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Posted at 12:37 PM ET, 09/19/2011

Margo Martindale, Peter Dinklage and more: Rank the biggest Emmy surprises (Video)


Peter Dinklage, accepting his unexpected Emmy for supporting actor in a drama. | GALLERY: This year’s Emmy awards (Kevin Winter/GETTY IMAGES)

This year’s Emmy Awards certainly trafficked in the familiar, delivering entirely expected victories to veteran winners such as “Mad Men,” “Modern Family,” “The Daily Show” and “The Amazing Race.”

But fortunately — in the name of keeping things interesting in ways that didn’t involve Charlie Sheen or Lonely Island musical performances — the ceremony also served up some genuine surprises, particularly in the acting categories.

We’ve covered the biggest snubs of this year’s Emmys. Now here are the five most unexpected Emmy wins, with video of each victor’s acceptance speech. Which one made your jaw hit the floor with the greatest force? Rank them in the poll that follows.

Melissa McCarthy for lead actress in a comedy

During the pageant-style announcement that McCarthy had won for her portrayal of Molly on “Mike and Molly,” it was abundantly clear that McCarthy didn’t see this coming and neither did her fellow nominees.

Julie Bowen for supporting actress in a comedy

It wasn’t a surprise to see a “Modern Family” cast member win. But in this particular category, most people assumed Emmy host Jane Lynch would be walking onstage to accept. As I noted on Twitter last night, after Bowen won she looked like a deer in headlights at a surprise party who had just heard shocking breaking news — flat-out stunned.

Margo Martindale for supporting actress in a drama

The fabulous veteran character actress — who has appeared in more movies and TV shows than it’s possible to mention here — screamed when her name was called as lead supporting actress in a drama. “Sometimes things just take time,” she said upon accepting her award for portraying the dastardly Mags Bennett on “Justified.” “But with time comes great appreciation.”

Peter Dinklage for supporting actor in a drama

Another veteran actor who has been fabulous in films as varied as “The Station Agent” and “Elf,” scored his first Emmy for taking on the role of Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones.”

Kyle Chandler for lead actor in a drama

Out of all the surprise winners, the “Friday Night Lights” star had the hardest time regaining composure and making a speech. “I knew for a fact that I would not be be standing here so I did not worry about writing anything,” he said. “And now I’m starting to worry.” Let that be a lesson to future Emmy nominees: Never count yourself out. Especially not if you’re Coach Eric Taylor.

Now it’s your turn to rank the surprise winners:

By  |  12:37 PM ET, 09/19/2011

Tags:  Emmy Awards

 
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