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Emmys 2019: The Biggest Surprises And Snubs

The 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards were quite unpredictable. Going without a host made for some interesting celebrity presentations — like the one that included a line-up of robots and another that felt eerily like an off-off-off-Broadway show — and it wasn't very far into the evening that attendees and audiences at home realized that some of the actors and TV series they thought would win weren't actually taking home any Emmys. A handful of underdogs rose up and took the stage at the ceremony, which aired on Fox on September 22, while some top picks for Emmys were left sitting in their seats at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater. Suffice to say, the night was full of shocking moments, and we're here to break down the biggest ones. 

Here are the standout surprises and snubs from the 2019 Emmy Awards.

Surprise: Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fleabag won big at the 2019 Emmy Awards

Fleabag mastermind Phoebe Waller-Bridge went home with not one but three Emmy Awards following the 2019 ceremony. The English writer-director-actress — whom many may actually recognize as the voice behind the droid L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story — won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (beating Emmy favorite Julia Louis-Dreyfus, nominated for her role on HBO's acclaimed series Veep) and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (for the very first episode of the British comedy-drama). As a whole, Fleabag won Outstanding Comedy Series, and since Waller-Bridge created and wrote the show, the Emmy went directly to her.

Fans of Fleabag — on which Waller-Bridge stars as the titular character (we never learn her real name) who copes with grief using alcohol, sex, and a sharp sense of humor — were obviously thrilled that Waller-Bridge was so richly rewarded at the 2019 Emmy Awards. Even so, many were surprised for one particular reason: Waller-Bridge beat out a bunch of big-name contenders for the Lead Actress in a Comedy Emmy. Not only was she was up against Louis-Dreyfus, but Waller-Bridge was also competing against 2018's winner Rachel Brosnahan (for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Natasha Lyonne (for Netflix's excellent original series Russian Doll), Catherine O'Hara (for fan-favorite show Schitt's Creek), and Christina Applegate (for Dead to Me).

Snub: Schitt's Creek didn't travel upstream to any win

The much-adored comedy series Schitt's Creek, which centers on the (formerly) well-off Rose family after they relocate to a small town called Schitt's Creek that they previously bought as a joke, was up for four Emmy Awards at this year's ceremony. Schitt's Creek was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, Eugene Levy (who plays video store magnate and Rose patriarch Johnny) was in consideration for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Catherine O'Hara (who portrays Johnny's wife and ex-soap opera star Moira) could have taken home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and the series' costume designers Debra Hanson and Darci Cheyne were nominated for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes. Sadly, Schitt's Creek turned none of these nominations into Emmy wins. 

Considering how much love the series has received from fans and critics alike, it's surprising that Emmys voters didn't follow suit, and that the powerhouse talents of Levy and O'Hara weren't enough to beat out their competition in nominees-turned-winners Bill Hader (Barry) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag). 

The good news is that Schitt's Creek has one more shot at Emmy gold, as the series' sixth and final season will hit Amazon Prime on January 7, 2020. So, while Schitt's Creek didn't scoop up any Emmy Awards this year, maybe next year will be its time to shine.

Surprise: Ozark's Jason Bateman and Julia Garner are Emmy-winners

No one was more surprised by his Emmy win than Jason Bateman himself. Best known for his role as Michael Bluth on Arrested Development, Bateman took a dive into a dark drama partially of his own design with the Netflix series Ozark – on which he stars as financial advisor Martin "Marty" Byrde, who moves to the Ozarks and begins laundering money for a drug cartel. Bateman couldn't help but revert to his signature Arrested Development deadpanning when it was announced that he won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and his shocked face became an instant meme

The Ozark surprises at the 2019 Emmys didn't stop there — Bateman's co-star Julia Garner, who portrays a member of a crime family named Ruth Langmore, won the trophy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. This was a major surprise, as Garner was up against four actresses from Game of Thrones for the award: Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) were all nominated. Garner's Outstanding Supporting Actress win marks the first Emmy for the actress, who thanked Bateman in her acceptance speech, saying that he's "been a guiding light since the beginning."

Snub: Veep left the 2019 Emmy Awards empty-handed

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Seinfeld alum and star of the beloved political satire Veep, might have made history at the 2019 Emmy Awards... if only voters had submitted in her favor. For her role as fictional vice president Selina Meyer, Louis-Dreyfus has won numerous Emmys. She was up for a seventh award (her final nomination for Selina Meyer, since Veep wrapped its seven-season run on HBO in May 2019) in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category, and was poised to become the actress with the most Emmy awards for a single role. Ultimately, Louis-Dreyfus missed out on that lucky number seven and that record when Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge was awarded the Lead Actress Emmy instead. 

Veep as a whole didn't win anything at the 2019 Emmys either. Tony Hale, who played Selina's aide Gary Walsh, lost out to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Tony Shalhoub for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Anna Chlumsky, the actress behind the Vice President's Chief of Staff Amy Brookheimer, also conceded to a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series when Alex Borstein took the Emmy during the 2019 ceremony. Other Emmys Veep didn't snag? Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (for Peter MacNicol) and Outstanding Comedy Series (which went to Fleabag).

Surprise: Killing Eve's Jodie Comer beat out a Game of Thrones favorite for Outstanding Lead Actress

Killing Eve actress Jodie Comer killed the competition to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at this year's Primetime Emmys. Her win was undeniably well-deserved — her performance as Villanelle, the assassin with a dangerous attraction to Sandra Oh's MI5 agent Eve Polastri, is all sorts of astounding — but it came as a surprise considering who Comer was competing against. Her fellow category nominees were House of Cards' Robin Wright, Ozark's Laura Linney, This Is Us' Mandy Moore, How to Get Away with Murder's Viola Davis, her Killing Eve co-star Sandra Oh, and the person everyone believed was guaranteed to take home the Emmy, Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke. In the end, Comer's turn as Villanelle proved irresistible to the Television Academy, netting her her very first Emmy Award. Fingers crossed this is the first of many Emmys for the ineffable Comer. 

Snub: Game of Thrones didn't win as many Emmys as predicted

Game of Thrones led the 2019 Emmys nominations pack, but didn't leave the festivities with nearly as many awards as fans thought it would. This isn't to say that Thrones wasn't rewarded; it was, but the vast majority of the 12 Emmys it won were Creative Arts Emmys, which weren't announced during the Primetime Emmys telecast but handed out the weekend prior. The series, which ended its turn on television with a controversial finale in May 2019, landed 10 Creative Arts Emmys – including ones for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Special Visual Effects, Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes, Outstanding Main Title Design, and Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series. 

During the Primetime Emmys on September 22, however, Game of Thrones took home just two of the eight awards it was up for: Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, which went to Tyrion Lannister actor Peter Dinklage. 

It may be the way Thrones ended that kept it from scooping up as many Emmys as it was nominated for, or it may be because there were so many other amazing shows that Emmys voters had to choose from. Sounds like we'll never know for sure.