[WATCH] Daytime Emmy reels slugfest: Redemption for Kassie DePaiva? History for Anthony Geary?

Tony Ruiz and I have watched the episodes submitted by the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress at the Daytime Emmys (click on those category titles to read his analyses, and watch our video slugfest below). While one category seems to have a clear frontrunner, the other may be wide open.

We agree that Anthony Geary‘s episode submission gives him the edge for Best Actor. The former “General Hospital” star has already won that award eight times, and a ninth would tie Cloris Leachman‘s all-time Emmy record for performance victories. “If we weren’t talking about Tony Geary for the ninth time and some of the controversy associated with [his contentious exit from ‘GH’], this would be a slam dunk,” says Ruiz about Geary’s submission, in which he plays dual roles, plays drunk, and collapses from despair.

But both of us are wary of Geary’s “GH” co-star Tyler Christopher, who has never won before: “There were two reels that screamed Emmy,” said Ruiz, “and this was one of them. If Geary weren’t in the mix I think we’d be talking about Christopher as the frontrunner.” They face three actors from “The Young and the Restless” whom we consider underdogs: Justin Hartley, Christian LeBLanc and Kristoff St. John.

But Best Actress is a much tougher race to call. You could make a case for any of the five women. We think it will be a race between three: Kassie DePaiva (“Days of Our Lives”), and Finola Hughes and Maura West (both from “GH”).

“DePaiva runs the gamut [of emotions] in this reel. It’s the kind of stuff soaps are made of,” said Ruiz about the current frontrunner according to our odds, who mourns her murdered daughter in her “Days” scenes. During our discussion I also admit to rooting for DePaiva to be the latest star to break the “One Life to Live” curse: other “OLTL” actors were snubbed for years until they moved to different soaps, including Gina Tognoni (who eventually won two Emmys for “Guiding Light”) and Kristen Alderson (who won once for “GH”). DePaiva is hoping for the same kind of redemption.

However, Ruiz is partial to the performance submitted by Hughes, in which she confesses to killing a man in cold blood: “What I love about this reel was the very last line as she leaves: ‘Maybe I’ll stop seeing his ghost now.’ That sent chills down my spine. This is my favorite reel.” But West is the defending champ and she submitted a knockout performance in which she asks to end her own life rather than slowly deteriorate from cancer. But “the second half of the reel is where it gets confusing,” says Ruiz about the excess plot complications that may distract from her performance in the latter half of her scenes. Will that cost her a repeat victory? Rounding out the Best Actress race are Tracey E. Bregman (“Y&R”) and Mary Beth Evans (“Days”).

Below, watch Ruiz and I dish the Best Actor and Best Actress races in full, and stay tuned for more Daytime Emmy slugfests in the coming days.

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