Many Emmy watchers, including this one, expected "American Idol" to be the show that stopped the seven-year winning streak of "The Amazing Race" at the Emmy Awards this year. That it was "Top Chef" that prevailed in the reality-competition category was the biggest jaw-dropper of the night.
On Wednesday, Fox introduced the radical revamping of the judges panel: Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler in, and Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres out. Randy Jackson, who has been with the show since day one, remains as one of the trio who sit in judgment on the singing hopefuls, and Ryan Seacrest will continue to host.
"American Idol" had its best shot at snagging the Emmy crown this year, submitting the two-hour finale as the sample episode to Emmy judges. Not only did the episode showcase the competitive element of the series, but there was a touching tribute to the curmudgeonly Cowell, who was leaving the show to launch the U.S. version of his Brit hit, "The X Factor." Surprisingly, Seacrest submitted a different episode -- one in which he interacts with the nine remaining contestants -- for the reality-show-host race. Jeff Probst ("Survivor"), who has won in both years of this category, prevailed once more.
As part of Aerosmith, Tyler has taken home four Grammys, all for best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal: "Janie's Got a Gun" (1990); "Livin' on the Edge" (1993); "Crazy" (1994); "Pink" (1998). The group has contended for 17 Grammys in total. Lopez lost both her Grammy races for best dance recording and her two Latin Grammy bids as well. However, she has a pair of American Music Awards and two MTV VMAs to show for her song styling, such as it is.
Photo: Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson at the Forum in Inglewood on Wednesday. Credit: Genaro Molina /Los Angeles Times