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Guest actresses turn in golden performances

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To look at some of the names -- Lily Tomlin, Ann-Margret, Betty White, Elaine Stritch -- you'd think a career achievement award was up for grabs. No, these screen legends are actually among those duking it out for guest actress Emmys across the comedy and drama categories.

This year, the winners are almost predetermined.

Ann-Margret likely has a lock on the guest drama category after delivering a deliciously whacked-out performance as a former starlet on "Law & Order: SVU." If she wins, she'll be in good company: During its decadelong run, "SVU" has fielded 14 guest actor and actress nominations and four wins, with all four statuettes given out in the past five years.
 

The actress is up against veteran competition in Tomlin ("Damages"), Shirley Jones ("The Cleaner"), Sissy Spacek ("Big Love"), Mary Kay Place ("Big Love") and Elizabeth Mitchell ("Lost"), with Tomlin in particular proving formidable for her season-long run on "Damages."

Comedy, meanwhile, has wrapped its arms around White, up for her hilarious turn as "Saturday Night Live" host (yes, the one Facebook fans campaigned for). White may best even Tina Fey's return to "SNL" as Sarah Palin--on Fey's old stomping ground, no less.

Kristin Chenoweth ("Glee") will have to worry about "Glee" full-timer Jane Lynch ("Two and a Half Men"), and the rest of the pack, including Christine Baranski ("The Big Bang Theory"), Stritch ("30 Rock") and Kathryn Joosten ("Desperate Housewives").

But it's White's race to lose.