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Emmys 2010: Which outsiders deserve nominations in the Lead Actor and Actress categories?

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Image Credit: TNT; Quantrell Colbert/The CW; Karen Neal/ABC; ShowtimeWe’re less than 12 hours away from the 2010 Emmy Nominations announcement, and I’m feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve. A kid who is gonna be quickly disappointed to open umpteen boxes of socks, but still… Let me hold on to my feelings of unbridled optimism that Vanessa L. Williams will take home the statuette for four awesome seasons of Ugly Betty for a little while longer. We’ve already discussed our hopes and dreams for unlikely nominees in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress divisions, as well as our out-of-left-field choices for Best Comedy and Drama series. Now let’s turn our attention to the Lead Actor and Actress races. I’ll get the party started:

Regina King, Southland: Didn’t get a nod last year, even though she should’ve. This year, her Det. Lydia Adams struggled to connect with potential new partners while her main man was laid up in a hospital bed, and King’s work was as evocative and subtle as ever. Probably too subtle for voters who fancy ham sandwiches, but still…

Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries: Yeah, his CW series has its slight moments, but Somerhalder’s impishly sexy performance could never be described as such. Even during the teen-angstiest moments of the vampire-girl-vampire triangle, he’s absolutely riveting. You could almost say he sucks all the blood out of the room.

Portia de Rossi, Better Off Ted: Hey, if Lisa Kudrow could score an Emmy nod for her brilliant-but-canceled The Comeback, shouldn’t de Rossi get similar love for her legendary — yes, legendary, people! — performance as icy, obtuse Veronica Palmer?

John Corbett, United States of Tara: On a show that could get frequent flier miles for its flights of fancy, Corbett’s performance as long-suffering Max is terrifically grounded. Just because he doesn’t have the movie-star-slumming-on-the-small-screen cred of Toni Collette doesn’t mean he’s not Emmy-worthy.

Okay, it’s your turn. Tell us which non-traditional nominees you’d like to see for Best Actor and Actress (Comedy and/or Drama). Remember, the best argued snubs could wind up as EWwy nominees next month!

Read more:

2010 Emmys: Which longshots deserve nods in the Supporting Actor/Actress categories?

Emmys 2010: Which longshots deserve nominations in the Best Comedy and Best Drama Series races?