite episode “Pickle Rick,” in which the show’s main character turns himself into a pickle in order to avoid going to a family therapy session. “It’s one that’s utterly insane — just like all of them — but it also has this very wonderful depth to it when it gets to the family therapy scenes.”

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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