Marcus James Dixon: I’m going rogue on these 5 Emmy predictions — No guts, no glory!

For the most part I agree with the combined Emmy predictions of Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users. I mean, nominations for no-brainers like Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”), Bill Hader (“Barry”) and Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)? Check, check and check. However, on a few occasions I’m going rogue and ignoring the herd mentality of your average awards pundit. Below, see five “no guts, no glory” performers that I believe will earn Emmy nominations on July 16 despite their lowly racetrack odds. See my complete Emmy picks here.

Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”) — Best Comedy Actress
In Netflix’s twisty comedy series, Applegate plays Jen Harding, a real estate agent whose life crumbles following the hit-and-run death of her husband. When we meet Jen she’s cold and bitter, sniping at neighbors who offer to bring her food, but her life turns upside-down when she meets Judy Hale (co-lead Linda Cardellini). It’s a career-best performance from the actress that Emmy voters already know and love; Applegate won Best Comedy Guest Actress in 2003 for playing Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) middle sister on “Friends.” She was nominated again for that role in 2004 and later earned back-to-back bids as Best Comedy Actress for “Samantha Who?” (2008-09), the same category in which she now contends for “Dead to Me.”

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Cecily Strong (“Saturday Night Live”) — Best Comedy Supporting Actress
“SNL” players have dominated this specific category over the past decade, with scene-stealers like Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones and Aidy Bryant all earning bids. McKinnon won twice in a row in 2016 and 2017, then lost last year to Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”). With buzz for NBC’s late-night program still at an all-time high, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Strong hears her name called for the first time. This season she had fans on the floor with her spot-on impersonations of Fox host Jeanine Pirro and Senator Susan Collins, among others. Strong recently told us that if she earns an Emmy nomination she will likely submit the “fun” finale hosted by Paul Rudd.

Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”) — Best Drama Supporting Actress
What can I say about Christie’s stand-out performance in the final season of “GoT” that hasn’t already been stated? Among the highlights for her character Brienne of Tarth, she was knighted in one of the most satisfyingly emotional scenes in the history of the show, then she finally got to have some one-on-one time with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Yeah, yeah, “Game of Thrones” submitted four supporting actresses on the Emmy ballot (Christie, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner) so it’ll be tough for them all to break through, but here’s hoping voters at least make room for Christie.

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Glynn Turman (“How to Get Away with Murder”) — Best Drama Guest Actor
Turman may not be a household name, but he’s well-known by Emmy voters thanks to his previous victory in this category for “In Treatment” (2009). On “HTGAWM” he takes on the role of Nate Lahey Sr., the father of Nate (Billy Brown) and the “face case” for Annalise’s (Viola Davis) Supreme Court trial. As Turman recently told Gold Derby, he “jumped at the opportunity” to work alongside Oscar winner Davis, saying that their scenes together were “like playing instruments with one another.” Another guest star, Cicely Tyson, earned three nominations for this ABC series (2015, 2017 and 2018), so a bid for Turman wouldn’t be completely out of the blue.

Gerald McRaney (“Deadwood: The Movie”) — Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor
Three years ago McRaney had never received a single Emmy nomination despite starring on television for over four decades. But thanks to his guest role on “This Is Us,” he’s now an Emmy winner (2017) with another bid under his belt (2018). McRaney recently returned to the world of “Deadwood,” along with the rest of the cast, for HBO’s reunion movie where he once again portrayed antagonist George Hearst. He had so much screen time in the telefilm that he was essentially a co-lead to Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant, which should definitely help his Emmy chances. As he told Gold Derby, “I think [creator David Milch] just saw the Hearst character as that violent agent of change that was happening” in the world.

PREDICT the Emmys now; change them until July 16

Be sure to make your 2019 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 nominations are announced on July 16. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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