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Which 'Dancing With the Stars' judge deserves an Emmy?

September 24, 2008 |  5:30 pm

With this week's return of "Dancing With the Stars," the focus has been on colorful contestants like Cloris Leachman and Jeffrey Ross.

However, the judges have been the true winners on this contest show, considering how well they've coped with such crazy antics as Cloris Leachman putting her leg in front of Bruno Tonioli's face and her derriere down in Carrie Ann Inaba's lap?

Don't they deserve to be considered for their own Emmy? After all, the hosts of reality shows just got their own award. Why not judges?


Yes, says ATAS Chairman John Shaffner, they should be honored. Last weekend he confirmed to reporters that the Emmys will soon create an award for judges on reality TV shows like "Dancing With the Stars," "American Idol" and "Top Chef," but not for contestants!

"We don't want to turn into 'Survivor'!" Shaffner roared to Nelson Branco of TV Guide Canada.

So now let's check in and see what the medium's harshest judges — TV critics — think of how the judges performed this week on "Dancing With the Stars."

People's TV Watch lauded the male judges for their gallant reactions to  overtures from octogenarian contestant Cloris Leachman: "Ms. Leachman used her best acting skills to charm the judges. Her leggy display for Bruno Tonioli had him affectionately nickname her 'Battleship Geriatrica.' And the usually buttoned-up Len Goodman playfully told her, 'I always wanted to be a toy boy. This could be my big chance!' after Leachman gave the judge an eyeful of cleavage."

Yet E! Online reported they returned to form with their comments about other performances. Regarding Maurice Greene: "'Why did you do the 'Free Willy' step?' Len Goodman  wondered. 'What's that all about? I don't want all that nonsense!' And about Kim Kardashian, Bruno said, 'More wasted assets than Freddie and Fanny!" trying to provoke Kim into bringing that sexiness to the surface.'"

Sarah Rogers of our own Show Tracker gives kudos to Carrie Ann Inaba for suggesting Susan Lucci pack on a few pounds — "I thought [she] nailed it when she said that Susan looked a bit too frail out there" — and for letting Leachman sit in her lap.

Who do you think is most deserving of an Emmy nomination?