Though the Nielsen ratings may contradict it, Guiding Light fans have an awful lot to cheer about. The results of this year's GL Online Awards, known as The Dankies, showed that fans enjoy the work of an assortment of performers rather than just one or two "superstars."
The Outstanding Leading Actor category featured four well-known Guiding Light stars. The winner, Paul Anthony Stewart (Danny Santos), raked in just under 50% of the total votes cast. In his win, Stewart bested Bradley Cole (Richard Winslow), earning one-quarter of the vote, Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding) and Robert Newman (Josh Lewis).
In a rare feat, the results of the Outstanding Leading Actress finished in a near dead-heat. Percentage-wise, there were two winners. However, by the total number of votes cast, Beth Ehlers (Harley Davidson Cooper) earned the top honors. She squeaked to a win by just eight votes over Joie Lenz (ex-Michelle Bauer).
David Andrew MacDonald (Edmund Winslow) managed to win one for the royals as he cruised to a fairly comfortable win in the Outstanding Supporting Actor field.
Young Brittany Snow (Susan Lemay) pulled off what some may see as a surprising win in the Outstanding Supporting Actress field. Others argue that the field was not as stiffly contested as the Leading Actress category. Regardless of which side of the argument you find yourself, Snow did grab 57% of the votes cast. Liz Keifer (Blake Marler) placed second, but earned less than half of Snow's vote total. Snow continued her winning ways, also taking the Outstanding Younger Performer category. Hayden Panettiere (ex-Lizzie Spaulding) and Joie Lenz (ex-Michelle Bauer) placed just behind Snow in an all female field.
Wesley Ramsey (Sam Spencer) topped Mark Dobies (Noah Chaser) for Outstanding Newcomer. Jordi Vilasuso (Tony Santos) and Paul Wasilewski (Max Nickerson) finished third and fourth in a field that featured only male nominees.
Paul Anthony Stewart picked up a second award in the Most Attractive Male Performer category. Stewart's on-screen belle, Laura Wright (Cassie Layne Winslow), picked up a matching award among the women.
Wright's victory meant that Joie Lenz had failed to capitalize on three of her four basic category nominations. (She picked up a fifth nomination in the Outstanding Overall Performer field, as did all Supporting and Leading nominees.) In each of her three losses, Lenz finished in no worse than second place and gathered no less than 26% of the vote. The news was not all bad, though, for the young actress. Lenz was named Most Missed Performer over her former on-screen mother-in-law from hell, Saundra Santiago (Carmen Santos). Maeve Kinkead (Vanessa Reardon) placed second in the field.
George Alvarez (Father Ray Santos) was honored for his non-contract role and won the award for Outstanding Performance in a Recurring Role or by a Special Guest.
In the most dubious award of the year, Claire Ramsey was named Least Favorite Character - but it was a close battle. May Merisi finished just behind Claire for second place while Reva Shayne finished a much distant fourth, making her the most liked of the least liked characters.
But Reva earned another of the less-than-desirable honors. "Not Your Usual INS," a storyline in which Reva went undercover to bust up an illegal immigration ring, was named the Least Favorite Storyline of the year. On the other side of the coin, Richard and Cassie's courtship took the prize as the top storyline.
In the Outstanding Overall Performer category, each of the nominees in the Outstanding Leading Actor and Actress and Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress categories were placed in a single category. Voters were then asked to pick one of those performers that turned in the best overall performance in the past twelve months.
The battle for the top GL Online Awards honors was much closer than it was in other Dankies in other soap sections. In the end, Paul Anthony Stewart continued his winning ways. Beth Ehlers placed second, trailing Stewart by about 30 votes. Joie Lenz was third.