In 2012 Carson Daly was a newcomer to the Emmy Awards. NBC’s “The Voice,” which Daly hosts and produces, had received its first Emmy nomination. Though the show lost that year, it won in 2013, becoming the second show to beat “The Amazing Race” since the inception of the reality competition category in 2003. Since then, Daly has taken home two more Emmys (in 2015 and 2016) for the singing competition show. No one is more surprised about his trio of Emmy hardware than Daly.
In 2013 did you think “The Voice” had a shot against perennial favorite “The Amazing Race”?
I didn’t think we had a chance. We were shocked the year before to be nominated because we were nominated and “American Idol” wasn’t, so we figured we got the singing spot. Year one we knew we wouldn’t win. Then come year two, we figured the same thing. You have to remember we were still in the afterglow of “The Voice” being a bonafide hit. Nobody thought that it was going to be a successful show because we weren’t humiliating people on television.
Did anyone unexpected congratulate you?
Actually, I turned to Phil [Keoghan, the host of “The Amazing Race”] and apologized. I said something like, “Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” I felt like that was his award category. He was so incredibly nice and gracious. He smiled and got out of our way so we could accept the award.
What stands out most about the first Emmy win?
I had no idea what happened backstage. It was like the abyss of Winnersvillle. We got back there and it was exciting. People were taking our pictures and then we got to this area where I saw the Emmys, and the lady was escorting us backstage turned to us and said, “Just sign here.” And I said, “Sign what? Why?” And she said, “So you can get your Emmy.” I thought Mark Burnett would get one and that would be that. When I found out that I was going to be walking away with the hardware I couldn’t believe it.
Did you carry the statue around with you all night?
Hell yeah! They said, “We will put it in a box for you” and I said, “No! No! I’ll hold onto it.” I found my wife, went into the parking lot and Facetimed my children. My son really wanted me to win and I kept telling him, “No, we don’t win. ‘The Amazing Race’ wins.” I was trying to teach him a life lesson about losing. So when we won I was like, “It can actually happen! Dreams come true, son!”
“The Voice” producer Mark Burnett has accepted all three Emmys on behalf of the series. Have you ever asked him if you can say a few words?
I wouldn’t be so bold to ask that. Although one year I tried to jump in front of him because I thought if I beat him to the podium, I might be able to say something. But Mark is very fast and he’s in great shape. If I weren’t so sentimental, giving hugs to everyone in the audience, I probably would have beat him.