Daytime Emmys experts’ smackdown: Best Younger Actress

Two of our top Experts at predicting the Daytime Emmys — Nelson Branco (Soap Opera Uncensored) and Dan J. Kroll (Soap Central) — have been battling about the winners of the Daytime Emmy Awards. They have already squared off over Best Drama Seriesagreed on Best Actor and differed over Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Younger Actor

Now they turn their attention to Best Younger Actress. In this category, they both predict a first win for Christel Khalil (“Young and the Restless“) after three losses (2004, 2006, 2010). 

(See all their Daytime Emmys predictions by clicking on their names: NelsonDan.)

Nelson Branco: Christel Khalil (“Young and the Restless”)
Poor Victoria Rowell: Christel Khalil has been nominated several times in this category (three other times) but has deservedly failed to win. But that will change this year. The “Y&R” starlet submitted one of the best reels I’ve ever seen in this category — and no one is even close.

Khalil will more than likely become the only non-ABC actor to take home a statuette this year. Yep, Daniel Goddard’s firing was the best thing that ever happened to Khalil. As Lily grappled with her insanity (her “dead” husband, Cane, was popping up every where, even making love to her), Khalil was astonishing in an episode with a beginning, middle and end, which provided the actress a variety of emotions to play narratively and viscerally.

However, the Academy loves to honour actors who are not very talented in this category — especially actors who have moved on to prime-time TV roles so don’t be shocked if “Days of Our Lives“‘s Shelley Hennig (who starred on the recently cancelled “The Secret Circle”) creates an upset.

FYI: This will be Khalil’s second last chance to compete in this category and usually the Academy will honour actors, like “B&B”’s Scott Clifton last year, as they age out.

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Dan J. Kroll: Christel Khalil (“Young and the Restless”)
This is a really, really tough category to pick a winner. It was impossible to pick one reel that stood out from the others in the category, and I’m not opposed to giving out four Emmys (or chopping one up into four pieces, but I suspect NATAS would frown upon that). But since that probably won’t happen… let’s analyze.

When Molly Burnett was last nominated in 2010, she submitted an episode that showed her comedic side. She didn’t win then, but we’ll never know if it was because she submitted funny in a “drama series” category. This time around, Molly submitted good ole drama. There was classic bitchiness in a confrontation with Chloe, and then big-time shock when Chloe asked if Melanie might be pregnant. I bought it.

Ironically, the last time Burnett was nominated, her co-star Shelley Hennig was nominated, too. I really liked her episode (which was the same episode that Burnett submitted, though they didn’t appear in any scenes together.) The scene started slow, with Mark Hapka (Nathan Horton) having the bulk of the dialogue. He shined — and I am not sure if that works for or against Shelley. But when the second half of the reel started, Shelley soared. Her begging and pleading for Nathan to give another chance was good stuff. The reel also ended up a high note. Do voters want to reward a damsel in distress? I don’t know.

Christel Khalil was my pick for Emmy winner two years ago. I’m still convinced that she had the best reel that year. This time around, Lily believes that she’s losing her mind. Everywhere she turned, she saw her dead husband, Cane. There was an amazingly powerful confrontation scene, where Lily told Cane to leave her in peace and never return. The end of the reel was far more subdued; Lily went to the psychiatric care facility to commit herself. I was left wondering what would happen next. Usually, I think that’s a good sign.

I feel like I owe Jacqueline MacInnes Wood — the soap star with possibly the longest name to have to type out — an apology. I often get so caught up in the inaneness of the Steffy/Hope/Liam triangle on “The Bold and the Beautiful” that I forget to really watch her acting. Jacqueline really stood out in Heather Tom’s reel (which I realize counts for squat in this category), and it really made me watch her reel more closely. There was a certain level of blatant arrogance in the clip; Steffy refused to believe that Bill’s goodbye was really goodbye. She thought it more of a see ya in a bit. That full-of-self façade cracked after Bill left, and Steffy broke down and trashed her apartment. (I’m never quite sure why people break their own tchotchkes, but that’s a discussion for another time.) It was a nice range of emotions. 

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