DAN J KROLL
Dan is the founder and editor of soapcentral.com. His "must see" soap is All My Children, but Dan does get a chance to watch all of the soaps on a regular basis. Dan started soapcentral.com as part of his personal home page in 1995. Dan recently moved to a new house in Center City Philadelphia and does somehow find time to do things other than soapcentral.com, including sports, music, and enjoying the great Pennsylvania countryside. In spite of another abysmal record last year, he has decided to suck it up and again make some predictions
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR
I am a fan of all of the actors nominated in this field. I think I feel as many fans do in that not all of the scenes selected by these actors is necessarily indicative of their best work. I suppose that applies across the ballot in every category. In watching some of the scenes submitted, I am sometimes left scratching my head and thinking, "Voters who don't watch the show on a regular basis much think this person is a horrible actor (or actress)." That said, Kaye's scenes were a little too understated. In his first reel he was more of a supporting player to another performer. Maurice Benard's material seems to be the same year after year -- and I wonder if voters get tired of seeing that. The two gentlemen from Guiding Light has great years -- particularly Ron Raines. It was great to watch him unravel as he played out the storyline in which Phillip was believed to be dead -- but later turned up very much alive. But then again is anyone ever really dead on the soaps? But I digress. Anthony Geary turned in a stellar performance in these scenes that he submitted for voting. The only downside is that the two reels are pretty much the same.
Who I'd like to win: Ron Raines
Who should win: Anthony Geary
Who will win: Anthony Geary
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS
Okay, remember what I typed earlier about those head-scratching selections? Bobbie Eakes is a perfect example of this phenomenon. I like the idea that she selected two consecutive episodes for her Emmy reel. I think that that can help voters get a real feel for what's going on. However, the scenes selected would have served Eakes better in the Supporting Actress category. She is, however, helped by the fact that she and multiple-Emmy winner David Canary have great on-screen chemistry. Kim Zimmer's clips are interesting. I liked watching Zimmer's character go from thinking that she was pregnant to realizing that she was starting menopause. That's an issue that soaps typically do not want to address: women getting older. In a time when everyone needs to be 21 and rail-thin, Guiding Light gets huge props for being contemporary and real. Beth Ehlers really needs to have an Emmy in her home. This year marks her fifth nomination and somehow that little golden statue has eluded her. Unfortunately, based on her clips this year, I think she will have to wait another year. Kelly Monaco may have won the Dancing With the Stars crown, but I don't think that her clips show her finesse as an actress. I loved Monaco on Port Charles, for which she was also nominated for an Emmy. I'm waiting for GH to explore the type of multi-dimensions that made her PC character(s) so interesting. Then there is Susan Flannery. Flannery looks like the kind of woman that you'd want to go out to a bar with and have a few drinks: a calls-it-like-she-sees-it kinda chick. And I say that with no disrespect intended. Flannery is becoming another Erika Slezak: an actress who performs with such ease that she deserves an Emmy for every episode she's in. And based on some of the material in 2006, it's almost certain that Flannery will be back on the ballot next year.
Who I'd like to win: Beth Ehlers
Who should win: Susan Flannery
Who will win: Susan Flannery
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
This is the first category so far that will feature three different names in the could-should-will win section below. Greg Rikaart was the winner in the Younger Actor category last year and he could very well win in this category this year. I'd imagine that he has a hard time picking Emmy clips because just about everything he does is Emmy worthy. I wonder if it is possible that that can work against you. You know... if you make it look too easy. Meanwhile, Jordan Clarke just picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award last year and here he is as a nominee this year. Is that fair? This poor man has waited 23 years for his first Daytime Emmy nomination and gosh darnit -- he deserves it. Trent Dawson cracks me up. His character tends to be a bit campy and why shouldn't he be? Dawson was a part of the ATWT cast for many moons before he was given a contract. I'd like to see him rewarded for his great work over the years. Whereas Eakes submitted comedic clips in the Lead Actress field that will result in her not winning an Emmy, in the Supporting fields I think that a little ham goes a long way. I don't feel the power punch by McCouch or Christopher this year. Granted, Christopher did play a dual role this year and we all know how the Emmy voters love twin storylines! It always bothers me when a performer that I like picks scenes that I feel were not their best work. That's how I feel about McCouch and Christopher's reels this year.
Who I'd like to win: Trent Dawson
Who should win: Greg Rikaart
Who will win: Jordan Clarke
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Okay, so I admit that I have a thing for Renee Elise Goldsberry. Renee is a talented and (obviously) beautiful woman. My problem is that I want to see her in more of a leading capacity and not background filler. Yes, I am aware that this is the Supporting Actress field, but I really want to see the actress in a front burner, powerful storyline. The scenes that Goldsberry submitted were great, but one of them had a bunch of flashbacks that I think will result in her losing some votes. For some reason I thought that I picked Jennifer Ferrin to win an Emmy last year. Ferrin was phenomenal over the past year. Her character lost a child and battled a drug addiction. Watching Ferrin as a high-on-meth basketcase was disturbing, yet so real. But I believe that Crystal Chappell will end up winning this field. Chappell's Emmy clips were, I believe, the longest-running clips of an of the nominees. While it is never good to have a never-ending reel, having a little more content than your competitors is definitely helpful. In one scene Chappell toted a gun and went on a rampage. In her other clip, she shows a more vulnerable side as she copes with the man in her life walking out on her.
Who I'd like to win: Renee Elise Goldsberry
Who should win: Jennifer Ferrin
Who will win: Crystal Chappell
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTOR
This may be the toughest batch of nominees from which to pick a winner. There are three actors that I would say have a very bright future ahead of them. Then there is another actor who has been acting since he was an infant. And, of course, don't forget that one of the actors was a part of the Brady Bunch. I am torn in my "will win" selection between Tom Pelphrey, Michael Graziadei and Jesse Soffer. Scott Clifton is a great performer, but in one of his clips he seemed a bit over the top. His reaction to his girlfriend's friendship with another guy was reminiscent of Jack Nicholson in "The Shining." I kept waiting for him to get an axe and threaten to bash someone's brains in. Definitely not something that would make me want to check off the box next to his name on the ballot. I will say that Clifton's style of acting reminds me of Josh Duhamel, a previous Daytime Emmy winner. I think that Pelphrey gets an edge in voting because one of his scenes was a throwback to an Emmy-winning plot device used by Kim Zimmer in the 1980s. Emmy voters like a nod to history -- and they also like good story. Graziadei is a close second due largely to his association with the "Cassie dies" storyline.
Who I'd like to win: Jesse Soffer
Who should win: Michael Graziadei
Who will win: Tom Pelphrey
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTRESS
This is an interesting category to predict. So Jennifer Landon comes out of nowhere and it thrust into a front burner storyline. I can hear in the back of my head Soap Opera Digest/Weekly's Carolyn Hinsey griping about how she hates when "newbies that nobody cares about" front and center on a show. She's definitely right. But somehow Landon pulled it off and showed that she didn't just land the role because she has a famous father - but she also inherited his acting genes. I thought that Grimes' scenes were great, but it may only be because she died. In one set of clips, Grimes pretty much laid still… and I don't know if that will take points off of her scorecard. It was heartbreaking to see her character die and that emotion factor may help land her just enough extra votes to capture a second Younger Actress trophy.
Who I'd like to win: Leven Rambin
Who should win: Camryn Grimes
Who will win: Jennifer Landon
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES
The Young and the Restless
I won't repeat myself, but read what I had to say about As the World Turns in the Drama Series section above. The Young and the Restless again calls on the "Cassie dies" storyline for its submission. The show must be doing something write, er, right in order to be top-rated for so long. One Life to Live submitted an episode that had a great deal of comedy in it. And if you recall, it was an unusual episode that helped the show win its first-even Outstanding Drama Series crown a few years back. Will OLTL pull off the upset again and win in the Writing category? I'm not sure. I do, however think that The Bold and the Beautiful has a real chance this year. As the only 30-minute soap left on the air, B&B always manages to move story along without things feeling rushed. The show also doesn't have the ability to drag things out since there are only 30-minutes in each episode - so that definitely scores it points with fans.
Who I'd like to win: One Life to Live
Who should win: The Bold and the Beautiful
Who will win: The Young and the Restless