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Emmy Round Table

Tough moments on reality TV? The ugly cry face, for starters

TelevisionTop Chef (tv program)The Amazing Race (tv program)RuPaul's Drag Race (tv program)U.S. Department of StatePhil Keoghan
Tough moments on reality TV? The ugly cry face, for starters

The thing about reality TV is that it isn't scripted — truly, it isn't. So when a situation gets a little out of control, it's up to the show's host to handle it, smooth things over, figure out a way to make good TV out of a problem.

The Envelope invited four hosts of top reality competition shows — Phil Keoghan ("The Amazing Race"), Jane Lynch ("Hollywood Game Night"), RuPaul ("RuPaul's Drag Race") and Padma Lakshmi ("Top Chef") — to chat about the reality TV landscape and what keeps their shows fresh to longtime audiences, what is the essence of a good reality TV show and what the challenges of hosting one might be.

On that particular question, Keoghan says it's when he has to stay up all night to come up with a replacement show when, say, the State Department advises against going to the original location. Or, you know, there's also waking up in Ukraine in a room full of smelly people.

For Lakshmi, who acts as a judge on "Top Chef," it's tough to send contestants home. "It's never easy to tell these people, who have given up being with their families, taken leave off work ... it's terrible."

But that's not even the worst of it. There's something else she sometimes has to do on the job that's even harder.

For RuPaul, things can get emotional around the life stories of the young men on his show. And while emotion always makes for compelling TV, it's not something RuPaul necessarily enjoys because "I make that ugly cry face, which is very hard to make," he says.

Get the details on their toughest moments in the video above, and take a look at the other Envelope Emmy Round Table videos as well.

Twitter: @enhowe

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TelevisionTop Chef (tv program)The Amazing Race (tv program)RuPaul's Drag Race (tv program)U.S. Department of StatePhil Keoghan
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