No. 10: Kim Matula, The Bold and the Beautiful
Kimberly Matula has moved up the ranks on The Bold and the Beautiful as someone you can't relegate as just a pretty face. Since her 2010 debut on the fashion world sudser, Matula has proven she can roll with the best of them, regardless of the storyline. While dealing with the retread of B&B's teen storyline, featuring Amber/Liam/Hope/Oliver, Matula's skills in acting were so palpable opposite Adrienne Frantz; it felt as though the storyline was focused on her character, instead of Scott Clifton's Liam! Unlike some of her co-stars, Matula dished out amazing performances with powerhouse Katherine Kelly Lang, as Hope blamed Brooke's vixen ways for being the cause of her frigid about sex. She also showed off her skills while chastising Hunter Tylo's Taylor for her bratty daughter Steffy's (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) behavior. Matula is proving B&B has a next generation heroine already in place to take over the mantle.
No. 9: Alison Sweeney, Days of Our Lives
Days of Our Lives’ Sami Brady Hernandez has come a long ways since being Salem’s No. 1 teen hellion, but through it all Alison Sweeney has been a trooper. 2011 proved to be no exception. In the first half of the year, Sweeney didn’t flinch as she tried to make the Fake Rafe storyline believable. Even though the storyline felt repetitive, lasted too long and was at times boring, Sweeney never wavered.
DAYS 2.0 wiped Salem’s slate clean and with it brought the return of Sami’s mother, Marlena (Deidre Hall). With just a sentence, a gesture, or look, both actresses capitalized on their past and stepped up to the plate as years of history spilled out in their scenes. It wasn’t just in scenes with her onscreen mother or husband that helped Sweeney earn a spot on our list. The way she conveyed Sami’s often-strained relationship with son Will, (Chandler Massey) and her always present explosive chemistry with EJ (James Scott) as they went toe-to-toe provided some of the year’s most remarkable moments.
No. 8: Alicia Minshew, All My Children
All My Children ended with a bang, but throughout 2011 Alicia Minshew delivered one of the year’s most consistent performances. Throughout Kendall’s search to uncover Zach’s (Thorsten Kay) killer, Minshew made us feel Kendall’s grief and pain as she dealt with her loss. She was paired with Griffin Castillo (Jordi Vilasuso) in her quest to put Ricky (Eddie Matos) away for Zach’s death, and had AMC remained on air we would have liked to see how their relationship developed. However, it was David Hayward’s (Vincent Irizarry) Project Orpheus that provided Minshew the opportunity to remind us of the magic she and Thorsten Kaye share. Minshew made us feel Kendall’s joy at reuniting with her lost love, and yet another performance to never forget.
No. 7: Susan Haskell, One Life to Live
In 2011, Susan Haskell proved once again why she has two Daytime Emmys under her belt. As Marty lost touch with reality during her plot for revenge on Natalie (Melissa Archer), Haskell seamlessly portrayed a woman slowly falling off the deep end. The way she could switch from lucid to talking to herself or Cole’s (Brandon Buddy) picture, was awesome. But, the cream de la crème came when Marty completely snapped and killed one woman, wounded another, and threw her arch nemesis Natalie Buchanan off the roof of a building! The look of shear crazy in Haskell’s eyes was so scary it was fantastic, and the pose she did after Marty threw Natalie off the roof became an instant classic among Daytime fans. Even though, we were only fortunate enough to get half a year of Marty’s descent into psychosis, Susan Haskell made every one of those moments memorable.
No. 6: Laura Wright, General Hospital
Laura Wright is arguably taking over the top spot as THE Carly Corinthos. She is one of the many General Hospital stars that have been given emotionally draining material, yet continues to turn out top-notch performances every time she takes our screens. From the bus crash, to Michael’s (Chad Duell) rape and Josslyn needing Jake’s organs to live, Laura Wright made us feel for Carly at every turn, despite wanting to choke her for her meddling ways.
No. 5: Robin Strasser, One Life to Live
As a 30-year veteran of our beloved daytime soaps, Robin Strasser did not disappoint this past year. Dorian was wrapped up in secrets with Clint (Jerry verDorn) and even teamed up with her ultimate frenemy Victoria Lord (Erika Slezak). It was great to see Strasser so comfortable in her element as Dorian schemed to get the truth about Echo (Kim Zimmer) and Charlie’s (Brian Kerwin) relationship out of Clint. This story also gave us the opportunity to enjoy Robin Strasser and Erika Slezak play off each other, as they have for so many years in the past. The final montage of Dorian vs. Viki, when Dorian left town, will forever bring a tear to our eyes and a warm feeling in our hearts. Another treat came when Dorian fell back in love with David and finally married him. Strasser seemed to absolutely glow as things were going in the right direction for Dorian. The only downside is that Robin Strasser won’t be a part of the final episode of One Life to Live. There’s something just not right about that. Thanks for all the years La Strasser!
No. 4: Erika Slezak, One Life to Live
There's a reason why Erika Slezak has a whopping six Daytime Emmy awards in her trophy case. The lady is just doggone great at acting. We all know how explosive Slezak can be in scenes involving Viki's children being in trouble or her alters deciding to drop in for a visit. It is a given you will see Slezak walk away with yet another explosive acting reel under her belt, leaving us gobsmacked. Viki dealing with the fallout from her boozing husband Charlie (Brian Kerwin) deciding to shack up with her former husband's mistress Echo, was poetry in motion. Slezak showed that even if you are a blue blood in society, you can still emote being ticked off at your hubby for not keeping it in his pants. Viki also having to deal with twin brothers Todd (Roger Howarth) and Victor (Trevor St. John) evokes the law that no matter what you throw at Slezak, she acts with amazing panache. Many of Slezak's acting counterparts should watch her in her element, in order to learn what being an actor is all about. Here's hoping 2012 starts off with Slezak finding another soap to use her expertise.
No. 3: Debbi Morgan, All My Children
Debbi Morgan’s 2011 at All My Children was definitely one to remember. No fan will forget the storyline surrounding Angie’s pregnancy, loss of sight and the culmination of unknowingly losing that child. Even playing blind, Morgan was able to convey the special bond Angie and Jesse (Darnell Williams) share. Through it all, Morgan delivered performances that simply blew us away and further cemented her spot in Daytime’s hall of fame. Morgan gripped us, as only so few can, when Angie realized the truth about her child and left her permanent mark on AMC’s passing.
No. 2: Melody Thomas Scott, The Young and the Restless
Being off-screen for seven months didn't diminish Melody Thomas Scott's acting abilities on The Young and the Restless. The soap veteran came back to Genoa City with a bang and let viewers know why she always has and always will be one of Y&R fan’s favorites. Thomas Scott is at her best as a drunken lioness, trying to protect her cubs from harm no matter what the cost. Her gut-wrenching scenes of alter-ego Nikki Newman admitting in AA how much of a pathetic lush she is, and desperately trying to fight off her cravings for the evil demon called alcohol displayed why her bosses made a smart move to negotiate and bring the actress back from contract Siberia.
No. 1: Florencia Lozano, One Life to Live
For years, Florencia Lozano has given us 110% on One Life to Live and in 2011 she clawed, kicked and screamed (very loudly at times, we might add) to the top of Daytime Confidential’s Female Entertainer of 2011 list. Her character, Téa Delgado, was truly put through the ringer this year. Not only did she have to represent nearly everyone in Llanview in court, but her husband was found out to be an impostor, shot twice and ended up dead. Yeah, that’s enough to put anyone, including us, in St. Ann’s.
As Tea struggled to figure out if her husband (Trevor St. John) was the real Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) or not, Lozano made it look easy portraying the endearing, but doubtful wife. When the truth came out about Victor Lord, Jr., Tea seemed uncertain if she would stay with him or not. In the end, Tea chose love and the fans were treated to another great Tea and Victor reunion. Florencia Lozano and Trevor St. John shared such a natural chemistry, which is hard to come by in this day and age of soap opera. However, Victor and Tea’s reunion didn’t last long, because he was soon after shot and killed in cold blood. Tea was the one to find Victor bleeding out on the living room floor of their home in scenes that are still burned into our memory. Florencia Lozano broke our hearts when Tea plead with Victor not to die. We absolutely dissolved into a puddle of tears as Tea screamed to Victor, “You’re the love of my life, whatever the hell your name is. I am not letting you go”.
The fallout from Victor’s murder is still a hot topic in Llanview, as Tea and John McBain (Michael Easton) both know that Todd was the one who killed Victor. It’s been awesome to watch Tea go from calm to Bitch in 2.5 seconds when someone mentions Todd’s name. 2011 was truly a great year for Lozano to show off her wide and very impressive acting range. Wherever she ends up after One Life to Live ends, you can believe we will be watching!
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