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Why were Jon and Kate Gosselin cruelly snubbed by Emmy voters?

July 29, 2009 |  8:59 am

Considering that the Emmys are chosen by a popular ballot, it's weird that TV's most buzzed-about reality show — "Jon & Kate Plus 8" — wasn't nominated for best reality program. On the eve of voting, Jon and Kate Gosselin and their brood had just drawn more than 10 million viewers to the premiere of their fifth TV season on TLC in late May.

Jon and Kate Gosselin Jon & Kate Plus 8 news

However, voters preferred "Antiques Roadshow," "Dirty Jobs," "Dog Whisperer," "Intervention," "Mythbusters" and two-time past champ "My Life on the D-List" in that category. What happened?

The Emmy fate of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" underscored something we already knew about Emmy voters — they're snobs. Consider this: the TV series that's won the most Emmys historically is about two snooty brothers ("Frasier" with 37 trophies) obsessed with opera and vintage wines. Voters love series about other dysfunctional families, sure, but "Jon & Kate Plus 8" crossed the line, offending academy snobs exactly at the wrong time.

Voting on Emmy nominations occurred from June 5th to June 26th. Around that time, Jon and Kate faced sleazy charges that they'd been cheating on each other, an episode aired showing Jon skipping Kate's 34th birthday so he could go snowboarding with pals in Utah, Kate was caught throwing a hissy fit and spanking one of the girls in public, then Kate threw in the towel and filed for divorce.

Suddenly, this was more than just a reality show, but a really painful reminder of the ugly side of life. Maybe that makes "Jon & Kate Plus 8" the ultimate reality-TV program, therefore all the more deserving of Emmy recognition, but that's where the factor of snobbism comes into play again. While bickering between themselves and chasing after toddlers on "Jon & Kate Plus 8," the Gosselins looked amusingly like the average put-upon middle-class Americans. However, just around voting time for Emmy nominations, they suddenly looked like trailer-park trash — and that was unforgivable.

Photo: TLC

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