The Emmy nominations came out today and were full of the usual suspects. Mad Men ruled. The entire cast of Modern Family scored deserved acting nominations. Glee got nominated for Best Comedy despite having an uneven-at-best year.
There were some cool sorta surprises too. Game of Thrones found its way into the Best Drama Series category. So did the sadly under-watched Friday Night Lights. Perhaps most awesome of all is Louis C.K.’s Best Actor nomination for Louie.
But wait, who’s that, off there in the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special category? It’s Lady Gaga for her The Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden HBO special. We’d recognize that wig anywhere!
Gaga wasn’t the only Grammy winner to score an Emmy nod today. Justin Timberlake snagged another nom for hosting Saturday Night Live. The erstwhile singer already has television’s highest honor in his stacked trophy case, having won the Emmy for hosting SNL back in 2009.
That means Justin, at just 30 years old, already has two of the four awards that combine to create the entertainment industry’s highest achievement: EGOT. That’s Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, the annual major awards for television, music, film and theater, respectively.
It’s clear Gaga and JT have that special something that defies the restrictions of their mediums. Some performers are perfect for TV but can’t carry a film to save their lives. There are musicians who should never step in front of a camera (see: Spears, Britney, Crossroads). Then there’s JT, who came this close to an Oscar nomination for the much-awarded The Social Network, and Gaga, who took to the stage early with lead roles in school productions of Guys and Dolls and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Only twelve people, including Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli, Whoopi Goldberg and Audrey Hepburn, have ever captured all four awards. Could Justin and Mother Monster join their esteemed ranks?
Justin has won six Grammy Awards and Lady Gaga has five, so both already have the G in EGOT taken care of. As previously mentioned, JT also has the E too, and now Gaga is up for it (and based on her competition, which includes Pee-Wee Herman and The Kennedy Center Honors, we’d say she has a pretty good shot at a win).
Their chances at the remaining awards vary.
Timberlake’s turn as Napster mastermind Sean Parker earned great reviews in director David Fincher’s The Social Network. Some predicted he could score an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. That didn’t happen, though the film did earn eight nominations, including Best Picture, and took home awards for its score, screenplay and editing.
It’s promising that he earned such big buzz for one of his first major roles. He is clearly endeavoring to start a full-fledged film career and is doing well so far – the recent Bad Teacher is a box office hit and expectations are high for his upcoming Friends with Benefits, co-starring Mila Kunis. While neither of those films are going to take him to the Oscars, the more experience he gets under his belt the better he will get at his craft. If The Social Network proved one thing, it’s that he’s already gold in the right role with the right director. So give this guy a few years and a couple more movies and then hook him up with an A-list director. The Oscar will follow soon after.
Gaga very well end up performing at the Oscars this year: She and Elton John dueted on the song “Hello, Hello” from the soundtrack to Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet, and the Academy loves tunes like this from animated features. The Best Song Oscar, however, goes to songwriters, and Lady G didn’t write “Hello, Hello” (John did, with his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin). Since we’ve never seen her act on screen, that leaves us at square one.
However, if you look back at the winners of the Best Song Oscar, two encouraging facts emerge. One is that the Academy, especially in recent years, has been open to awarding mainstream recording artists, from Eminem to Three 6 Mafia, for their contributions to film soundtracks. The other is that a certain pop singer to whom Gaga is often compared has been the voice behind not one but two Best Song Oscar winners. Though she didn’t pen the songs, Madonna sang “Sooner or Later” from Dick Tracy and "You Must Love Me” from Evita (the actual awards went to Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, respectively). Both signal the embrace of pop by the Academy, which can only mean good things for Gaga should she decide to write a song for a film.
When it comes to the Tony, Gaga has the advantage. She did a lot of theater in high school and hers is a voice that can sing just about anything (check out her a cappella take on “Born This Way” here – it’ll give you chills). She also has the kind of outsized personality that does well on stage. If she ever decides she would like to chill out in her hometown of NYC for a little bit, she could take on a Broadway musical and all evidence points to her rocking it.
Justin has a great voice, but has admitted himself that he is no belter, which you usually have to be to conquer a Broadway score. It might be smart to stick to a play then, and movie stars have been doing well at the Tonys lately, with recent winners including Scarlett Johansson and Denzel Washington. That could work in Justin’s favor. So could his known stage presence. (Remember when he used to perform in arenas? He was great!) Putting the T in his EGOT is a bit of a wild card, but Timberlake is a hard worker and we think that once he gets this whole acting thing down, he’ll be able to do just about anything.
Do you think Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake can EGOT? Let us know in the comments.