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 Younger Actress, Hunter King (“The Young and the Restless”) is nominated for the fifth time for playing Summer Newman, a role she assumed in 2012. She previously won this award twice before (2014-2015), and if she wins for a third time she will tie the record for the most victories in this category. Only two other actresses have won that many times: Jennifer Finnigan (“The Bold and the Beautiful,” 2002-2004) and Jennifer Landon (“As the World Turns,” 2006-2008). To pull off that rare hat trick King submitted scenes in which Summer tries to get justice for her loved ones. Watch her reel above.
At the start of her submission, Summer confronts her grandfather Victor (Eric Braeden), who is in jail for a despicable act: he arranged for Summer’s stepfather to be replaced by an impostor. As a result, Summer’s mother Phyllis (Best Actress nominee Gina Tognoni) was unknowingly being raped for months by a stranger. But Victor appeals to Summer by reminding her of a time he saved Phyllis’s life.
The next segment of King’s reel involves Summer’s romance with Luca Santori (played by Miles Gaston Villanueva), a schemer who sabotaged an oil rig and secretly had a vendetta against Summer’s family. Summer at first demands to know the truth about his crimes, and later visits him in jail to confront him about his lies.
Will King win Best Younger Actress with this performance against Lexi Ainsworth (“General Hospital”), Reign Edwards (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), Chloe Lanier (“GH”) and Alyvia Alyn Lind (“Y&R”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
King has already won twice before, and she’s now tied as the third most nominated actress in this category with five bids, so we know voters like her.
She has plenty of emotional impact in the reel, expressing anger and grief over the betrayals of people she trusted.
She easily earns our sympathy by standing up for her victimized loved ones, and she gets a moment of triumph in the end when she rejects lying Luca outright.
“Y&R” is the most awarded program in this category with eight past victories, including both of King’s, so the show’s strong track record works in her favor.
At just over seven-minutes long, this is the shortest reel in the category, which doesn’t give her as much time to impress voters as her competitors have.
One of her most powerful scenes, in which she sits at her mother’s bedside in the hospital, turns out to be a fantasy sequence or memory, which undercuts its emotional impact.
Much of the dialogue is spent explaining plot developments that seem only tangentially related to Summer.
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