The 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards are handed out on April 30, but the winners in the soap opera acting categories have already been decided by blue ribbon panels that viewed sample performance reels. In the race for Best Younger Actress, Lexi Ainsworth (“General Hospital”) is nominated for the second time for her role as Kristina Corinthos Davis, whom she played from 2009 to 2011, and then again starting in 2015. She’s aiming for her first victory and submitted scenes in which Kristina reveals a secret about herself: that she might be gay. Watch her reel above.
Ainsworth’s submission begins with a brief scene of a hostage situation at a church, where Kristina is threatened at gunpoint, but the main thrust of this submission begins in the next scene with Kristina expressing shame over her behavior in college: she was struggling with her classes, so she offered her professor sex in exchange for a passing grade and was suspended as a result. It isn’t until the next scene on her reel that we see that her professor was a woman and that they have since consummated their relationship. After Kristina’s father Sonny (Maurice Benard) sees them kissing, Kristina asks him if he could ever accept a gay daughter, and he reassures her that he will always love her.
Will Ainsworth win Best Younger Actress with this performance against Reign Edwards (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), Hunter King (“The Young and the Restless”), Chloe Lanier (“GH”) and Alyvia Alyn Lind (“Y&R”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Ainsworth gives arguably the showiest performance in the category, full of tears, shame, regret, and finally relief that her father’s love for her is unconditional.
This is a highly empathetic performance. We greatly feel the anxiety of a young woman who fears that she may lose the love of her family.
Kristina’s storyline stands out in a daytime landscape where LGBT characters are still underrepresented. She could follow in the footsteps of trailblazers like Eden Riegel (“All My Children”), Chandler Massey (“Days of Our Lives”) and Freddie Smith (“Days”), who all won younger-acting Emmys for playing gay characters.
The opening hostage scene is unrelated to anything else in the submission and feels out of place with the rest of the storyline.
There are several cuts within the 11-minute reel that break up the momentum of Ainsworth’s performance, so she doesn’t get to build to a big dramatic crescendo.
Though the three aforementioned actors won Daytime Emmys for playing gay roles, only Massey actually won for a coming-out episode.
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