NEW YORK - The ladies of "The View" are embracing their inner Susan Luccis.
After eight Daytime Emmy nominations for best talk show hosts and eight losses, they're so confident of another defeat that the 8-year-old show is staging a "Watch the Ladies Lose" contest in which three viewers will be flown to Hollywood to watch the ceremony.
They're not yet halfway to Lucci territory - the "All My Children" actress lost 18 times before winning best actress in a soap opera in 1999.
"There's always this taboo about discussing who will win and who will lose," said Bill Geddie, the show's executive producer. "We know we're losing. Why not just own up to it?"
Talk shows with multiple hosts traditionally don't win, he said. Ellen DeGeneres won last year, and she's the only single host nominated this year.
"There's always somebody to hate, and we've got five of them," he said. "There's always somebody you're not going to like and the nature of the show is we tick people off now and then."
The nominees - Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones Reynolds, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck - will poke fun at themselves next month by highlighting the "top 5 reasons the ladies won't win." Daytime Emmys co-host Tom Bergeron will also give "The View" a backstage look at things the winners see, but "The View" hosts won't.
Three fans who win the contest will be flown first to New York for a makeover and then to Hollywood, where they will meet Hasselbeck on the red carpet.
All the fuss provides a month's worth of publicity for the Daytime Emmys, which are being held April 28 and televised on ABC - not coincidentally the network where "The View" is usually seen.
"I think it just speaks to the fact that we don't take ourselves too seriously," Hasselbeck said.
Down deep, she's not quite as ready as Geddie to admit defeat.
"I'm an optimist, so I still feel like we could win," she said. "I like to go into things saying I'm the underdog, but I'm going to win."
Could this actually be some sort of counterintuitive campaign? Could calling attention to their losing streak help them win?
"It's a very good question," Geddie said. "My guess is the timing is such that we're probably deep into the voting process. Probably a lot of decisions have already been made. In essence, Ellen has already won. It would be funny if it backfired and we wound up winning, but I don't think that's going to be the case."