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DAYS Alison Sweeney: "I'd Want My Epitaph To Be, 'Ali Sweeney: She Worked Hard!'"

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Alison Sweeney (Sami) has been burning down the house on Days of our Lives in recent weeks with some of her best performances in her extraordinary two decade plus career on the NBC soap opera!

The fan favorite departed the series following her last tape day on May 23rd to devote time to being a more full-time mom to her children, and to concentrate on other aspects of her very busy career including: her hosting gig on The Biggest Loser, her novels including her latest book, Scared Scriptless and directing! Alison is said to be  directing over at General Hospital filling in for one of the directors.

PEOPLE.com chatted with Alison about life after soaps, and putting her family first at this time in her life when she is one of the most fearless, hard-workers out there! Alison revealed: “I’ve always been willing to work hard.  I love what I do, and I’m passionate about it. I’d want my epitaph to be ‘Ali Sweeney: She worked hard.'”

What do you think about what Alison would like her epitaph to read?  We would certainly agree that it would be a great choice given all that she has accomplished in her life!  Have you been enjoying Alison’s recent scenes as DAYS Sami continues to inflict her revenge on Abigail (Kate Mansi) and EJ (James Scott)?  Let us know!

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CeeCeeElite AdvisorsEngrady PindFather Timedmr Recent comment authors
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jimh(leave it to beaver)
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jimh(leave it to beaver)

The Sami’s revenge on Abigail and E.j. is an emmy winning for A.S.,performance(the others were good too) and i loved it…it was a good five ‘DAYS’ there but now im ready for the revenge part of the plot to be done and move on…

Omar
Guest
Omar

I agree Alison Sweeney’s performances during the week were Emmy worthy..I love DAYS but the one thing about the show that irks me, is the stories drag on and on..I hope we get a satisfying finish to this storyline without it lingering till fall.

phil
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phil

I would rather it take longer to tell a story than have quick stories with very little depth…just sayin!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

And Jordans story is the one that really drags…hope it picks up soon…and i too hope Sami’s story has a satisfying finish!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Maybe Kristen kidnaps Danial so E.J. can take his place…E.J has cosmetic surgery to look like Danial to avoid past crimes and because he doesnt have medical knowledge he leaves the hospital to work for Victor…to take over Victors business and all his money after Sami leaves him penniless! Then as Danial he decides to make a play for Abigail as E.J./Danial is really attracted to her after all…real Danial escapes Kristen and comes face to face with fake Danial in the Horton Square in front of Jen, Maggie, Victor with both men claiming to be the real Danial Jonas…wouldnt… Read more »

dmr
Guest
dmr

Sami has never been my favorite character. I have always thought that she was very immature, which is why I never bought into someone like EJ Dimera being involved with her. But, I think that the writers are doing a good job at going through the emotions of someone being cheated on and humiliated-the shock, anger, sorrow, etc. I agree, Jordan’s story is beyond boring. Are we to believe that her BIG secret is that she stole some money and ran off with her brother to protect him? How boring.

Father Time
Guest
Father Time

I’m sure there’s a lot more to the Jordan and Ben storyline. It will all be revealed in due time.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I agree with you to a certain degree dmr, but I think the writers are taking Sami’s “anger” a bit too far. I had previously posted that I don’t know how I would have reacted had my husband cheated on me. Sami is well within her rights to wield her “weapon” of payback against both EJ and Abigail. But, this has become an obsession and a thirst for revenge which is not very becoming, nor is it apropos for someone of Sami’s “loose” past. EJ and Sami knew each other’s shortcomings, including their frail sense of fidelity. So what is… Read more »

Tina
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Tina

No Michael. I hate that Ali’s last months are wasted on this story. Both Ali & James deserved better story with more competent actors.

Maggie
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Maggie

Ali has been turning in extraordinary performances, one after the other. She’s been phenomenal. She’s taken a story that was a horrible slap in the face to her (and to James Scott) and turned it into one more memorable Sami story. As Ali said, she was handed lemons and she proceeded to make margaritas out of them. While I’ll never forgive Days for this story and for the destruction they dealt to EJ, Sami, and EJami, I will always remember Sami’s heart breaking over what should not have been. I’m going to miss seeing my girl Sami – thank heaven… Read more »

kazzy
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kazzy

really getting sick of anything sami and ej. Sami’s best pairing ever was Sami and Lucas, the scheme team. I just want ej and sami gone at this point. yes I am a hater and will never ever change my mind so lets not go there, shall we?

I think Ej’s best pairing was Nicole, she was the prefect Dimera wife.

I am not enjoying sami’s revenge as she is taking it to far and will proably just end up back with her lying cheating rapist anyways.

phil
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phil

Both are leaving, and EJ is before Sami…I think he is going to die by the way and Sami will move away.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

You are not alone…i always liked Sami with Lucas…and Nicole with E.J.,…it shouldve been E.J. cheated on Nicole with Sami and then Sami and E.J., runs off together…imo!!!

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

EJ did cheat on Nicole with Sami—that is what broke them apart, when Rafe told Nicole who was married to EJ that Sami and EJ had slept together the day Johnny disappeared and they thought he died. Nicole left EJ only to soon find she was pregnant with his baby and convinced Rafe to claim to be the baby’s Daddy. And Sami and EJ did end up together after their marriages blew up– so in a way your story idea did happened, so that should make you happy.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Thanks Mary…you are correct…i dont know why i can remember Days plot from 40 years ago…like when Phylis planned to shoot Julie but by mistake shot her own daughter Mary but then i almost forgot E.J. did cheat on Nicole with Sami…another one of my brief memory loss problems but i guess it was there in the back of my mind when i put it in my comments in reply to kazzy and not realizing it already happen…i keep doing things like that too in my personal life…i try not to let it get to me…grateful that you reminded me…thanks,… Read more »

Ann Marie
Guest
Ann Marie

I thought Sami was the one who befriended Abby not Abby. I would feel bad for Sami if Sami had not cheated on Rafe

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Sami is a hypocrite…

Mark
Guest
Mark

Sami is ok but the real loss at days is EJ

Chaz
Guest
Chaz

I think Alison Sweeney has been turning in the best performances out of her whole run on Days the last few weeks. In the past Sami could be nasty, bitchy & vengeful but she somehow came off as a spoiled little girl. With this revenge story AS is putting out performances as an adult woman out for blood. Even her facial expressions seem different, harder and more cunning. Perhaps AS did need a break and the burden of having so much story all the time took its toll and she felt more dynamic as her run was coming to an… Read more »

dmr
Guest
dmr

I absolutely loved Sami’s scenes with Caroline and how she finally broke down. I’ve never been a huge fan of Sami; but, those scenes were genuine and raw.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

Sweeney is one of the reasons DAYS has become my soap of choice (even tho I follow all the remaining four). Her Sami is a rich legacy character and even if the plot seem wrong, I enjoy watching the actor. She will be missed but we will remember these great moments until Sami visits Salem. I cannot imagine there will not be guest appearances or a short-term storyline down the road.

Engrady Pind
Guest
Engrady Pind

The role of Sami Brady that Allison Sweeney played on Days has so tainted my opinion that I have difficulty separating the character from the actress. Anyone can play a self-absorbed, over-the-top, immature, undisciplined, screeching shrew.

I am waiting for everything to blow up in Sami’s face, at which time I will say, Bien hecho, bitch.

Elite Advisors
Guest
Elite Advisors

Change is Good…she has done this gig for many many years… I was shocked to hear she is directing a GH episode…isn’t that what Kim MC ( Robin) has always wanted to do? If there was a ‘opening’, why would they not have offered it to a long GH alum? I am sure there are reasons, but honestly, that’s just not cool….

Only my little bitty opinion…. 😉

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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