There are, of course, other soap opera awards. But only one soap awards ballot is determined by actual soap opera fans. That's right, folks, it's the Soap Opera Central Dankies. This was the very first year that the ballot was open to all of the soaps. In year's prior, the emphasis was primarily on All My Children, with separate awards in several main categories for each of the other soaps.
Earlier this year, each of the ten soap sections on Soap Opera Central devoted to "active" soaps held a balloting process. Soap fans were asked to nominate their choices in a variety of categories, including the traditional Leading Actor and Actress categories to more original areas like the Most Memorable Moment. After several weeks of nominating, the top vote getters in each category (within each soap section) were placed on a final ballot. Soap fans were once again asked to cast their votes, but this time those voters had to choose from a name already on the ballot. Again, voting took place over a several week period. When the voting ended, each of the ten soaps had 18 Dankies winners.
But the voting frenzy didn't stop there.
Each of the category winners for each of the ten soaps were placed on a final ballot. For example, the Leading Actor winners from All My Children all the way down to The Young and the Restless were now battling it out against one another. Voters from all soaps were now asked to come together and vote for the best of the best of the soaps.
And vote they did.
In the end, The Dankies were not at all unlike the Daytime Emmys nominees; two soaps virtually dominated the winners' list. On a ballot where there were 18 different categories, only three soaps picked up awards.
Clearly the big winner overall was General Hospital. The ABC soap racked up an amazing ten wins. In second, was fellow ABC soap All My Children with seven wins. Pulling up in third was NBC's Days of our Lives with a single win.
General Hospital's Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) was named Outstanding Lead Actor as well as Outstanding Overall Performer. For both honors, Benard went neck and neck with All My Children's David Canary (Adam and Stuart Chandler).
Benard's on-screen love interest until just a few days ago, Sarah Brown (Carly Corinthos), took top honors among the women. Brown pulled in eight percentage points more of the popular vote than her nearest competitor.
All My Children's Josh Duhamel (Leo du Pres), like Benard, picked up more than one win in this year's awards. Duhamel picked up an award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, in which he is also nominated in this year's Daytime Emmys, as well as the nod for Outstanding Newcomer. Duhamel finished with more than twice as many votes as any of the other Newcomer nominees. In the Supporting Actor field, he raked in nearly one-third of the total vote.
The Outstanding Supporting Actress category was won by a performer no longer with the show for which they were nominated. AMC's Olivia Birkelund (Arlene Vaughan) squeaked out a victory over GH's Amber Tamblyn (Emily Bowen Quartermaine). Birkelund's character was written out earlier this year, but her nomination came for work in the year 2000.
Guiding Light fared very well in both of the categories won by Duhamel. Wesley Ramsey (Sam Spencer) placed third in the Newcomer category and David Andrew MacDonald (Edmund Winslow) placed third in the Supporting Actor category. The second place finishers in both of the categories belonged to General Hospital performers. Additionally, Brittany Snow (Susan Lemay) finished in the bronze medal position for the Supporting Actress category.
Snow also finished third in the Outstanding Younger Performer field. Her finish came behind winner Eden Riegel of AMC and GH's Tamblyn. Riegel is also nominated for an Emmy this year in the Outstanding Younger Actress category.
Days of our Lives picked up its only win in a somewhat dubious category. The program's Virtual Garden of Eden was named the worst storyline of the year. The "winner," if you will, or the nominee with the fewest votes, was Port Charles' "Blackmail" storyline.
GL's George Alvarez (Father Ray Santos) could technically be considered a winner this year. He finished second in the Outstanding Performance in a Recurring Role or Special Guest Appearance. The winner was General Hospital's Kin Shriner (Scott Baldwin), who was at the time of his nominations a performer on Port Charles. Shortly after the final ballot was announced, Shriner moved from Port Charles to GH on a permanent basis.
The Outstanding Drama Series award went to - and it should come as no surprise after reading the list of winners - General Hospital. GH pulled in 20% of the vote, with second place AMC earning 19% of the vote. The margin of victory for GH was about 30 votes. Guiding Light placed third with Passions coming in fourth. Heavily Emmy-nominated As The World Turns came in fifth. The remaining five soaps, in order of final placement, were The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live, Days of our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful and Port Charles.