‘Outlander’ Awards 2017: What is Caitriona Balfe’s best performance so far as Claire Randall Fraser? [VOTE NOW]

Voting is underway for Gold Derby’s  1st Annual Outlander Awards — have YOU voted yet? As fans eagerly await the September 10 premiere of Season 3 of Starz’s “Outlander” starring Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall Fraser, let’s take a look at the past two seasons and our favorite time-traveling nurse Claire, played by Balfe.

We were able to narrow the choices down to Balfe’s best five performances from Season 1 and five from Season 2. So voters will get to pick her two best performances and you can see our breakdown of the five nominees in both categories below. Hurry and login to your Gold Derby account right now (or register for a free one via Facebook or Twitter) and then start casting your votes in our predictions center. You have until September 18 to make or update your final selections for the Outlander Awards 2017.

Season 1

“Sassenach:” Claire travels through time (Season 1, Episode 1)

At the end of WWII, Claire, a nurse on the frontlines, and her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies) go to Scotland for a second honeymoon. But on a visit alone to Craigh na Dun she travels through time to the 18th Century. Balfe perfectly plays the smart fish out of water nailing the character and setting book readers minds at ease that their beloved character was in excellent hands.

“The Wedding:” Claire gets married twice (Season 1, Episode 7)

Balfe perfectly plays the nervous bride as Claire and Jamie are practically strangers who fall in love on their wedding day. These scenes are intercut with her spur of the moment wedding to Frank. Balfe has to convince audiences that Claire is in love with both men and even though Jamie’s her soulmate she balances it perfectly with the guilt of betraying Frank.

“Both Sides Now:” Claire makes a choice (Season 1, Episode 8)

Missing her century and in the early days of her marriage to Jamie she’s conflicted as to what to do. Given the opportunity she attempts to return to the 40s only to be snatched by Black Jack, in one of her best performances opposite Menzies.

“The Devil’s Mark:” Claire stands trial twice (Season 1, Episode 11)

Claire and her fellow healer Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) stand trials as witches. But after her first trial Claire, tells Jamie the truth about where she’s from. Jamie gives her the chance to go back to Frank but she chooses Jamie.

“The Search:” Claire and Murtagh team up (Season 1, Episode 14)

Claire has to find Jamie and who better to help her than his godfather Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix). The odd couple pairing makes the tense search funny and enjoyable. Balfe gets a chance to show off her singing talent making this one of the lighter episodes in “Outlander” so far.

SEE Twitter responds to new ‘Outlander’ trailer: ‘Can anything or anyone keep them apart?’

Season 2

“Untimely Resurrection:” Claire asks Jamie for a year (Season 2, Episode 5)

After a nasty altercation at a garden party at Versailles leads Jamie to challenge Black Jack to a duel. Claire pleads for the life of Frank at the cost of the vengeance Jamie desires. Balfe perfectly plays the conflict with both Black Jack and Jamie as she knows what she’s asking for is a lot.

“Faith:” Claire’s miscarries and breaks hearts (Season 2, Episode 7)

Balfe’s episode from start to finish as Claire is alone while Jamie is in jail. We get to see all of Balfe’s talent as she holds court in Versailles with Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon) and Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber) to comforting Fergus (Romann Berrux). However, Balfe brought the audience to tears as cradled and sang to her stillborn daughter. It’s a moment that haunts viewers long after the episode ended.

“Je Suis Prest:” Claire experiences PTSD (Season 2, Episode 9)

Balfe plays Clair in both the 18th century as they prepare for war and in the 40s during a WWII flashback where she tries to save soldiers’ lives when their Jeep is overtaken by enemy fire leaving her as the only survivor. But it’s the roleplaying of Jamie’s hostage that gives fans a lighter moment and proves the chemistry between Balfe and Heughan.

“Vengeance is Mine:” Claire hatches a scheme (Season 2, Episode 11)

Balfe skillfully proves Claire is not a damsel in distress in this episode written by Diana Galadon. While at the home of the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) she is reunited with Mary (Rosie Day) and hatches a scheme to escape after sending word to Jamie.

“Dragonfly in Amber” Claire returns twice (Season 2, Episode 13)

Balfe has a lot to do in the second season finale as she first has to say goodbye to Jamie. Then we see her character in the 60s as she confesses to an adult Brianna (Sophie Skelton) who her real father is. But it’s the hopeful expression at the end of the episode as she realizes she can return to Jamie that has kept friends on pins and needles waiting for Season 3.

At Gold Derby, you can also make your predictions for: Emmy Awards 2017, Creative Arts Emmys 2017, Oscar Nominations 2018, CMA Awards 2017, “America’s Got Talent,” “Big Brother,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Ink Master,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Survivor” and “Project Runway.”

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