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Rebecca Budig has finally earned her very first Soap Opera Central award - in fact, she picked up four Dankies. Last year, Budig was nominated for a whopping five Dankies in her first year of eligibility, but the actress failed to capitalize on any of those nominations.
Budig received nominations this year in the Outstanding Lead Actress, Favorite Character (for Greenlee Smythe), Most Attractive Actress and Outstanding Overall Performer. Budig won each one of those categories. Budig, who was bested for Outstanding Supporting Actress last year by Olivia Birkelund (ex-Arlene Vaughan) graduated to the Lead Actress field this year and cruised to an easy win. Budig earned more than three times as many votes as her nearest competitor, Susan Lucci (Erica Kane). Last year's winner, Kelly Ripa (Hayley Vaughan Santos) was not nominated in this field this year. Ripa and Lucci are the only actresses to win in this field more than once - both of them twice - in the seven-year history of the Dankies.
While Budig was the top winner among the women, there was no clear-cut male victor this year.
Josh Duhamel (Leo du Pres), who emerged as one of last year's big winners, easily earned a win in the Outstanding Lead Actor category. Duhamel had been pitted against some of All My Children's veteran performers - David Canary (Adam Chandler and Stuart Chandler), Michael E Knight (Tad Martin) and Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery). This marked the first time since 1996 since Canary did not win the category. In 1996 John Callahan (Edmund Grey) took the prize. In 995, the first year that the then-AMC Pages held an online award ceremony, Keith Hamilton Cobb (ex-Noah Keefer) was named the top AMC actor.
Eden Riegel (Bianca Montgomery) was this year's only other multiple winner. Riegel was named Outstanding Younger Performer for a second consecutive year. She was also the winner in the Supporting Actress field. The Supporting Actress field has the distinction of having no multiple winner in Dankies history. A different actress has won the award every year since 1995.
Among the storylines last year, fans were riveted by Bianca's coming out, but heartbroken - no pun intended - by Gillian's death and subsequent organ donation storyline. The Bianca saga took honors as the top storyline of the year, while Gillian's death was named the worst plot of the year.
Esta TerBlanche (Gillian Andrassy) was remembered by AMC viewers - the actress was named the Most Missed Performer. A result of a storyline gone wrong, Laura Kirk English was chosen as the Least Favorite Character.
The most seasoned AMC performer to win a Dankie this year was Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery). Mathison earned his fifth consecutive Most Attractive Actor trophy. Mathison joined the cast of All My Children in 1998.
Also in the Dankies fun fact file is that this year's final ballot received more than twice as many votes as last year's ballot.
All of this year's AMC winners will be entered into the all-soaps edition of the Soap Opera Central awards and will square off against the nine other winners of the other Dankies contests.
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