5 Biggest upsets in Daytime Emmy history

Jun 23, 2012 at 12:35 a.m. ET

With 23 nods, General Hospital is the contender to beat. And, wow, if now-defunct soap All My Children were to topple GH that would really be something. AMC does have some precedent on its side, as there have been a number of strange and thrilling upsets in the Daytime Emmy Awards for nearly four decades. Below is a sampling of some of the biggest jaw-droppers. Here's to some surprises at the 39th awards ceremony on Saturday!

Judge Judy Emmy UpsetsCristina's Court vs. Judge Judy

If you don't remember Cristina's Court during the onslaught of judge shows during the mid-2000s, that's OK. The show featuring Judge Cristina Perez only ran for three seasons. But it managed to"rob" Judge Judith Sheindlin of her rightful statue in 2008. At the time, Perez's series had barely survived its first season, while Judge Judy had dominated the ratings for courtroom-themed reality shows for more than a decade. Cristina won two more Emmys, including one after the show was canceled in 2010. Judge Judy is fast-approaching Susan Lucci territory as the "always a nominee, never a winner." While nominated 14 times, The New York Post reports the most-popular TV judge by a mile continues to get shut out of the winner's circle. This year, she wasn't nominated at all.

The View vs. Ellen

A year after Judge Judy was first "robbed" of the statue by Judge Cristina, the ladies of The View, in a surprise twist, won over Ellen DeGeneres in the "Talk Show" category. This upset is memorable for a couple of reasons that have nothing to do with Ellen's streak being broken. First, it's no secret the powers-that-be behind the awards don't favor ensemble casts. And for the first time in the show's history an ensemble cast won! Yay. Problem was, and to the second reason this upset is so memorable, the ladies weren't there to accept the award. Turns out, they were so used to losing that they didn't show up. Castmate Sherri Shepherd even tweeted -- shortly before the big win -- "In hot Ft Lauderdale FL checking out the Daytime Emmys -- maybe a win next year ;0( ." Seven minutes later that tweet was followed with: "Jesus! We won!" and "The one time I decided not to go we win!"

The Bold and the Beautiful vs. One-hour soaps

2009 was a big year for upsets. And, while B&B went into the awards show with several statues under its belt, it never had the "all-around trophy." That all changed when B&B won its first "Outstanding Drama Series" since it started in the 1980s. The soap's prevailing over formidable contenders, All My Children and Days of Our Lives, was also notable because it marked the first time a CBS program had won in 22 years. And many soap-watchers thought it could never happen, because the 30-minute show was disadvantaged by going up against one-hour rivals. In another twist, if you don't remember Bold's acceptance speech, don't worry. It's not your memory. That year, the awards were televised -- for the first time -- on the CW. Due to time constraints, the channel cut the end of the show short that year.

Suze Orman vs. Martha Stewart

The Queen of Craft and her show, Living, were long accustomed to sweeping the Emmys in the "service show" and "host" categories. But then something happened in 2005, right as Martha was set to go to jail for insider trading: The program that had won six out of the seven times it was nominated for a statue lost. When personal finance guru Suze Orman got the gold in 2006, a Martha-watcher on hand for the event dared to utter: "Looks like Martha's goose is cooked." It didn't help that Martha's ratings were plummeting. J.P. Morgan reports that, with the exception of one year, the combined TV-magazine franchise failed to make a profit in the past nine years.

Susan Lucci vs. The world

Of course, at some point, even a blind squirrel gets a nut, right? So we all knew that it was inevitable that the "always a bridesmaid …" All My Children actress would eventually get her coveted statue. But it seemed everyone just got used to the actress that was Erica Kane losing. After all, she had 18 failed nominations. But perhaps no one was more accustomed to losing than Lucci herself. The soap star got so used to it, in fact,  that while guest hosting on Saturday Night Live in 1990, the cast and crew circled 'round her carrying statuettes that looked like Ms. Emmy. It would still be another nine years before Lucci would have a real statuette to call her own. In easily one of the top moments in Daytime Emmy history, presenter Shemar Moore says: "The streak is over!" Remember that? It clicked with everyone in the audience that Lucci finally won. Michael Fairman has called the ensuing standing ovation the longest in his 20 years producing the awards shows. The curse was over, and it actually brought some of the other Queens of Daytime, including Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah Winfrey, to tears.

You be the judge: What are your picks for the biggest upsets of the Daytime Emmys?

Image courtesy of Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com