Kambra Clifford is a features editor for Soap Central. She grew up watching All My Children with her mom and sister, which led her to Having It All as a daytime reporter for several outlets. She is a glutton for punishment and is back on the panel of experts for a second year with the clear goal of taking home the top prize -- or at least better her mark of getting one right.
: 1 for 8
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
The thing I love most about this year's race is that outside of GH, all of the series submitted episodes filled with classic soapy drama without all the usual bells and whistles like explosions and other fancy tricks. Most of the material in the reels relies on the traditional storyline twists and turns and powerful performances that make soap operas the captivating shows we tune in to watch on a daily basis. And I respect that.
That being said, if we're judging from reels alone, I actually think GH deserves the win for the most outstanding drama. The black-and-white flashback episodes revolving around Luke's past were beautifully written, beautifully directed, beautifully shot, and beautifully performed. There's no question in my mind that they're award-worthy and that voters will feel the same.
Who I'd Like To See Win: General Hospital
Who Will Win: General Hospital
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR
Anthony Geary will probably take home yet another Emmy Award this year, and that reality pains me. There's no doubt he's a fabulous actor, and he more than delivered in his reel (which I predicted he would last year), but his dismissive attitude toward his history with the series and GH in general this past year really turned by stomach. Seeing someone who's embarrassed or ashamed (or whatever it is that he seems to feel) about the genre take the win from any one of the other actors -- performers who champion soap operas -- would just seem wrong. He's moved on from the daytime world, and I hope Emmy voters have moved on, as well -- to choosing another Lead Actor winner.
One of the other nominees in the category divulged during an interview that Tyler Christopher is the actor who truly deserves the award this year, and I must say I agree. Watching Nikolas fall apart while fearing for the life of his son had me entranced from start to finish. The pain of losing a child is a storyline point that helped several Y&R stars take home the gold the past two years, and I'm hoping the pain of almost losing a child will be a storyline point that is equally rewarding for Christopher.
Who I'd Like To See Win: Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine, GH)
Who Will Win: Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer, GH)
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS
I almost always have a no-questions-asked, hands-down favorite in this category, but this year has proven to be really tough. I'm a huge fan of Kassie DePaiva and would love to see her win the award as a beautiful tie-up to her time at DAYS. She always delivers top-notch work, and her reel showcased her talents perfectly. However, my gut tells me that Maura West will take home the award for the second time in a row. The second half of her reel was a bit weaker than the first, but the beginning scenes when Ava pleads with Silas to take her life are so raw, so emotional, and so Emmy-worthy that the rest of the reel (which is kind of all over the place) can be forgiven -- especially because, despite its faults, Maura does do a good job of playing a completely different character.
Who I'd Like To See Win: Kassie DePaiva (Eve Donovan, DAYS)
Who Will Win: Maura West (Ava Jerome, GH)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
I've been really impressed with B&B's telling of Maya's story, and prior to watching (or rather re-watching) the supporting actor scenes, I had a strong feeling that Jacob Young would get my vote for the win. And though I still believe his scenes are winning material, I find myself suddenly leaning toward Sean Blakemore, instead. His reel isn't filled with the explosive drama and exaggerated emotions that usually have me enthralled, bur rather, it's filled with subtleties -- a man doing everything he can to hold himself together and make the right choice as a parent in order to protect his son. Sean did a beautiful job of holding his character's emotions back but still giving viewers a peek into all of the shock and pain he was really feeling below the surface, and I hope he's rewarded for that brilliance.
On the other hand, I have a feeling Steve Burton might win based on popularity alone. He did a great job in his scenes -- that I don't doubt -- but I'd rather see Blakemore take home the gold.
Who I'd Like To See Win: Sean Blakemore (Shawn Butler, GH)
Who Will Win: Steve Burton (Dylan McAvoy, Y&R)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
I'm admittedly a huge crybaby, and there's something really relieving about watching talented actresses deliver such emotional, passionate performances -- I can bawl my eyes out along with them and don't have to feel guilty about always wearing my heart on my sleeve! (This could stem from the fact that my mom always told me I look exactly like Genie Francis when I cry, which is simultaneously a weird comment and an incredible compliment that perhaps spurs me to cry more often.) Anyway, back to the point, I'm rooting for Lauralee Bell for the win. Admittedly, she's never been my favorite actress or character on Y&R, but she did a damn good job with Christine's miscarriage scenes, and there would be something quite special about watching her win after 33 years of being on the show with nary a nomination that entire time.
However, I think it might be Linsey Godfrey that takes home the gold. She makes crying scenes look so effortless, which is surprising because she's such a sweet and happy person in real life, you'd think she doesn't even really know how to cry!
Who I'd Like To See Win: Lauralee Bell (Christine Blaire, The Young and the Restless)
Who Will Win: Linsey Godfrey (Caroline Spencer, B&B)
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTOR
A strong father/son theme was prevalent across the board in the Outstanding Younger Actor reels this year, which gave them all a similar feeling despite each of them dealing with very different storyline issues. Max Ehrich's Fenmore confronts his dad about divorcing his mother, Pierson Fodé's Thomas struggles to differentiate himself from his father, Tequan Richmond's T.J. says an emotional goodbye to his father figure/guardian, Nicolas Bechtel's Spencer tries to understand what it means to be a Cassadine via his dad, and Bryan Craig's Morgan falls apart while coming to terms with the fact that he has bipolar disorder -- just like his father.
While all of the reels contained special moments (Ehrich's admittedly more so in the non-father/son half of the reel), Craig's reel sits high above the others. Not only did the Florida native manage to brilliantly run the gamut of emotions in his 14-minute clip and make viewers feel the same -- from anger, sadness, fear, confusion, acceptance, and a million others feelings in between -- but the GH writers wrote him beautiful material opposite veteran performer Maurice Benard that pretty much hands him an Emmy on a platter. All Craig really had to do was show up and say the lines, and he could have gotten a nomination. But instead, he created absolute magic by taking quality material and giving the scenes every ounce of the talent he possesses. Your heart breaks for the character in every moment, which is why I believe he'll snag the award.
Who I'd Like To See Win: Bryan Craig (Morgan Corinthos, GH)
Who Will Win: Bryan Craig (Morgan Corinthos, GH)
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTRESS
I didn't think I'd have such a hard time with this category, but wowzers, these young actresses managed to pull off incredible performances this year. Each and every one of them shined in one way or another (though I believe all the flashbacks in Ashlyn Pearce's reel took away from her performance and will hurt her).
In the end, I honestly can't choose between Hunter King and Brooklyn Rae Silzer. Hunter has won in the past with (in my opinion) less strong reels, so I believe the Emmy-voter favorite has a very good shot at winning yet again with these spectacular scenes. So many people can relate to feeling betrayed and wondering how it could have come from someone they love, and her portrayal of the painful situation was extremely powerful. She really showed Summer's vulnerability in a beautiful way.
However, Brooklyn also delivered a very emotional and believable performance -- which I think is so rare to see from such a young child. Her fear, pain, and tears were all so realistic; there was nothing forced about them. I'm not usually a fan of ties, especially in the Emmy race, but I can't help but hope both Hunter and Brooklyn take home awards this year.
Who I'd Like To See Win: A tie between Hunter King (Summer Newman, Y&R) and Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma Drake, GH)
Who will win: Hunter King (Summer Newman, Y&R)
OUTSTANDING GUEST PERFORMER
This is a great category in that it (hopefully) prompts the daytime dramas to cast more recognizable and accomplished actors for story arcs that serve as a bit of a treat for the shows' viewers. All of this year's nominees were fun to watch (especially Dee Wallace), but there's no question in my mind who should win: Obba Babatundé as B&B's Julius. His performance as an unaccepting father during his daughter's (former son) wedding was gut-wrenching. He took a hard role to play and made it so believable; you can't help but never take your eyes off of the man that you simultaneously hate and feel heartbreak for.
Who I'd Like To See Win: Obba Babatundé (Julius Avant, B&B)
Who Will Win: Obba Babatundé (Julius Avant, B&B)