Could Michael Bolton Win an Emmy for Mocking 'Willy Wonka'?

The musician has enlisted friends Brian McKnight, Paula Cole and Natasha Bedingfield to help him stump for the statuette after earning a nomination for Honest Trailers.
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Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton could have an Emmy to place next to his two Grammys when the awards show takes place in September.

Bolton's work with Honest Trailers yielded the web series' second consecutive nomination in the outstanding short-form variety series category, with his soulful take on Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory pointing out some of the more problematic aspects of the 1971 children's film (such as the factory's lack of safety regulations and that the Oompa Loompas seem to be working against their will).

And on Tuesday, he enlisted a number of his fellow musician friends to stump for the Emmy, with Brian McKnight, Paula Cole and Natasha Bedingfield singing "honest theme songs" to this year's outstanding drama series nominees.

For Bolton, the Honest Trailers work is part of a trajectory that began with a 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean-themed collaboration with The Lonely Island. The video was a smash that has garnered 171 million views and raised his profile among younger-skewing comedy fans who may not have followed his multiplatinum recording career.

"Coming off the 'Jack Sparrow' experience and having a whole other universe open up to me, it just kind of made sense," Bolton told Heat Vision of signing on for the Honest Trailer after being approached by the team, led by executive producer Andy Signore.

Signore, who has guided the series to more than 1.5 billion views, grew up on Bolton's music.

"It sounds schmaltzy; the win is that I'm sitting here with Michael," said Signore, sitting in a studio as the pair worked on the Emmys campaign video last week.

Bolton said the Emmy nomination was incidental to his work, and he'd advise Signore to take the same outlook.

"I would tell him that if you are loving what you do and you show up to work and you are just looking forward to long hours and loving your work, the awards will come," said Bolton. "The fan base will grow. But I've seen people win Grammys and not have careers and I have friends who are actors who have been in one hit film and I thought, 'OK, they are OK. Their family is OK' and then they didn't get another film for two years. … [If you put] your time, your heart, your passion into it, and it shows up onscreen, literally the awards will come."