Who Will Make Up The Coveted Best Variety Special Emmy Award? Bette, Gaga, Oprah

LA Times Blog
Lady Gaga versus Oprah Winfrey at the Emmys: Who to root for?
June 24, 2011 | 8:51 am

Lady Gaga continues her campaign to dominate all media. The singer already has won five Grammys, including three this year for her album “The Fame Monster” and hit single “Bad Romance.” She has also won an American Music Award, 14 Billboard Music Awards, and her videos have claimed 11 MTV Video Music Awards.

But this year she could also break into the Emmy race for the first time. Her HBO concert film “The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden” has been entered for consideration in the race for best variety special. She’s not the only popular musician with a contender in this race. Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Bette Midler also have specials competing for nominations. Beyonce has never been recognized by the TV academy, but Midler is a three-time winner, including once for her classic appearance on “The Tonight Show” when she sang to Johnny Carson as he neared retirement.

The variety special category is a catch-all race that also includes comedians such as Ricky Gervais, Kathy Griffin, Colin Quinn, Cedric the Entertainer and “Daily Show” correspondent Wyatt Cenac (who won a writing Emmy in 2009 for the Jon Stewart series). “The Kennedy Center Honors” has won for the last two years, and last summer’s event, which honored Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey, could repeat.

Musicians have also prevailed in this category, most recently in 2007 when Tony Bennett won for his special “An American Classic.” If Lady Gaga wins, she will join a list of performers that includes Cher (2003), Barbra Streisand (1995) and Barry Manilow (1977). But more importantly, if she’s nominated, what on Earth will she wear to the ceremony?

— Tom O’Neil

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