Emmy Experts slugfest: Is there upset potential in the variety races

Variety is the spice of life, but is it also the spice of the Emmys? Gold Derby editors and Experts Christopher Rosen and Joyce Eng are back to discuss the variety categories, which could use a wee bit of excitement, and one drama category that might be on the precipice of a surprise.

In Best Variety Talk Series, it’s tough to bet against “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which is seeking its sixth straight win. There’s nothing voters love more here than rubber-stamping. If “Last Week Tonight” prevails, it’ll only be five shy of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s” record 11 wins, 10 of which were consecutive. But if anyone were to take it down, could it be Team Coco? We make the case for “Conan,” which stands in second place in the odds.

SEE Emmy Experts slugfest: Can ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ hold off ‘Mare of Easttown’? [WATCH]

It’s a lot of the same faces in the variety special races between “Hamilton,” “Bo Burnham: Inside” and “8:46 — Dave Chappelle.” “Hamilton” is out front to win Best Variety Special (Pre-Recorded), but Bo Burnham could come to collect with “Inside” for which he himself has six nominations. He’s in second here, but is predicted to win writing and directing. However, are we being too dismissive of another special involving a pop culture phenomenon? “Friends: The Reunion” is in fifth place and was a pretty big deal when it dropped at the end of May. Plus, it has finally given us Emmy nominee Courteney Cox.

Speaking of “Friends,” we also pivot to Best Drama Actor, where we discuss the upset potential for former champ Billy Porter (“Pose”) to defeat “The Crown” favorite Josh O’Connor. No one has won this category more than once under the current voting system. But are Prince Charles and Princess Diana a package deal when it comes to wins?

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UPLOADED Aug 12, 2021 4:00 pm