Reality Competition Series

You can’t accuse Emmy voters of being inconsistent. Not only are the same five series from last year nominated this time around, but the same show has won all five years since the category was introduced. “The Amazing Race” may be an Emmy darling, but the other four shows have no trouble keeping viewers riveted and may finally break beyond their happy-to-be-nominated status.

With three nominations already under its belt, the latest season of “Project Runway” brought in high-profile fashionistas Sarah Jessica Parker and Victoria Beckham as guest judges, delivering its youngest winner yet in Christian Siriano, who has been the show’s biggest success story — to the extent that he was even spoofed on “Saturday Night Live.”

Working against “Runway” is the fact that it may split votes with current channel-mate “Top Chef,” which received its second nomination. The show’s third installment spiced things up by introducing Ted Allen as a permanent judge and naming controversial chef Hung Huynh its Miami winner. Huynh may have rubbed his fellow contestants the wrong way, but his classical training in French and Asian cuisine left him the last chef standing.

With consistency on their side, both “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” continue to enjoy network success, delivering popular winners to eager auds. “Idol” remains in voters’ minds, as favorite David Cook immediately hit the charts with “Time of My Life,” with another album to follow later this year. “Dancing” winner Kristi Yamaguchi, who won Olympic gold in 1992, is a perfect example of the show becoming more athletic each season.

Those shows may deliver indoor excitement, but the advantage remains with “Race,” with its around-the-world team competition and million-dollar prize. Although season 12 featured the shortest course since 2005, it still spanned four continents in 21 days with T.K. and Rachel crossing the finish line first.

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