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 Actor, Steve Burton (“The Young and the Restless”) is nominated for the third time for playing Dylan McAvoy, a role he played from 2013 until he exited the series in early 2017. But that doesn’t count his four nominations and one win (Supporting Actor, 1998) for his previous role as Jason Morgan on “General Hospital.” Looking to win his second career Emmy, Burton submitted scenes in which his character is forced to give up his child. Watch his reel above.
Burton’s entire submission involves the revelation of a baby switch. His wife Sharon (Sharon Case) tells him that the baby they thought was theirs actually belongs to Sharon’s ex-husband Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Nick’s now-deceased wife Sage (Supporting Actress nominee Kelly Sullivan). His shock is intensified when he finds out that Sharon has known the truth for a while but kept the secret.
In the next scene Nick has come to take the child from Sharon and Dylan, but before handing the baby over to his rightful father Dylan holds the boy in his arms and reassures the child that he’ll live a happy life with Nick. After Nick takes the baby and leaves the reel cuts to Dylan blowing off steam at a batting cage. Sharon tries to convince him that they can sweep the entire baby-switch fiasco under the rug, but Dylan tells her that she’s delusional to think there will be no consequences for what has happened.
Will Burton win Best Supporting Actor with this performance against John Aniston (“Days of Our Lives”), Chad Duell (“General Hospital”), Jeffrey Vincent Parise (“GH”) and James Reynolds (“Days”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
The heartbreak of having to give up a child is palpable in Burton’s performance, which makes this one of the most emotionally impactful reels in the category.
The scene in which Dylan sits with his baby and says goodbye before handing him over is deeply vulnerable. Voters may give him bonus points for eliciting such an emotional response without even raising his voice.
With seven total nominations including one past victory, Burton has the longest and strongest Emmy track record of any actor in his category, so voters clearly admire him.
In making her confession and begging for forgiveness, Sharon is the more active character in these scenes, while Dylan is mostly reactive. And Case gives a performance that’s even showier and more tearful, so she may pull focus away from Burton.
Because Dylan is learning the truth for the first time, early portions of the reel are spent untangling a lot of exposition about who perpetrated the baby switch, when, and how. That heavy focus on plot early on may distract from the characters.
Burton has yet to win an Emmy for this character. He spent more than 20 years in his more famous role as Jason Morgan on “GH,” so voters who are familiar with that portrayal may still find it hard to accept him playing anyone else.
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