Daytime Emmys get rid of an EGOT shortcut: Best Musical Performance category eliminated

It’s the end of a (very short) era. The Daytime Emmys announced on October 31 the elimination of an unusually consequential category: Best Musical Performance in a Daytime Program. That Halloween proclamation was scary news for musical theater actors who in recent years have been able to complete most of their EGOT checklists thanks to that category.

Best Musical Performance was only presented four times. The first time it seemed like a way to help Adele to get to EGOT. The Grammy and Oscar winner was nominated in 2016 for performing “Million Years Ago” on “Today,” but she surprisingly lost to Rachel Platten for singing her signature hit “Fight Song” on “Good Morning America.”

All three winners that followed, however, were the casts of Broadway shows who managed to secure Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Awards within the span of a few months for their work. First was the cast of “The Color Purple” in 2017. The lead from that show, Cynthia Erivo, had won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical the previous summer. Then she won the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album as a principal soloist on the cast recording. Her Daytime Emmy win for the cast performance on “Today” put her just an Oscar away from completing the coveted grand slam (and she’s already a Best Actress contender this year for “Harriet”).

The same awards trajectory followed for the next two years. In 2017 Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones won Tonys for their performances in “Dear Evan Hansen.” Then they won the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. And finally they won the 2018 Daytime Emmy for their “Today” performance of the number “You Will Be Found.”

In 2018 actors Katrina Lenk and Ari’el Stachel won Tonys for their roles in “The Band’s Visit.” Then came the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. And they wrapped up their hat trick by winning the Daytime Emmy for performing the number “Answer Me” on “Today.”

This announcement is bad news for this year’s acting winners at the Tonys: leads Santino Fontana (“Tootsie”) and Stephanie J. Block (“The Cher Show”), and featured actors Ali Stroker (“Oklahoma!”) and Andre De Shields (“Hadestown”). Their shows are all possible Grammy contenders, and all of them performed on daytime programs with their casts in 2019. The good news for De Shields, though, is that even without this Daytime Emmy category, he’s already a Primetime Emmy winner: he won Best Individual Achievement (Special Class) for “Ain’t Misbehavin'” back in 1982.

Of the five winners who now only need an Oscar to complete their EGOT, who do you think will get there first? Vote in our poll below.

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