DAN J KROLL
Dan is the 27 year-old founder of Soap Opera Central. While his "must see" soaps include just Port Charles and All My Children, Dan does get a chance to watch all of the soaps on a regular basis. Dan started Soap Opera Central as part of his personal home page in 1995. Dan lives near Philadelphia and does somehow find time to do things other than Soap Opera Central, including sports, music, tending to Alfred (the bunny) and enjoying the great Pennsylvania countryside.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
I don't feel that the best shows of the year received nominations. Port Charles invigorated its storytelling with a new format -- and it paid off. Maybe not in the ratings, but in terms of becoming "must see" television, PC rocked. I'm very disappointed that the show did not get a nomination. That said, I feel that As The World Turns will pull off a rare repeat. One Life to Live submitted excellent clips, but I don't feel that Emmy voters will appreciate the clips since they are not necessarily even viewers of daytime television. All My Children could play spoiler.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR
There are two choices on this one. I think Vincent Irizarry has done some very good work over the past year. He's an accomplished actor and I would not be surprised to see him win. However, I am going to go with Hunt Block, an actor whose work I have enjoyed on three soaps now -- As The World Turns, All My Children and Guiding Light. His character is extremely well written and gets to fire off some great lines
A glaring omission in this field is Michael Easton (ex-Caleb Morley, Port Charles). Easton turned in possibly the best performances on all of daytime television last year and his absence from the ballot could be considered the greatest travesty in this year's balloting.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS
I don't think that Martha Byrne will pull off a repeat this year. Her work as twins -- like AMC's David Canary -- is exceptional. However, I think Colleen Zenk Pinter has the best chance of winning this year. I picked Colleen to win Supporting Actress last year, which she ultimately did not win. Her work over the past year as the victim of a fire barn was simply great.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
This one is really, really tough -- Josh Duhamel or Cameron Mathison. When Josh was signed to AMC, a lot of fans -- myself included -- were skeptical about a former model with no acting experience in a pivotal role. There's a tendency, it would seem, to cast beauty before ability. Duhamel definitely is not lacking in ability. He effortlessly covers a wide range of emotions and does it well. It's almost as if the camera is following him around and taping his real, everyday life. Mathison's clips revolve around the heartwrenching loss of his character's wife. Heartbreaking material, but because it was so sad it might not measure up to others with greater range of emotion.
I do, however, feel that there was at least one oversight in this field: Rick Hearst (ex-Matt Clark, The Young and the Restless). Hearst had a great year and should have gotten a nomination.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rebecca Budig (Greenlee Smythe, All My Children) should win this award easily. The trouble is... she wasn't nominated. Crystal Chappell and Kelly Ripa are frontrunners in the field and it's going to be a very close battle, in my opinion. Ripa has been nominated before, but veteran Chappell earned her first nomination this year. I think that veteran status might help Chappell to a win.
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTOR
I think that Brian Presley should win this field, however, I don't think that he'll get the gold because of the supernatural nature of his storyline. Second best in my book was Jacob Young -- and I think he'll end up picking up the Emmy.
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTRESS
Eden Riegel was to have been a shoo-in last year -- and she did not win. I believe that she should have won last year and I think that she should win this year. However, Jennifer Finnigan has a great chance of winning due in part to the strength of her clips. Riegel had a much stronger year as a whole.
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES
I believe that the winner in this category will not be the nominee that most deserves to win. As The World Turns submitted the best batch of clips. All My Children had some great material after new head writer Richard Culliton ascended to the throne. However, One Life to Live had some great written work in its submissions. One of the episodes submitted was a special out-of-sequence installment in which characters swapped personalities with their rivals. Yes, it was a dream sequence -- but the writing was great.
PICKS AT A CLICK (Check an overview of all our panelists' picks)
DAN J KROLL (Soap Opera Central Founder)
MARY MOSHOLDER (Last year's prediction winner)
JEROME YOUNG (Daily Recapper)
SARAH BETH CURRY (Daily Recapper)
LIZ LEE (Message Board Monitor)
LISA CHRISTINE SVENSON (Writer and non-soap watcher)