The 2018 Daytime Emmy Awards will be presented on Sunday, April 29, but the winners in the drama acting categories have already been decided by blue ribbon panels that viewed sample performance reels. In the race for Best Younger Actress, Olivia Rose Keegan is nominated for her role as Claire Brady on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives.” This is the first nomination for Keegan, who has played the role since 2015. She submitted scenes in which Claire deals with the aftermath of the release of a sex tape featuring herself and her boyfriend.
The tape showing an intimate moment between Claire and Theo (Kyler Pettis) is leaked on the internet by Jade (Gabrielle Haugh). Claire is defiant about it when her grandmother Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Theo’s father Abe (Best Actor nominee James Reynolds) confront her, and she is heartbroken and angry because Theo believes she released the tape herself to further her music career.
Later, Claire forces Jade to admit that it was Jade who made the sex tape public. Jade claims that she did it to help Claire become famous, but Claire rages at her, saying that she is repulsed by the sight of Jade and mocks her attempts to apologize. After Theo attempts to make amends for initially doubting Claire, she breaks up with him and laments that she was wrong for believing that their relationship was special.
Will Keegan win Best Younger Actress with this performance against Reign Edwards (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), Cait Fairbanks (“The Young and the Restless”), Hayley Erin (“General Hospital”) and Chloe Lanier (“GH”)? Let’s examine the pros and cons of her submission.
Keegan is truly the centerpiece of her reel, and has the chance to show a wide range of emotions, a crucial element of a winning Emmy submission. We see her shock and embarrassment at the discovery of the existence of the tape, as well as her vigorous denial that she had any part in its recording and release. And we see her absolute contempt and rage towards Jade, followed by her genuine hurt at Theo’s distrust.
Claire is clearly the victim in this submission. Not only is she embarrassed by the release of the sex tape, but she is also falsely accused by loved ones of being the one who posted it online. Voters may feel strong sympathy for her character.
Keegan gives a showy performance in her submission. Claire’s scenes with Jade are classic soap opera gold, featuring the kind of scenery-chewing rage that has won Emmys for actresses like Eileen Davidson (“Days”), Michelle Stafford (“Y&R”), and Sarah Brown (“GH”) in the past.
Keegan’s scenes are edited out of chronological order. First, we see Claire breaking up with Theo for not believing her, followed by scenes where Theo accuses Claire of being the one to leak the sex tape. There is even one scene of Claire yelling at a different character in an unrelated storyline. Voters might be confused by the order of the scenes, and thus by the emotional progression of Keegan’s performance.
Even though Claire is the victim in this situation, her verbal attack on Jade is quite vicious, so much so that you begin to feel sorry for Jade. This, coupled with Claire’s apparent unwillingness to forgive Theo, could make Claire less sympathetic to voters.
Voters may not think the sex-tape storyline has as much gravitas as her rivals’ submissions involving infertility, same-sex attraction, and murder accusations. Voters may want to reward a storyline with more social relevance.
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