Top Chef’s French episode beat TAR’s weak WWI ep; Probst won for Russell Swan ep

In the Emmy competition for outstanding competition reality TV show, each series enters a single episode. That, as succinctly discussed here, is perhaps the primary reasons for The Amazing Race‘s long-time domination. But that, of course, ended this year.

While the official Academy nominee list [PDF] does not mention episodes, The Los Angeles Times reported on the specific episodes, which has also been posted online, as Melissa Sullivan noted in the comments, prompting me to seek out the full lists.

The episode submitted by The Amazing Race was “I Think We’re Fighting the Germans, Right?”, the episode that I thought had an impressive backdrop but was impossibly easy and eliminated a team because of the U-Turn, not because of any kind of dramatic race for the mat.

Top Chef, meanwhile, submitted “Vivre Las Vegas,” the season’s fourth episode, when the chefs created escargot dishes during the Quickfire and created a six-course French meal for the elimination challenge, that featured guest judge Daniel Boulud. In retrospect, of course, that was a good choice, but I don’t remember it at all, whereas I do remember the TAR episode because it was so bad.

A lot of alleged industry “insiders” thought American Idol would win, but that show submitted its truly awful, drawn-out finale–though maybe its producers figured the parade of forgotten old people would appeal to the Academy.

Jeff Probst, by the way, won his third Emmy with the sixth episode of Survivor Samoa, entitled “This is the Man Test,” according to the L.A. Times. That was the episode that broke the fourth wall and featured Probst dealing with the truly unexpected and unpredictable when Russell Swan collapsed during a challenge. Tending to someone who looked like he was dead? Seacrest never had a chance.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.