The 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards will be 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 Supporting Actress, Kelly Sullivan (“The Young and the Restless”) is nominated for the first time as Sage Warner, a role she played from 2014 until her character was killed off in 2016. But Sullivan was nominated in this category once before (2014) for her previous role as Connie Falconeri on “General Hospital.” Looking to win for the first time, Sullivan submitted a scene in which she demands to have her baby returned to her. Watch her reel above.
Sullivan’s reel involves a baby switch storyline that is also the basis of scenes submitted by Steve Burton for Best Supporting Actor, Alyvia Alyn Lind for Best Younger Actress, and Sullivan’s rival Stacy Haiduk for Best Supporting Actress. Sage believed that her baby died, but now she knows that the baby survived and has been raised by Sharon (Sharon Case) as her own.
Sage insists on taking the baby back immediately, but Sharon is heartbroken and is afraid to let the child go. Sharon explains that she didn’t know at first that the baby wasn’t hers, but Sage doesn’t want excuses. She just wants her child returned to her. However, Sharon picks up the baby and refuses to hand him over.
Will Sullivan win Best Supporting Actress with this performance against her co-star Haiduk (“Y&R”), Anna Maria Horsford (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), Finola Hughes (“General Hospital”) and Kate Mansi (“Days of Our Lives”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
This is an emotionally impactful submission that hits the ground running with Sage staring down Sharon and giving her one last opportunity to reveal the truth: “When you look at me holding this beautiful baby boy in my arms — what is wrong with this picture?”
It’s always wise to leave a strong last impression, and Sullivan has her most powerful dramatic moment near the end. Sharon says she doesn’t want to break her husband’s heart by forcing him to give up the child he thought was his, and Sage cries, “The way my heart was ripped out when my son died?”
This storyline helped several “Y&R” cast members score Emmy nominations, so it clearly struck a chord.
At less than five minutes this is by far the shortest reel in the category. In fact, it’s shorter than any other reel submitted in the lead, supporting or younger acting races. Voters may feel there’s simply not enough material here to reward.
Sage is angry throughout the reel, so it doesn’t give Sullivan the chance to show off as much range as some of her competitors.
The scene ends abruptly with Sharon refusing to turn over the baby to Sage, so it doesn’t give viewers a sense of resolution or catharsis. In fact, Sage died in a car accident immediately after the events of this reel. Adding some of those scenes might have given her an opportunity to leave a more lasting impression.
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