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Early Emmy predix: Betty White looks like lock to land fifth Emmy for hosting 'SNL'

July 19, 2010 |  7:51 am

While our Emmy experts Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (Awardsheaven.net) are divided as to which guy will get an Emmy for guesting on a comedy series, they agree that today's "it girl" Betty White is a sure thing to win the guest actress race for hosting "Saturday Night Live." Indeed, there was so much Emmy love for this episode of the late-night staple that it also got nominations for directing, writing, art direction, hair styling, lighting and makeup.

Boomer and Rob each assess the state of this race below and have already made forecasts, as did I, for best comedy series as well as lead actor and actress.

Betty White Saturday Night Live Guest Actress Emmy Awards GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY: BOOMER'S PREDIX
(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1. Betty White, "Saturday Night Live" ("Host: Betty White")
2. Tina Fey, "Saturday Night Live" ("Host: Tina Fey")
3. Kristin Chenoweth, "Glee" ("The Rhodes Not Taken")
4. Elaine Stritch, "30 Rock" ("The Moms")
5. Christine Baranski, "The Big Bang Theory" ("The Maternal Congruence")
6. Kathryn Joosten, "Desperate Housewives" ("The Chase")
7. Jane Lynch, "Two and a Half Men" ("818-JKLPUZO")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: This Emmy Award was practically won weeks before the episode even aired! Most everybody was excited about Betty White hosting "Saturday Night Live" when it was first considered and then announced, but she surpassed all of the lofty expectations with the help of the writers, director, cast, returning "SNL" stars and her own funny, funny, funny performance. It was truly one of the most incredible performances I have ever seen on "SNL" or any variety series!

Along with White, this category is completely loaded down with past Emmy winners in every spot except for Jane Lynch (who will most likely pick up an Emmy for "Glee" in another category). Tina Fey won this same category last year for a return trip to her SNL roots. She again gets to play Sarah Palin (as she did last year with her win) plus quite a few other characters in various sketches. The "Brownie Husband" commercial alone might sway the voters, but Betty White is just too much to overcome.

Kristin Chenoweth has the perfect role of a former glee club star and does an especially good job throughout her episode (both acting and singing). Elaine Stritch always elevates every moment of her time on "30 Rock," and this time is no exception. She has also won an Emmy for this role, but her screentime is more limited than for her winning year.

While I love Christine Baranski as Leonard's mother on "The Big Bang Theory," I thought her performance last year was better written and developed. Both Kathryn Joosten and Jane Lynch are good but must bring up the rear for this overloaded category this year.

Betty White Tina Fey Guest Actress Emmys GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY: ROB'S PREDIX
(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1. Betty White, "Saturday Night Live" ("Host: Betty White")
2. Christine Baranski, "The Big Bang Theory" ("The Maternal Congruence")
3. Kristin Chenoweth, "Glee" ("The Rhodes Not Taken")
4. Tina Fey, "Saturday Night Live" ("Host: Tina Fey")
5. Elaine Stritch, "30 Rock" ("The Moms")
6. Kathryn Joosten, "Desperate Housewives" ("The Chase")
7. Jane Lynch, "Two and a Half Men" ("818-JKLPUZO")

ROB'S COMMENTARY:I am still not sure why Jane Lynch or Kathryn Joosten were nominated in this category. Both excellent actresses and great roles, but this year and in the episodes they have submitted, it’s just not enough for what I consider to be an otherwise competitive category. Lynch has about three and a half minutes in one scene to shine, and although she has some great one liners, she doesn’t move from her seat and barely registers any other emotion other than a more toned-down Sue Sylvester (her character from "Glee"). This nomination is a bit of overkill I think. Ditto for Joosten, who is charming and ultimately heartbreaking as an old gal diagnosed with cancer. True-to-life sentiment and the high regard that voters hold for Ms. Joosten got her in this race, but I can’t see it being her winning here again this year.

Elaine Stritch is always a welcome addition to a "30 Rock" episode. She always elevates the show when she appears, and this time is no different. She plays the wickedly funny viper like nobody else can, and her scenes with Alec Baldwin are dynamite. A previous winner and perennial nominee for this role, but I don’t think it is anywhere near as good as previous appearances.

The top four ladies are all deserving and worthwhile winners. Tina Fey brings it once again for a saucy, sexy, hilarious hosting gig, where she gives us another Sarah Palin impersonation gift, a killer monologue, the "Brownie Husband" skit, and an excellent "Weekend Update" rant. She would be a front-runner in any other year for the repeat win.

Kristin Chenoweth provides much of the same charm and likeability that she radiated in her "Pushing Daisies"winning performance for last year’s Emmys, but this time, she adds in some song and dance verve and top one-liners that made me laugh out loud. That she spends half the episode mildly drunk doesn’t hurt her chances either. The dark horse.

Christine Baranski is absolutely, riotously hilarious in her episode, her second consecutive nomination for this role, aided by some sharp writing and brilliant interplay with Jim Parsons and the hugely underrated Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, and the scenes in which she is completely intoxicated and without inhibition. If it weren’t for Betty White, I would be sticking my neck out for a Baranski win, as she has the best episode of the bunch, by far.

But, what can one say about Betty White that hasn’t already been said? In this, the Year of Betty White, I don’t think she can lose. My personal opinion is that her performance is good, great even, but not the best of the bunch. Surrounded by so much talent in her episode, I feel she gets a little lost in the crowd. Her highlights are the "dusty muffin" sketch, the Facebook monologue, "MacGruber" and "CSI: Sarasota." No point trying to argue otherwise, this is going to Betty White.

Top photo: Betty White and returning cast members on "Saturday Night Live." Photo: NBC

Bottom photo: Tina Fey and Betty White on "Saturday Night Live." Photo: NBC

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