Emmy Predictions: Who’s Taking Home a Golden Girl?

Anthony Geary General Hospital
Anthony Geary General Hospital

Trying to guess the Daytime Emmy winners in the soap categories is always a daunting, and usually foolish, task. But this is the toughest year in memory because there is way too much fantastic work in some categories and, in others, barely any. And don’t get me started on the fact that all four soaps were nominated for best show, best writing and best directing. What is this, kiddie soccer where everyone gets rewarded just for showing up? My advice: Expect some very unexpected names in those envelopes. Ah, well, it’s only a piece of hardware, right?

Outstanding Drama Series
The Nominees:
The Bold and the Beautiful, CBS
Days of Our Lives, NBC
General Hospital, ABC
The Young and the Restless, CBS

This one’s a crapshoot, since every submission has its pros and cons and no show truly stands above the rest. B&B picked those eye-popping episodes filmed on location in Abu Dhabi and Paris—short on acting but technically dazzling. Days chose Sonny and Will’s gay wedding, clunky but historic, and the episode where Sami finds EJ shot in the park, which was pretty close to superb. GH also wooed the judges with a mixed bag—Day 1 of the Nurses’ Ball, which was so very painful, and the Carly-Franco wedding, which was thrilling entertainment. Y&R shamelessly stuck with the same dead-child plot that won them lots of gold last year, submitting the Billy-Adam face-off at the site of Delia’s hit-and-run, and the episode commemorating the one-year anniversary of the little girl’s death. Which show will take it? Your guess is as good as mine. Probably better.

Winner: Days of Our Lives
Likeliest Upset: The Young and the Restless

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
The Nominees:
Anthony Geary (Luke), General Hospital
Christian LeBlanc (Michael), The Young and the Restless
Billy Miller (Billy), The Young and the Restless
Jason Thompson (Patrick), General Hospital

This award shouldn’t go to anyone but Geary, who stars opposite himself (pictured above) as the doped-up, straight-jacketed Luke Spencer and the sardonic, demonic doppelganger we all called Fluke (whom we now know was a figment of Luke’s mad mind). These are the finest moments of Geary’s long and distinguished career, and the only thing that might stop voters from giving him the Emmy is that he already has seven. But it would be a shame—make that a federal crime—if they hold that against him. LeBlanc is very, very good as an in-denial Michael finally admits to his wife that he has prostate cancer, but the actor is sabotaged by some ludicrously written scenes. Miller is harrowing as Billy confronts his daughter’s killer at gunpoint in a dynamic episode scripted by Lindsay Harrison. (Y&R needs to hire this gal permanently. Stat!) Geary’s chief competition may be his co-star Thompson, magnificent as his character, Patrick, sadly struggles to understand why he’s being abandoned—yet again—by his emotionally scattered wife.

Winner: Anthony Geary
Likeliest Upset: Jason Thompson

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
The Nominees:
Peggy McCay (Caroline), Days of Our Lives
Alison Sweeney (Sami), Days of Our Lives
Gina Tognoni (Phyllis), The Young and the Restless
Maura West (Ava), General Hospital
Laura Wright (Carly), General Hospital

There should be no surprise no matter who wins because all of the work submitted is so damn strong. We take issue with McCay, a brilliant but rarely-seen supporting actress, being in this category with only four minutes of footage to show for herself, but what she delivers is choice. Y&R newbie Tognoni is on fire in the episode she sent the judges, but there is a coldness in her day-to-day work— again, let’s blame it on the writing—so a win here would be premature and sort of wrong. Wright, as always, is flawless. West kills with a performance that’s equal parts cyanide and soul, and watching her is like watching soap history being made. People will remember this performance for decades. In the end, however, it’s the never-before-nominated Sweeney who deserves the prize. In a blistering fantasy sequence, her character, Sami, discovers that her fiancé has been shtupping the babysitter, and Sweeney plays it balls-to-the-wall. There’s much sound and fury and gut-wrenching pain, of course, but also startling sweetness and humor and some really awesome sass. We’ve seen a cuckolded lady have a meltdown a million times before in soaps. Never like this.

Winner: Alison Sweeney
Likeliest Upset: Maura West

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
The Nominees:
Scott Clifton (Liam), The Bold and the Beautiful
Chad Duell (Michael), General Hospital
Kristoff St. John (Neil), The Young and the Restless
Jacob Young (Rick), The Bold and the Beautiful

There is much solid, admirable work here but is it really trophy-worthy? Only St. John scores big in scenes where his character, Neil—struck by blindness and bitter as hell—has an intensely uncomfortable reunion with his younger brother, Malcolm, played once again by an equally powerful Shemar Moore (below, right, with St. John)—who should have been nominated in the Guest Performer category but wasn’t, due to some lame NATAS rule. Should St. John be trumped by one of the other guys in this category, no worries. He’ll be back in the running next year.

Winner: Kristoff St. John
Likeliest Upset: Chad Duell

The Young and The Restless
Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
The Nominees:
Linsey Godfrey (Caroline), The Bold and the Beautiful
Amelia Heinle (Victoria), The Young and the Restless
Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe), The Young and the Restless
Finola Hughes (Anna), General Hospital
Lisa LoCicero (Olivia), General Hospital

Another tough one. The nominators seem to find Heinle and Hendrickson a lot more fascinating than I do, but they certainly do shine. Hughes is a miracle of steely understatement and so bloody fine in her scenes with the great Ian Buchanan that you just want to weep—not just for the hopelessly estranged Anna and Duke but for the loss of one of daytime’s most magnificent couples (Buchanan filmed his exit scenes at GH last week). Godfrey is almost supernaturally perfect—and so heartbreaking—as her character, Caroline, gets roasted by her husband for having an affair. Then there’s LoCicero, who offers something rarely found in Daytime Emmy soap reels—belly laughs galore—when her character, Olivia, does a little drunk dialing. I’d love to see a three-way tie, with Hughes, Godfrey, and LoCicero, but I think the latter will take it. Kudos, too, to LoCicero’s scene partner Wally Kurth (Ned), who is priceless and oughta have a few Emmys of his own.

Winner: Lisa LoCicero
Likeliest Upset: Linsey Godfrey

Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series
The Nominees:
Bryan Craig (Morgan), General Hospital
Max Ehrich (Fen), The Young and the Restless
equan Richmond (TJ), General Hospital
Freddie Smith (Sonny), Days of Our Lives

Why does NATAS insist on having these younger categories, when there’s never enough sterling work to properly fill them out? Why should kids, many of them just moderately talented, have an Emmy just because of their age when so many of our greatest, most-deserving soap veterans don’t have one? That said, there are two splendid performances here. Craig, who should have won last year, is back with another dynamic turn as hot-mess mafia spawn, Morgan. The guy is a star! But Richmond may have the edge, as his character, TJ, is confronted by some ghastly family skeletons. Most actors need words to be revelatory. Richmond does it with silence.

Winner: Tequan Richmond
Likeliest Upset: Bryan Craig

Days of Our Lives Camila Banus
Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series
The Nominees:
Kristen Alderson (Kiki), General Hospital
Camila Banus (Gabi), Days of Our Lives
Hunter King (Summer), The Young and the Restless
Haley Pullos (Molly), General Hospital

What am I missing here? With the exception of Banus (left)—immensely moving as her character, Gabi, confesses to murder—the work seems standard issue. And there’s nothing more to say about it.

Winner: Camila Banus
Likeliest Upset: Hunter King

Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series
The Nominees:
Meredith Baxter (Maureen), The Young and the Restless
Sally Kellerman (Constance), The Young and the Restless
Donna Mills (Madeline), General Hospital
Linda Elena Tovar (Rosalie), General Hospital
Fred Willard (John), The Bold and the Beautiful
Ray Wise (Ian), The Young and the Restless

Nobody except Baxter is doing any heavy lifting here, making this newly returned category more of a lark and a way to amp up the star power of the Daytime Emmys. (Alas, NATAS won’t present this award on air, and has pushed the category to a non-televised ceremony taking place two days earlier.) I can easily see Mills, who is enjoying quite a career renaissance, appealing to the judges with her doe-in-headlights, diva-in-distress routine, which is always enjoyable and eternally cool. Willard could also grab votes for his irresistible goofiness, as well as the surprise factor.(What on Earth is he doing on a soap?) But I’m betting on Wise, who was sublimely smarmy as a self-help guru from hell. Plus, look at the guy! He deserves an Emmy just for that puss.

Winner: Ray Wise
Likeliest Upset: Fred Willard

But, hey, don’t take my word for any of this! You can view all of the actor reels at PopTV.com and decide for yourself. And don’t forget to watch the Daytime Emmys, airing live on Pop, Sunday, April 26 (8 p.m./ET, 5 p.m./PT), followed immediately by the premiere of Pop’s trashtastic reality show Queens of Drama. Check out our juicy preview interviews with Donna Mills here and Vanessa Marcil here. Guaranteed: You will be talking about these Queens on Monday morning!