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Hit: Emmy gets its shine back

After last year's three-hour nightmare, this year's Daytime Emmy telecast was a dreamy breath of fresh air. But time wasn't the only thing in its favor - Vanessa Marcil was a fabulous host. Whaddya know? A friendly face. Marcil (ex-Brenda, General Hospital) wisely put the kibosh on a silly opening monologue and let the winners be the evening's stars. She didn't appear at all nervous, and felt genuine - even when she announced The Young and the Restless as Best Show instead of GH. Marcil's only misstep came when she stumbled over Peter Reckell's name ("Peter Recker"), but that slip paled in comparison to Victoria Rowell(Dru, Y&R) pronouncing winner Cady McClain's (Rosanna, As the World Turns) name as "Caddy." Rehearsal, anyone? The clips added the appropriate flash, as did the magnificent set design (although it's hard to go wrong at Radio City Music Hall). GH had the hottest Best Show clip package, Y&R had the slickest and most sophisticated; ATWTs and Guiding Light's were mediocre. Alison Sweeney (Sami,Days of our Lives), who introduced the segments, looked just as comfortable in front of a mic as Marcil. Once again, ATWTs boffo head writer, Hogan Sheffer, got off the night's best line: "If you're just tuning in you can probably tell this is a writing award. Either that, or the Rockettes really let themselves go to hell."

Who gets the, ahem, booby prize? McKenzie Westmore (Sheridan, Passions), Lisa Rinna (ex-Billie, Days) and Marcil, who seemed to be the only people inside the sweltering Radio City Music Hall who were cold.

Reigning Men: GH Guys Sweep!

Tony Geary (Luke), Rick Hearst (Ric) and Chad Brannon(ex-Zander) matched GH's own record (set in 1999 by Geary, Stuart Damon [Alan] and Jonathon a Jackson [then Lucky])by copping Lead, Supporting and Younger Actor honors, respectively. "It's great," Geary said of the feat. "We have a really strong cast. "Even Emmy host Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda) had a hard time not cheering on her old castmates. "I was trying to stay professional, but I love them from the bottom of my heart. I wanted them to win everything," she admitted after the show.

Is Emmy No.4 any different for Geary than the first three? "Winning always feels good; I cannot deny that," he told us. "For a guy of my age, in an era when it's 'youth, youth, youth,' it's great validation. It's encouraging, actually." Geary's only lament was having to best co-star Maurice Benard (Sonny) in the process. "Maurice is extraordinary, and he's carrying the show right now," he noted. "I know what that is like, and it's very difficult."

Comparing this to his own previous win (in 1991, when he was on GUIDING LIGHT)Hearst said, "Like anything in life, hopefully as you age, you get better, and you're doing the same level of work you did when you were in the Younger Actor category."

Brannon, meanwhile, was quick to dismiss ta1k that his first Emmy win might lead him back to GH. "Oh, I'm dead, baby. As dead as dead can be," he laughed, confirming Zander's definitive demise. Although he noted that "my toe moved in the body bag," the actor, now in college studying Christian ministries, insisted, "I'm done and moving on to see what the Lord has for me."

Burning Questions Answered!

Did host Vanessa Marcil really negotiate extra "thank-you" time for the winners?

Marcil's opening speech about forgoing her monologue so as to provide more time for Emmy winners wasn't just talk. "I actually wrote that," she told In Depth after the show, "and [the producers] were gra¬cious enough to say yes and let me go with my own personal idea. I felt passionately about it."

Did presenter Tyler Christopher (Nikolas, GH) know that Marcil would introduce him as her "ex-boyfriend"?
In a word, sorta. Prior to the telecast, "Vanessa sent me a text message that said, 'Just so you know, I have a little surprise for you,'" the actor explained in the Emmy press room. To acknowledge her wit, he said, "I gave her a little 'Thank you very much' salute as I walked across the stage." (they show a little pic of the salute LOL)

Will Bob Barker have Cameron Mathison neutered?
When AMC's Ryan seemed to flub his acceptance of the MIA game show host's Emmy, it was for good reason. "The teleprompter said, 'Accepting this award on his behalf: Period," he explained. "So I just went, '... is me!'"

Why did ONE LIFE 10 LIVE's Trevor 51. John (Todd) leave Kassie DePaiva (Blair) hanging? As they walked on stage to present, DePaiva's outstretched hand went unattended by her leading man. " I reached for her hand but missed her," explains John. "Unfortunately, I created an awkward situation when I didn't see her reach for my hand. Chalk [it] up to nervousness."

Was Vanessa the most heavenly host?
Did Marcil realize that she brought the show in five minutes early? "Yep," she said, nodding. Having undoubtedly endeared herself to Dick Clark, will she take the gig again? "Nope!"

Sound Bits From the Press Room

Rick Hearst
On how this Emmy compares to his Outstanding Younger Actor
win in 1991: "Like anything in life, hopenllly as you age you get better. A lot of people say, 'Wow, do you feel like this is the adult category?' No. Emmy's Emmy, If you're throwing down good work, and if you're blessed enough to be able to win something like this, this is gravy."

On his father: "My father lived a pretty hard life and left us very early in his
life. Six months prior to his death, he had come out to Los Angeles and never really knew what I had done, I brought him to the set of The Young and tbe Restless (where Hearst played Matt). He spent the whole day there, and everybody was so gracious to him, I know he's largely the reason I have this right now, because he always watches me, and I always talk to him."

Tyler Christoper
On Vanessa Marcil introducing him as her ex: "I knew she was going to say it, She sent me a little text message and said, Just to let you know, I have a little surprise for you.' I knew it'd be something classic like that. So I gave her a little salute 'Thank you very much' - as I walked across the stage."

Chad Brannon
On going back to college: "I'm going to the Master's College and I'm studying to pursue Christian ministries, if you can believe that. The Lord grabbed hold of my life and I'm getting the chance to head down that path and see what God has plalmed for me."

On whether the win is bittersweet since he's no longer on the show: "Maybe a little bit,.."
On whether he'd join another soap: "I got a couple of offers. I was so thankful to have people want me to come to their show. It was humbling to have people say, 'We want you.' But right now 1 just want to see what prime-time and HIm opportunities there are out there."

Vanessa Marcil
On how she did hosting "I have no idea. I go into a zone and then don't really remember anything that I did. All my friends are saying I did great, but they love me. So I don't know." LOL

Anthony Geary
On whether GH is too dark: "I think daytime panders too much. I like it to challenge its audience, It's more fun to do, and it's better drama. So I've got no problems with darkness, In fact, I fight to keep things as dark as I can."

On Luke: "He isn't always a thrill for me to play. When I enjoy him most is when I get good writing. I have been very lucky with (head writers) Chuck Pratt and Bob Guza. They understand the character, they embrace his idiosyncrasies. I like Luke's humor. I like the fact that they allow me to bring that to him. I like revenge."

On what he'd like to do that he hasn't done yet: "I was hoping that the murderer on Days Of Our Lives... would turn out to be Luke.