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Slugfest at the Daytime Emmys: Christian LeBlanc vs. Anthony Geary

August 9, 2009 |  3:37 pm

There's a fierce battle at the Daytime Emmys over who'll win the trophy as best lead actor on Aug. 30. It's between two heavyweight stars, according to our forum posters, who have carefully evaluated the episodes submitted by nominees to Emmys judges.

Our forums moderator Matthew "Boidiva2" Cormier backs Anthony Geary ("General Hospital"), poster Mark "MARKPGH" Jasick picks Christian LeBlanc ("The Young and the Restless"). Below, both pundits argue their cases. Let's start with Cormier.

Christian LeBlanc Anthony Geary Young and the Restless General Hospital

1. Christian LeBlanc, "The Young and the Restless"
2. Tony Geary, "General Hospital"
3. Daniel Cosgrove, "Guiding Light"
4. Peter Reckell, "Days of Our Lives"
5. Thorsten Kay, "All My Children"
BOIDIVA2'S COMMENTARY: In this category you have a battle between two veterans who both submitted fantasy episodes where they must reflect on their life. "General Hospital's" Anthony Geary submitted an episode where Luke dreams that his life is on trial and he must defend himself to live. In the episode Geary plays multiple characters, which might give him a slight edge, but the overall tone of the episode is played off as comedic and silly instead of given the dramatic weight it should get.

LeBlanc's character, Michael, experiences an "It's a Wonderful Life" moment when he finds out what life would have been like if he hadn't been born. The episode's tone features a bit more drama than "GH's" episode and feels more like a dramatic series.

Daniel Cosgrove submits an episode where, on his wedding day, he finds out he is not the father to the child he believed was his, he argues with the mother and ends up marrying her anyway. It's a good, solid episode with a good arch, but not enough to make him stand out against heavyweights Le Blanc and Geary.

Peter Reckell's tape is solid as well, and features Bo in a hospital bed discussing Shawn's death and features visits from various characters. There are moments of drama in this episode, but overall it seems very underwhelming compared to the bigger tapes submitted by Geary and Le Blanc.

Lastly, Thorsten Kay submitted a tape in which Kendall confronts Zack about his feelings of learning she cheated on him; after telling Kendall it's all he can think about and how much he loves her, they kiss and then burn down the house of Aidan, whom Kendall cheated with, the tape was utterly boring and Kay's performance flat and one-note. It's easily got to be Geary or Le Blanc. Cosgrove could pull through if voters want to vote for a less stunt-driven tape.

1. Anthony Geary, "General Hospital"
2. Christian LeBlanc, "Young and the Restless"
3. Daniel Cosgrove, "Guiding Light"
4. Peter Reckell, "Days of Our Lives"
5. Thorsten Kaye, "All My Children"

MARKPGH'S COMMENTARY: What a sweet life Geary has. He is off several months out of the year, comes back to work, and gets a storyline written specifically for his talents. No doubt Geary is a gifted actor, but this tape, showcasing the actor tackling multiple roles in this courtroom parody, is absolute overkill. The Emmys love dual roles, and they obviously love Geary. He will slightly edge out another scenery-chewing thespian — the gifted . . .

. . . Christian LeBlanc. Well, make no mistake, this eppy was written as the proverbial "Emmy bait" for the two-time lead-actor winner. Everyone knew this would be his Emmy tape, so we can't say we're shocked he chose it. But while LeBlanc is flawless in this "It's a Wonderful Life" spoof, it's the supporting players in this episode that steal LeBlanc's thunder. Hard to take your eyes off of Greg Rikaart and Judith Chapman in this eppy. Don't think Aug. 30 is going to be so "wonderful" for LeBlanc, unless he gets the sympathy vote since his show was royally screwed out of a best-drama nod. I still say it's Geary's.

Simply put, Daniel Cosgrove has the best tape of the bunch. No histronics, no Emmy bait, no scenery chewing. Cosgrove gave the most natural and realistic performance of all of his fellow nominees. He brought to life Bill Lewis' jubilation from his impending nuptials, to a man whose world came crashing down around him. His reel showed great range and proved why he is one of daytime's most underrated actors. Unfortunately, Emmy loves grandstanding performances, and Cosgrove's tape just isn't showy enough.

This year's surprise nominee, Peter Reckell, proved why, after all these years, he is "Days' " leading man. Reckell painfully showed us a shattered Bo, devastated by his father's death, then having to tell his mother that her husband of 40 years has passed. On a show known for cartoon characters and campy plots, "Days" took viewers on an emotional roller coaster thanks to Reckell's gut-wrenching performance. But sadly, Reckell is on a show often shunned by the Emmys. You can thank Ken Corday for that, Peter.

Not quite sure how to say this, so I will be blunt and spit it out. Thorsten Kaye's tape was a snooze, and there were plenty of other leading men who deserved this spot (hello, Eric Braeden and Trevor St John), but sadly for those two, you have to be pre-nommed first. But that's a whole other story. Kaye is a good-looking, dashing leading man with tons of sex appeal and charm. The man can act too after well-deserved noms for "Port Charles," but I find it hard to believe that from a year's worth of work on "AMC," this is the only tape he could come up with. He shares great on-screen chemistry with Alicia Minshew, but what oozes sexuality on screen does not make an Emmy winner.

Photos: ABC, CBS

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