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Who won reality TV Emmys? Some big names, and a few surprises

Who won reality TV Emmys? Some big names, and a few surprises
Rachel and Subodh in episode 5 of Love on the Spectrum US, which won three Emmys (Image via Netflix)

Nearly all of the nonfiction, documentary, and reality TV shows that were nominated for Emmys won them Saturday night, as the Television Academy held the first night of its two-night Creative Arts Emmys.

The biggest winners were mostly big, famous names and/or shows attached to them: Peter Jackson’s Beatles Get Back (5), Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Girls (2), and perennial winner RuPaul’s Drag Race (2).

The only unscripted shows without a major celebrity’s name attached to win more than one Emmy were HBO’s We’re Here (2) and Netflix’s Love on the Spectrum US (3) for unstructured program, editing, and casting.

One of Love on the Spectrum’s winners includes former Glass House contestant—and reality blurred contributor!—Jeffrey Marx, who won alongside Laura Ritchie and Kat Elmore for casting.

Shangela Laquifa Wadley Eureka O’Hara, and Bob the Drag Queen in episode 4 of We’re Here (Photo by Johnnie Ingram/HBO)

We’re Here and Legendary both won makeup Emmys, while We’re Here also picked up the costuming award. Disney+’s The Beatles: Get Back won editing, sound mixing, sound editing, directing, and documentary series Emmys.

RuPaul’s Drag Race won two Emmys: for production design and, of course, the seventh consecutive Emmy for RuPaul as host, which bores me in the same way that RuPaul often appears bored by his own show and its spin-offs. Just look at all of these other potential host nominees!

Amazon’s Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Girls also won two, for editing and directing. Does that mean Drag Race should watch out come next week in the competition category, which will be presented next Monday? (It’s the only unscripted category that remains for the actual prime-time Emmy telecast next week.)

Former president Barack Obama won the outstanding narrator Emmy for Netflix’s Our Great National Parks.

HBO’s 100 Foot Wave and Life Below Zero both won cinematography awards (for nonfiction program and reality program respectively), while The Voice won for lighting design/direction.

The exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking Emmy went to When Claude Got Shot, a documentary that aired as part of PBS’s Independent Lens.

All 2022 reality TV and documentary Emmy winners

RuPaul Charles with his seventh consecutive Emmy for reality TV competition show host
RuPaul Charles with his seventh consecutive Emmy for reality TV competition show host. (Photo by Invision-AP/Television Academy)

Here are the winners in major categories, highlighted in yellow; the full list of winners is here.

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special

  • Controlling Britney Spears, FX
  • George Carlin’s American Dream, HBO/HBO Max
  • Lucy And Desi, Amazon Prime Video
  • The Tinder Swindler, Netflix
  • We Feed People, Disney+

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series

  • The Andy Warhol Diaries, Netflix
  • The Beatles: Get Back, Disney+
  • jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, Netflix
  • 100 Foot Wave, HBO/HBO Max
  • We Need To Talk About Cosby, Showtime

Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series Or Special

  • My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Netflix
  • The Problem With Jon Stewart, Apple TV+
  • Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy, CNN
  • Vice, Showtime
  • The World According To Jeff Goldblum, Disney+

Outstanding Casting For A Reality Program

  • Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, Lynne Spillman, Blair Kim, Jazzy Collins
  • Love On The Spectrum, Laura Ritchie, Kat Elmore, Jeffrey Marx
  • Queer Eye, Danielle Gervais, Jessica Jorgensen, Natalie Pino, Pamela Vallarelli, Quinn Fegan
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, Goloka Bolte, CSA; Ethan Petersen, CSA
  • Top Chef, Samantha Hanks, Ron Mare

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

  • Antiques Roadshow, PBS
  • Fixer Upper: Welcome Home, Magnolia Network
  • Love Is Blind, Netflix
  • Queer Eye, Netflix
  • Shark Tank, ABC

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

  • Below Deck Mediterranean, Bravo
  • Cheer, Netflix
  • Love On The Spectrum U.S., Netflix
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked, VH1
  • Selling Sunset, Netflix

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Competition Program

  • Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Making It
  • Nicole Byer, Nailed It!
  • Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye
  • RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary Shark Tank
  • Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef

Outstanding Competition Program

(Will be announced during the Sept. 12 telecast on NBC.)

  • The Amazing Race, CBS
  • Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Girls, Amazon
  • Nailed It!, Netflix
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, VH1
  • Top Chef, Bravo
  • The Voice, NBC

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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