How to ace your Tony Award nominations predictions

I had a great morning. Not only did the 2022 Tony nominations represent a great cross section of what made the 2021-2022 Broadway season so incredible, but on a more selfish note, I tied with four other users for the best prediction score! The five of us correctly predicted 70 of 83 nomination slots in Gold Derby’s prediction center, which translates to an accuracy score of 78.65% correct (a special shoutout to user Dynasty86 who bested us with their top point score of 54,020).

How did I do so well? Here’s my 2022 Tony Awards nominations predictions advice: I trusted my gut and thought like a Tony nominator.

SEE 2022 Tony Awards full list of nominations: Every show and performer in the running at the 75th annual Tonys

The Tony Awards set themselves apart from other major awards bodies in the way that nominations are chosen. Only a select group of nominators decide the nominees. This group must dedicate themselves to seeing every single eligible Broadway production during the season. If they miss even one show, they must recuse themselves of their nominating duties (this year saw a final tally of 29 Tony nominators). As a result, the Tony nominations tend to truly reflect the best of the best. The people deciding who is recognized have seen everything, big or small, success or flop.

With the Oscars or Emmys, one of the biggest hurdles on the path to securing a nomination is getting the voters to actually watch the contenders. That simply isn’t an issue with Tony nominators. So, there is rarely any “recency bias” towards productions that opened at the last minute. This year, nominators happily rewarded productions like “The Lehman Trilogy,” “Lackawanna Blues,” and “Caroline, or Change,” which have been closed for months. “Dana H.” had a truncated run in the fall, yet it managed a surprise (and well deserved) nomination for director Les Waters. Nominators aren’t just going to blindly check off productions that opened in the spring and are still running.

SEE Tony Awards 2022 nominations: Best prediction scores by our Users and Editors

Additionally, these nominators are less likely to be influenced by major behind-the-scenes narratives (though these WILL become more important when the larger voting body is deciding the winners). Nominators are frankly too busy attending theater to pay attention. An astounding 18 productions opened on Broadway during April, the final month of Tony eligibility. I did my best to keep up with them. That resulted in one week in which I saw 7 shows in 7 days. When you are seeing that much theater (plus, you know, trying to manage all your other normal life responsibilities), there is simply no room for sentimental off-stage narratives to kick in. That’s why a single category can contain a newcomer like Gabby Beans (“The Skin of Our Teeth”), a character actress like Deirdre O’Connell (“Dana H.”), and an A-Lister like Mary-Lousie Parker (“How I Learned to Drive”). It all becomes about the work, and whose artistry affected the voters the most.

This helped me make several predictions that went against our combined odds. Carmen Cusack had an enormously complex role in “Flying Over Sunset,” and her rendition of the song “How?” reduced the audience to emotional rubble. I was positive she would make the cut despite our odds showing her hovering around seventh place. Gold Derby users were also sheepish on Camille A Brown’s chances in Best Choreography. Sure, “for colored girls” is a play and one might think a musical like “Funny Girl” would have an advantage. But the infamous Ntozake Shange drama is a movement piece, where the choreography of the women on stage is the central storytelling device. One only needed to see this ensemble’s full bodied inhale after Kenita R. Miller’s heartbreaking monologue, and the determined dance of joy and survival that erupts afterwards, to know that Brown was guaranteed a spot here.

This brings me to the most important rule: go see theater! I’m incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to see so much of what Broadway has to offer. And it is my biggest asset in nabbing a high prediction score because I can think like a nominator in most cases. It doesn’t matter if a contender is a celebrity or an unknown, if the show is a grand spectacle or something small and avant garde. They all have a chance at a Tony nomination as long as they bring the goods. Remember, the nominators vote based on how they feel after seeing a show. We are all a bunch of softies here on Broadway.

PREDICT the 2022 Tony Awards winners now through June 12

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

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