Can Michael Park repeat as Best Actor at Daytime Emmys?

GoldDerby posters are divided about the race for Best Actor at this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards, airing this Sunday, June 19, on CBS. Two of our pundits give best odds to James Scott (“Days of Our Lives”) but two more put Michael Park (“As the World Turns”) out front.

Scott and Park face off against Ricky Paull Goldin (“All My Children”), Maurice Benard (“General Hospital”), and Christian LeBlanc (“The Young and the Restless”). In the drama categories at the Daytime Emmys, voters selected two actors from each of the seven eligible soaps to compete as “pre-nominees.” The pre-nominees were then whittled down to the final five or six nominees based on sample episodes, which are edited to include only the actor’s scenes. Because nominees and winners are decided in the same round, the Emmy winners were already decided when the nominations were revealed.

GoldDerby posters viewed the same sample episodes judged by Emmy voters, giving them a firsthand perspective of the race. Though they may not agree on the likely winner, they all concur about who’s not a threat to win: AMC’s Goldin and, perhaps surprisingly, Y&R’s LeBlanc. All posters rank them fourth or fifth.

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LeBlanc has played devious lawyer Michael Baldwin on the CBS soap for twenty years, and this is his ninth nomination. He won Best Actor an impressive three times in the last six years (2005, 2007, 2009), but his reel, in which Michael confronts his wife Lauren to get medical help for blackouts, is described by youngrestlessone as “completely unremarkable.”

Goldin, a four-time nominee who has yet to win, submitted a lighthearted reel in which his character, Dr. Jake Martin, proposes to his girlfriend Amanda, but our judges were similarly underwhelmed. Says juniorz1, “This was a cute, sweet submission … but it didn’t have much range and had little to no impact.”

Though none of our forums posters put him in the winner’s circle, most agree that Benard is right in the thick of it. He has played mob boss Sonny Corinthos since 1993, but out of five previous nominations he’s only won once (in 2003). In his reel, he confronts the man who he thinks attacked his daughter, which is “some of the best acting that Maurice has done in a really long time,” according to east/west.

But it’s Park and Scott whose submissions generated the most passion from our panel. If Scott prevails, it will not only be his first Emmy, but the first Best Actor win for “Days of Our Lives” since Macdonald Carey took home two in a row in 1974 and 1975. Boidiva02 (aka GoldDerby senior editor Matthew Cormier) says his reel, in which he plays a drunken and desperate man who considers running away with his children, is “full of emotion and drama and range.” Juniorz1 raves that “Scott’s performance makes [his character] EJ’s pain uncomfortably real.”

But Park will give him a run for his money. This is his fourth nomination, and he’s the defending champion in this category. He submitted an episode in which his character, police officer Jack Snyder, reconciles with his ex-wife Carly. Youngrestlessone describes him as “exceptional” and east/west thinks he’ll “easily repeat.”

“As the World Turns” was cancelled last year after more than a half-century on the air. Will Emmy voters give it a parting gift? Or will Scott bring “Days of Our Lives” its first victory in thirty-six years? Perhaps a mob hit is in order, leaving Benard the last man standing. Visit our message boards and tell us who you think will prevail.


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