Synopsis: Brady Black (Martsolf) is confronted by his friends and family about his addiction. At first he denies their accusations, but when they find drugs in his possession he turns his anger on them.
Analysis: Like most of the other nominees, Martsolf submitted a reel full of anger, but while the other four entered performances that revolve around fatherhood, Martsolf stands alone with a storyline about drug abuse. He has the added challenge of making us sympathize with an addict cruelly deflecting his problems onto his loved ones (played by Shawn Christian, Greg Vaughan, and Best Actress nominee Arianne Zucker).
What works especially well in Martsolf's performance is the way he balances Brady's outward anger with his inward pain. He only sheds one tear, but he makes it clear that Brady's outrage masks personal suffering following a traumatic relationship. By the end, he's even more sympathetic than the man leading his impromptu intervention.
It also doesn't hurt that addiction storylines are often popular with awards voters.