American TV viewers’ sudden obsession with reality competition shows like “The Amazing Race,” “American Idol,” and “Survivor” in the early 2000s was powerful enough to catch the attention of the TV academy, who responded by establishing the Best Competition Program Emmy category in 2003. Since then, the award has been given annually in honor of outstanding game or talent show entertainment.
All 22,000 plus voting members of the TV academy have until June 27 to cast their 2022 Emmy Awards nominations ballots for their favorite competition programs. In the past, voters were limited in the number of shows they could put forth, but the cap was lifted in 2017. As opposed to the Oscars, Emmy voters do not rank their choices and nominees are determined by a simple tally.
This year, there are 81 options on the ballot, which is 14 more than last year. There were 60 contenders in 2020 and 53 in both 2019 and 2018. Six programs from the list below will make the cut and be announced as Emmy nominees on July 12. Unlike comedy and drama series, which are simply listed on the ballot by name, the competition program submissions include plot descriptions.
About Last Night
Ayesha and Stephen Curry host the ultimate date night challenge that finds three couples competing in games to discover who knows their partner best, and win up to $25,000 for a charity of their choice.
10 participants fight to survive in the wilderness on the shores of Chilko Lake, British Columbia. Not only must they endure hunger, loneliness, and the elements, but this season, they also face the deadliest predator in North America: the grizzly bear.
A singing competition where contestants perform like never before, as their dream avatar.
The Amazing Race
Eleven 2-person teams, each with a pre-existing relationship, race around the world while struggling to avoid elimination and vying to win a grand prize of one million dollars.
America’s Got Talent
Welcomes acts of any age and any talent, as they compete for the chance to win a $1 million grand prize and try to impress the judging panel of Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum.
Historic 20th season full of talent from all genres, with hopefuls auditioning from all over the country. Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie & Luke Bryan continue to search for the next American Idol. America crowned Noah Thompson the winner of Season 5 of American Idol.
American Ninja Warrior
Athletes from all walks of life and every corner of the country come together to take on the world’s toughest obstacle courses.
American Song Contest
The U.S. version of “Eurovision Song Contest”, features live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the Best Original Song.
Midwesterner Clayton Echard is a throwback romantic looking for a partner, a great love and a best friend.
A single bachelorette dates multiple men over several weeks, narrowing them down to hopefully find her true love.
Expert bakers elevate desserts with next-level ideas and execution. Now the battle is on to win over clients in need of very special sweets.
Passionate amateur bakers will go head-to-head with seasoned professionals. Which of the 13 bakers has what it takes to create the next viral baking sensation, win the golden rolling pin and take home the cash prize?
A holiday competition series in which eight teams of two talented home bakers join Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg’s winter cabin for a celebration of culinary holiday traditions.
People of all ages and backgrounds spend months building their own fighting machines and then face instant destruction in the BattleBox arena. All to win glory and the ultimate prize: The Giant Nut.
Beat Bobby Flay
Skilled chefs compete for the opportunity to cook against culinary master Bobby Flay. The action starts with two talented cooks going head-to-head in a culinary battle, and the winner proceeds to round two for the ultimate food face-off against the famed chef.
Follows a group of people living together in a house outfitted with high-definition cameras and microphones recording their every move, 24 hours a day. Each week, the Houseguests will vote someone out of the house. The last remaining Houseguest will receive the grand prize of $500,000.
The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula
Hosted by the Boulet Brothers, the fourth season will feature drag artists from around the world for the first time competing in challenges from costume creation and makeup artistry to live performance and acting with the winner taking home a $100,000 grand prize, largest in show’s history.
Bullsh*t The Game Show
Contestants strive to correctly answer difficult trivia questions. And when they can’t, they simply move on to plan B, lying through their teeth.
Capital One College Bowl
Hosted by Peyton Manning, with his brother Cooper Manning serving as sidekick, the series challenges college students out of the classroom and puts their knowledge to the test as they compete for academic scholarships.
The Celebrity Dating Game
Hosted by actress and singer-songwriter Zooey Deschanel and singer-songwriter Michael Bolton, a wink at modern dating with a roster of celebrity singles from television, music, comedy, reality TV and feature film in their pursuit to find love.
Celebrity Game Face
Hosted by Kevin Hart, follow celebrity contestants as they go head-to-head in a series of at-home games with the hopes of winning the “Hart of Champion” trophy and are awarded money for their charity of choice.
The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies
Kicks off with 34 challengers from around the world. Elite U.S. Agents join forces with International Operatives, armed with killer competitive instincts. These agents will be tested both mentally and physically to win their share of one million dollars.
Victoria Groce, Brandon Blackwell and Buzzy Cohen join returning Chasers Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer as Sara Haines hosts the game. Three competitors must pit their wits and face off against a Chaser, a ruthless quiz genius determined to stop them from winning cash prizes.
All about skill, speed and ingenuity where four up-and-coming chefs compete before three expert judges and take everyday items and turn them into an extraordinary three-course-meal. Course by course, the chefs will be chopped from the competition until only one winner remains.
Status and strategy collide in this social experiment and competition show where online players flirt, befriend and catfish their way toward $100,000.
Clash Of The Cover Bands
Features 20 of America’s best tribute acts, where everyday people transform into international music icons and take the stage to compete for a big cash prize and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Come Dance With Me
Talented young dancers from across the country invite one untrained family member who has supported their dance dreams to be their partner, for a chance to strut their stuff for a grand prize.
Ms. Nicole Rémy is transported back to Regency-era England in the hope of finding love as 16 eligible suitors attempt to win Ms. Rémy’s heart and the approval of her trusted court.
Crime Scene Kitchen
The bakers head back into the kitchen to take on a new delicious challenge.
Hosted by Dwyane Wade, contestants endure seemingly simple physical and mental tasks, all while confined in ‘The Cube,’ an intimidating glass box with its own mind and attitude, in the hope of winning $250,000.
Dancing With The Stars
Celebrities perform choreographed dance routines that are judged by ballroom experts Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough. Hosted by Tyra Banks.
Teams of domino enthusiasts face off in a domino toppling and chain reaction tournament. Sixteen skilled teams will compete against each other in ambitious domino building challenges to be crowned the country’s most talented domino topplers.
Family Game Fight
Testing brains, brawn and family bonds with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard serving as both hosts and competitors. Each episode will see the twosome part ways and be “adopted” into a family to compete in a series of games with $100,000 up for grabs.
Culinary masters Kristen Kish, Jeremy Ford and Justin Sutherland compete to perfectly recreate, then skillfully reimagine a celebrity guest’s favorite fast food dish as they try to win the Chompionship Trophy.
Three gorgeous women search for commitment among 24 suitors but for a shot at love and the $100,000 prize, they’ll have to figure out who’s really a “nice guy” and who’s a self-proclaimed “FBoy.”
Finding Magic Mike
Fearing they’ve lost their mojo, ten men bare their souls, and bodies, for an opportunity to perform on the Magic Mike Live stage in Vegas and take home $100,000.
Highly skilled artists create extravagant scene work and larger-than-life sculptures made entirely out of food. From vegetables and butter to fruit and cheese, these everyday items are transformed into works of art.
Forged In Fire
The art and craft of forging metal goes back thousands of years. Challenging modern blacksmiths to recreate tools and weapons from history.
Bringing the beloved 1980s video game to life as contestants leverage both strategy and strength to take on supersized crossings amid daring obstacles, featuring landings and wipeouts along the way.
Follows ten up-and-coming florists as they compete for a $100,000 grand prize to kickstart their business and make the world a little bit more beautiful.
Michelle Rodriguez brings the ultimate driving fantasy to life as 24 elite drivers get behind the wheel in a real-life, high-speed chase. Can the getaway drivers evade their pursuers, find an exit and escape, or will their cars pay the ultimate sacrifice?
Featuring monster trucks, alligator trainers, stunt archery and other radical feats, showcasing supersized talents and celebrating daring acts, as challengers battle to impress the judges and advance toward the $100,000 prize. Bert Kreischer hosts with celebrity judges T-Pain, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Nettles and Cody Rhodes.
Aspiring chefs are put through a culinary academy to prove they have the endurance and skill to advance. At stake is a grand prize, including chef positions at some of Ramsay’s restaurants around the country.
Showcases self-proclaimed miniature-golf lovers from around the country as they compete head-to-head through a series of matchups on an obstacle golf course.
The $100,000 Pyramid
Michael Strahan is back as host of The $100,000 Pyramid, the word-association game in which two celebrities and their partners face off in a race against the clock to make it to the winner’s circle and take home $100,000.
Competing for a Co-Sign and $150,000, up-and-coming streetwear visionaries elevate their cutting-edge designs and entrepreneurial hustle to prove their brand is the future of fashion.
I Can See Your Voice
Hosted by Ken Jeong, a celebrity panel helps a contestant tell the difference between good and bad singers, without hearing them sing a note! With $100,000 on the line, the contestant will weed out good singers from the bad, until the final secret singer duets with a musical superstar.
Joe Millionaire: For Richer Or Poorer
Twenty women take up residence in a French chateau where they enjoy the attentions of a construction worker masquerading as a millionaire.
Voguing houses ignite the runway at extravagant balls, leaving a rotating panel of judges, including Leiomy Maldonado, Jameela Jamil, Law Roach, and Keke Palmer, to crown one house truly legendary with a $100,000 prize.
Teams of two LEGO enthusiasts compete against each other in brick-building challenges for a cash prize, the ultimate LEGO trophy and the grand title of LEGO Master.
Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls
Heading into her 2022 tour, multi-platform music icon Lizzo launches an open audition for her next Big Grrrl dancers. Creating a loving environment and utilizing mentors, choreographers and coaches, Lizzo welcomes 13 hopefuls to Hollywood for a chance to be chosen to take center stage at the Bonnaroo music festival.
A lighthearted competition series reuniting two of pop culture’s biggest BFFs, hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, and celebrating the creativity and craftiness in all of us.
Making The Cut
Hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are joined by judges Winnie Harlow, world-famous supermodel, and fashion pop icon and Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott. Plus, additional judges will make cameos throughout the season, including Prabal Gurung and Shiona Turini.
The Masked Singer
A top-secret singing competition in which celebrities face off while shrouded from head to toe in an elaborate costume, concealing their identity. The host, panelists, audience, and viewers are left guessing who is singing behind the mask. Each week, a singer is eliminated, and then reveals their true identity.
Moonshiners: Master Distiller
The subculture of distillers carrying on the American backwoods tradition. Judged by Moonshiners legends, Mark, Digger, and Tim, America’s top legal and outlaw shiners go head to head to see who has what it takes to be called Master Distiller.
Home bakers with a terrible track record take a crack at re-creating edible masterpieces for a $10,000 prize.
Name That Tune
Hosted by Jane Krakowski, the musical game show tests contestants’ music knowledge as they battle in musical games for cash and prizes. Two players race against the clock to test their knowledge of songs performed by a live band with Randy Jackson as band leader.
Next Level Chef
Fifteen contestants from around the country prepare to level up their cooking skills.
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
Celebrating magic, featuring the legendary duo Penn & Teller, hosted by Alyson Hannigan. Aspiring magicians are invited to perform their best trick, try and fool the world-famous duo. Those who succeed win the right to perform with Penn & Teller.
Press Your Luck
Hosted by Elizabeth Banks, three contestants compete against each other, answering questions to earn spins on the Big Board. The contestants use their spins to win cash and prizes, while avoiding the WHAMMY, which could ultimately leave them with nothing.
Returning mentor Christian Siriano, along with judges Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell and Elaine Welteroth, take on 16 new designers, each ready to prove they have what it takes to show a collection at New York Fashion Week and be the next great name in fashion.
Queen Of The Universe
Brings drag queens from across the globe to battle it out in a singing competition for the ages. The Queens take center stage in an over the top live singing competition to see who reigns supreme.
Rat In The Kitchen
A mix of professional chefs and passionate home cooks compete in a series of creative cooking challenges, while attempting to expose an undercover mole determined to undermine their chances at victory.
Rock The Block
Hosted by craftsman Ty Pennington, eight home renovation and design experts pair up to transform identical three-story suburban properties in just one month. With a $225,000 budget and a lot of teamwork, the dueling duos hope to win bragging rights and their names on a street sign.
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Hosted by RuPaul, America’s most sickening queens compete in fashion and performance challenges in hopes of snatching the crown as the next drag superstar.
School Of Chocolate
Eight pros study the art of chocolate under the tutelage of a famed chocolatier. But only one will be best in class and win the chance of a lifetime.
Snoop & Martha’s Very Tasty Halloween
Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, featuring talented bakers who face off in a delectable Halloween showdown. Teams of three bakers are tasked with baking and building a full-sensory 12’x12’ Halloween world that people can explore, taste and devour.
A cooking and wine pairing competition show featuring sparkling wine from around the world. All 13 episodes star a diverse cast of food and wine professionals who judge each other, pitting friends against each other, as they decide who wins it all.
Hosted by Leslie Jones, three teams of two, clad in iconic colorful sweatshirts, compete against one another, using their grocery shopping skills and knowledge of merchandise, for the chance to play in the “Super Sweep” in hopes of winning the $100,000 prize.
18 new contestants head to the islands of Fiji to attempt to outwit, outlast and outplay each other to win a million dollars.
That’s My Jam
Hosted by Jimmy Fallon. Each episode features two teams of celebrities competing for a charity in a series of music, dance, and trivia-based games and musical performances.
To Tell The Truth
Hosted by Anthony Anderson. A panel of celebrity guests is tasked with guessing who is sworn to tell the truth & who may be deceiving them.
Returns in Houston with host Padma Lakshmi, Head Judge Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons. 15 talented chefs from across the country vie for the coveted title bringing their unique skillsets, variety of cuisines and gamut of flavors.
Tough As Nails
Americans roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty to keep America running. Competitors are tested for their strength, endurance, life skills and mental toughness in challenges that take place at real-world job sites.
Tournament Of Champions
Guy Fieri hosts this bracket-style culinary tournament where 32 talented chefs representing the east and west go head-to-head in sudden-death matches where the randomizer determines the elements of the challenge and their fate is decided by a panel of food icon judges.
12 Dates Of Christmas
Natasha Rothwell narrates. A rom-com in real life complete with cozy sweaters, mistletoe kisses, and surprise twists, as three single “leads” attempt to find a special someone to bring home for the holidays.
Ariana Grande claims her red chair alongside returning coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton as they vie to discover and coach the next singing phenomenon.
Hosted by Chris Hardwick. Rules are simple: get a question correct and a green ball will fall and add the slot value to the winning total. Miss a question and a red ball will fall and deduct from the total.
Teams compete to answer rapid-fire trivia, with the weakest contestant eliminated after each round. Hosted by Jane Lynch.
Each game features multi-stage obstacle courses designed to challenge competitors, while delivering surprising wipeouts. And of course, the iconic staple of the show, the big balls, have returned with a vengeance.
Would I Lie To You?
Hosted by Aasif Mandvi. Team captains Matt Walsh and Sabrina Jalees lead opposing pairs of celebrity guests who must determine who is sharing facts and who is full of fiction by asking questions and watching body language to determine which stories are true, and which are made-up.
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