The Daytime Emmys in Review: The Winners, Fashions, Speeches and Categories Nobody *Really* Cares About
Whether you missed the telecast or want to relive the highlights, here’s how things went down!
Confession: Much as I’ve enjoyed attending the Daytime Emmys in years past — nothing will ever top being in the room the night Susan Lucci finally took home the gold — I was just as happy to be sitting on the couch, popcorn in hand, while hanging out with all of you this year. I’ve always viewed soaps as a communal event. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching with my grandma and later had a group of friends with whom I’d skip study hall in order to run home and watch General Hospital.
Come on, I know I’m not the only one whose youth was corrupted by Luke and Laura.
So now, join me as we relive everything that happened during CBS’ two-hour telecast of the 2021 Daytime Emmy Awards.
8 pm: Ooooh! It’s a CBS special presentation! Here we go!
8:01: Honestly, Sheryl Underwood is the perfect host for this, given that she’s always been a big fan of daytime. Although… come on, surely we can start with something better than a joke about masks (and not the Kristen DiMera kind!). Meanwhile, the first debate of the night has begun in my house: Do we love or hate Sheryl’s outfit?
8:03: You ain’t never gonna go wrong putting Robert Scott Wilson on my screen… plus… clips! Thank the heavens, we’ve got clips!
And the Best Supporting Actress award goes to… Marla Adams (ex-Dina, The Young and the Restless). Hit the comments with your thoughts…
And the Best Supporting Actor award goes to… Max Gail (ex-Mike, General Hospital)
Honestly, it’s tough to argue with either of these wins. Even with the similar storylines — which found Dina and Mike dealing with their final days — it seemed inevitable that these trophies would wind up in their hands.
8:08: Luke and Laura… sigh. But boy, did I not need to be reminded that the wedding was 40 years ago. Doing the math, that would make me… carrying the one… Well, fortunately I’ve always been bad at math, so apparently, I’m 38. Not sure how I feel about the fact that the clips for Luke and Laura were given way more time than those blink-and-you-missed-them clips for the nominees.
8:15: Well, here we go with the non-soap categories. Could be a while. But hey, informative talk shows are important, too. Certainly more important than the un-informative ones. Meanwhile… how weird is it that only the third hour of Good Morning, America was nominated? Guess the first two hours aren’t as informative? Meanwhile, the winner was Red Table Talk, should you be into this category.
8:15: Mario Lopez… somewhere, there’s a portrait getting very, very old. Meanwhile, why are the clips for game shows so much longer than those we got for the soaps? When will the people who make these award shows realize that the vast majority of people tuning in are soap fans? But the Emmy for best game show goes to… Jeopardy.
We’re only 15 minutes in, and… I have to admit, I’m bored. There’s just no energy, despite Sheryl’s best efforts.
8:24: OK, how adorable are Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and Tanner Novlan? And can you believe this woman just had a baby a few short months ago?
8:28: Who in the world picked the clips for Outstanding Talk Show? A friend watching with me said, “This makes me never want to watch television ever again.”
8:35: Good night, Giada de Laurentiis looks amazing in that little black dress! And how is a chef so darn thin? I guess I should be cooking more, eating less…
8:37: Gary, who apparently knows very little about what goes on during the daytime, declares, “Wait, when did Valerie Bertinelli become a chef?” And again, why are these clips so long? Ina Garten practically cooked an entire meal during hers. And wait… what do you mean Outstanding Culinary Host Ina Garten “could not be here tonight”? They were allowed to record from home!
At this point, I’ve kinda realized that one of the problems is that everything looks and feels and sounds exactly the same… one segment just bleeds into the next with the same music cues, the same basic tonality. There’s no real heat or excitement. I want to give full props to everyone involved, because they managed to put together a Daytime Emmy telecast in the age of social distancing. That ain’t an easy thing for them to have done. But our soaps have shown that it’s now possible to make a show during COVID that doesn’t feel like a show made during COVID, and that just doesn’t feel like the case here.
8:45: Bryton James and Brytni Sarpy, lookin’ gorgeous as they give out the award for Outstanding Younger Performer. That dress Brytni’s wearing? Definitely one of my favorites tonight! Meanwhile, as the clips unspool, Gary — our daytime neophyte — looks at Ciara, standing there in a soot-covered wedding dress — and said, “Someone should really get her a mirror.” Meanwhile… it’s a win for her portrayer, Victoria Konefal, and somewhere, Cin Nation goes wild! “There comes a moment in your life when you find yourself standing in the middle of your prayer, and for me, this is one of them,” she says.
8:50: The clips for the various courtroom shows are not only longer than those for the soaps, but they actually are chosen in such a way that they tell a bit of a story. The soap clips, meanwhile, feel completely random, often starting and stopping in the middle of a character’s sentence. Is there an editor in the house?
8:55: I keep thinking I’m not going to say anything more about the clips, but… how do you pick such flat clips for the Best Directing category? They showed Ciara walking down the aisle for two seconds but not the incredibly executed explosion? Whaaat?!? It was cool, however, that when General Hospital won, director Phideaux Xavier — speaking on behalf of his team — did so from the balcony overlooking the nurses station that we all know and love so much. And it was shot from below… perhaps showing exactly why he and his team walked away with the honor.
9:04: The tributes to Regis Philpin, Larry King and Alex Trebek are sweet… but Martha Stewart is not gonna like how washed-out she looks. Heads will roll! (Dr. Jill Biden, on the other hand, looked fab.)
9:09: Wow… Diamond White (Paris, Bold & Beautiful) has a gorgeous voice. I think on some level, I knew that she sang, but boy, she’s nailing this song. If Paris decides to start singing at Insomnia, I’m not gonna be mad at it.
9:18: “Thank you to Matt Ashford for breaking down 20 years of character in less than two hours for me,” says Cady McClain after winning Best Guest Star for her stint as Jennifer on Days of Our Lives.
9:20: Again, why are the clips for Outstanding Limited Drama Series so incredibly long? The Bay‘s clip was longer than all of those shown for Outstanding Supporting Actor combined! The winner was Studio City, which executive producer Sean Kanan (ex-Deacon, Bold & Beautiful) called “a love letter to the soaps.”
9:27: Charlie points out to me that this really isn’t that bad a broadcast. “Any time you start thinking that,” he says, “remember the year it was one long ad for Las Vegas.” Suddenly, I’m all-in.
9:32: Apparently, we’ve run out of “Memories & Milestones” because we’re paying tribute to Drew Barrymore’s show, which has been on for, like, two years.
9:35: The clips for Outstanding Writing are the shortest yet… and the award goes to The Young and the Restless. “I love this job, and I love this show,” says headwriter Josh Griffith.
9:45: Sheryl Underwood was so excited in announcing Gloria Estefan that I assumed we were gonna get a performance. But no, Estefan was just introducing the Lead Actor nominees. And here, we at least got halfway-decent clips (although that weird framing didn’t do any of them any favors). And the Emmy goes to… Maurice Benard (Sonny, General Hospital), who gave a choked-up speech remembering “feeling really emotional inside” after doing audition scenes opposite Max Gail. ” I went to the wall and I started to cry uncontrollably,” Benard admitted, saying he hadn’t wanted to do the storyline because it would be too difficult.
9:52: And the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress goes to Jacqueline MacInnes Wood. “Thank you for writing such a deeply moving and affecting storyline about opiod addition,” she said to executive producer/headwriter Bradley Bell.
9: 57: At long last, we came to the top prize of the evening, Outstanding Daytime Drama. Following clips that were decent in length but not particularly compelling (although how fun was it to see Ben and Ciara’s Days of Our Lives wedding again?), the final award of the evening went to… General Hospital.
That’s it… another year’s Daytime Emmy Awards are under our belt. So you know what to do now… hit the comments section with your thoughts about the broadcast, the winners and who you hope to see walking away with a trophy next year! And while you’re here, peruse the winners in our Dream Emmy categories, from Best Slap to Most Inevitable Coupling.