What do mice in a barrel have to do with the Daytime Emmys? Before this year, probably not a whole heck of a lot. But that was before David Lago (Raul Guittierez) became the big cheese in the Outstanding Younger Actor category.
This year marked the fifth nomination for Lago in the Younger Actor category, but this year's nomination was decidedly different than the previous four - his nomination was announced nearly six months after he had taped his final episodes for The Young and the Restless.
Upon taking the stage, the velvet-clad Lago delivered what some saw as a rambling speech about mice in a bucket of cream instead of a traditional acceptance speech. Later, Lago revealed that he had delivered the speech - which turned out to be lines from the motion picture "Catch Me If You Can" - because he had no other speech prepared. Lago's former co-star Thad Luckinbill (JT Hellstrom) dubbed Lago his "hero" for having had the courage to deliver such a speech.
After his exit from The Young and the Restless, Lago shied away from the media and did not discuss the reasons behind his exit. The media and fans were left to wonder if the actor had left on his own terms or if he had been let go. Now, Lago freely admits that he had been let go from the show.
"See, I can't give you a straight answer," Lago finally admitted. "If I knew the answer, bro, I would give you an honest answer. I don't know the real answer and I probably never will. I was told many different reasons. I don't know why. It might've been the budget, it might've been the storyline, it might've been whatever.
"It happened a year before my contract was over, and I never talked to the press about it," Lago continued. "Everybody wanted to know, 'Are you leaving? Are you fired?' I didn't talk — not because I was mad or anything, but just because I never figured it out myself. I never gave a straight answer, so I went ahead and I used today as the time to let everybody know I was let go."
The Daytime Emmy ceremony provided Lago with two family reunions - one with his biological family and another for his soap opera family. Lago said that because his family is so big, there are not often chances for them all to come together.
Lago is not currently seeking a return to daytime television or even acting for that matter. The actor revealed that he is working on a career in music.
"I'm trying to become a rock star," he smiled.
The was The Young and the Restless' third win in this category.
In each of her four nominations, Eden Riegel was often dubbed "the favorite" to win by media observers and soap fans. However, coming into the night Riegel was zero-for-three in her previous Emmy at bats. Some fans chalked it up to "The Lucci Curse," claiming that anyone tied to legendary soap diva Susan Lucci (Erica Kane, All My Children) would befall unfavorable Emmy luck. After all, it took Lucci 19 tries before she picked up her first daytime Emmy.
When asked about her previous nominations, Riegel was surprisingly upbeat.
"It's better to be the underdog than the frontrunner," the actress said softly. "There is something to be said about not winning. Now I can see this for what it really is. The true reward is in finding fulfillment in the work itself."
Riegel was viewed as a shoo-in to win in 2001 after her character became one of the first openly lesbian characters on daytime television. But it would not be until four years later - the year that she opted to exit her groundbreaking role - that she would finally get her Emmy.
"Do I really get to hold this?" an exuberant Riegel gasped as she fought back tears. Riegel then offered praise to Lucci for all that she had taught her during her AMC tenure. "Thank you to Susan [Lucci]... for being my second mom. And mom for being my first mom."
Leaving All My Children earlier this year was not an easy decision for Riegel to make, but the actress expressed a desire to seek out other opportunities.
"I knew that [leaving AMC] was the right thing to do, but it was very difficult and emotional for me to do. I want to play different roles and see what's out there," Riegel said. "All My Children was such a positive experience from start to finish."
For the moment, Riegel giggles that she is "enjoying being a beach bum," but that the job prospects in her new homebase of Los Angeles are "encouraging."
This marked All My Children's third win in this category. Ironically, the last AMC win in this category was 10 years when future vampire slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar picked up an award for playing Lucci's other on-screen daughter, Kendall Hart. Gellar also won her award after she had exited the show.
IN-DEPTHFind out was scenes Riegel submitted in her Emmy reel.