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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stephen Nichols Named ‘Power Performances of the Week’

Last week’s Days of our Lives provided quite the backdrop for some stellar performances, as we had previously noted earlier in the week here.   However, there were a few scenes and moments that just stood out to us, that even when we watched them back for a second or third time, still got us choked up.

First, Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf (Brady) really deserves some major kudos here for his understated and effective work when Brady is finally given the truth – that his daughter Rachel is alive – and his brother Eric’s (Greg Vaughan) child, Mickey is the one who really died in a nefarious baby switch scheme thanks to Xander (Paul Telfer) and Victor (John Aniston).


Not only did Martsolf convey the joy that his daughter was alive juxtaposed with months of angst that preceded it, but he also showed the heartbreak knowing that Eric and Sarah’s (Linsey Godfrey) child did not survive.  In scenes with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), Greg Vaughan, and later with Stacy Haiduk (Kristen), where Brady tells Kristen their child is alive, Martsolf delivered.

Then, there was Stephen Nichols (Steve), who did what he does best, showing the vulnerability of Steve Johnson.  In key scenes following surgery to rid Steve’s head of the chip that made him believe and act like Stefano, Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) tries to explain her new relationship with Justin (Wally Kurth).  That alone is a shocking moment for Steve … and then he cannot understand how his sister and Justin broke up.  That is when Kayla has to tell Steve that his beloved sister, Adrienne (Judi Evans) had passed away a year ago following a tragic car crash.


Steve is overcome with emotion and tears, as any brother would be who loves his sister, which made this all the more realistic.  It was heartbreaking watching Steve try to deal with finding out Adrienne was gone and then blaming himself for not being there for her.  It was made all the more hankie-inducing in a later scene, when he hugged his brother Jack (Matthew Ashford), as the two mourned the loss of their sibling.

For these moments noted above, Michael Fairman TV names Eric and Stephen last week’s Power Performances of the Week.  

So, what did you think of Eric and Stephen’s work? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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For me the most overpowering scene in a week filled with them was when Jack and Steve finally reunited in Steve’s hospital room. As wonderful as it was to have Steve and Kayla in the same place together again, that moment of the brothers finally hugging each other again after all those years caused me to burst into tears of joy and relief to have them together again. Matt and Stephen were exceptional in that scene and I will remember it always.

Stephen and Mary Beth had me sobbing as Steve remembered the past. So powerful

My mother was doing the same thing. Stephen and Mary Beth began way before my time. I just don’t understand the fascination with these two.

Your mother has great taste.

Two great choices!! Both actors were wonderful..I loved Brady talking to Nicole about everything and then when he found out. Everything with Stephen was exceptional this week, I loved him finishing his vows to Kayla as he got his memory back and then when he and Jack hugged..

Great acting but this show has too many plots involving amnesia or mind control…

Last week was probably the best all around acting & writing during the whole jump.
Stephen Nichols is the best male actor in daytime right now. The range he has shown since his return has been amazing.

Stephen is the best. Im not taken with Brady so meh.
As for the character of Steve our Patchman he has such range and is far more human than most of Days stereotypes. As for the current storyline I truly think Kayla no longer deserves this man. She has proven to be far more taken with herself than anyone else. She also displays a constancy in that she has zero faith and belief in Steve and yet she is the first to betray her own set of codes (honesty and faithfulness). He deserves someone far less critical of him and one who actually sees the man he is not someone who has to be tied to her strings.

The scenes between Jack and Steve were just incredible. It has been a long wait to have Matt Ashford and Stephen Nichols in such a powerful scene mourning Adrienne. The whole week of shows last week was great with the Kayla-Steve story as well as the baby story. The pace was good and you really could not miss a day.

I will grant you that these 2 actors were terrific! As stated by @Jimh, there are too many stories relying on amnesia and mind control, to say nothing of the old staple, the baby switch. BTW, as I write this, it has been a few days since we saw Sara take off with the baby she now knows is not hers. They are sure dragging out this storyline out for all it’s worth. I just want to see Brady and Kristen be given their baby! Then you should have even more outstanding acting performances to highlight, and I can move on…

But before I do, one other point about DOOL. Maybe I’m all by myself on a limb here, but I just don’t like (or understand) the character of Kayla. Her eruption at Steve in Monday’s show was so uncalled for. She should be glad that he made her choice easier (by stepping aside); she has been so whiny and wishy-washy to the nth degree. And let’s forget all the amnesia, mind control, face masks (for impersonation), and brain chips for a moment. In what universe does a physician operate on her ex-husband (brain surgery, no less)? And as Chief of Staff, Kayla evident specializes in virtually every discipline in medicine: that is what I find hard to believe.

And while I’m on a negative rant here, I have to admit I am not a fan of the other so-called heroines of DOOL: Jennifer (never liked her — I may be influenced by the actress, though), Hope (too undefined as a character), and the beloved Marlena (to me, a cold, uncharming, know-it-all). I apologize for offending fans of these characters: they just rub me the wrong way (maybe Kayla also specializes in dermatology and could treat my ill-rubbed skin).

Give me Kate (more please), Kristen, and Nicole anytime!

And one other thing. I am not a long-time viewer of DOOL, so admittedly my opinions of these beloved characters is framed over the last few years. Other viewers with a much longer investment might be far more enamoured with these “heroines.”

Also, in addition to the absurdity of the brain chip plots, wherein Stefano’s “essence” (?!?!?!) was implanted into Steve’s body, I was a bit confused, as I remember the same actor playing Stephan on GH (Steve, Stefano, and Stephan), to say nothing of the possible return of Stefan O….

I have never agreed with anyone more, especially your view of those so-called heroines. I would also like to add to your list, Julie who can also be a pushy busy-body. I also like Kate, but not Nicolle so much. I feel she always has some darn reason for butting into someone’s life. I would just love to see Kristin gone for good, as I don’t think she can ever be totally redeemed. The first time someone looks at her daughter the wrong way, is she going to kill them? I also can’t stand Sarah, so whiney, screeching, loud and obnoxious. So now that we’ve named all these women, not too many left, oh except Gabi, and there’s only one name for her!

Hello Violet Lemm2! Thanks a million for your reply! Glad you largely agree with me, and it’s awesome to read your opinions on this!

I do understand your points about Nicole and Kristen. BTW, I wrote my post before Kristen stabbed Victor. I know she’s done some terrible things (understatement). As Gabi has. But the actress who portrays Kristen is just so mesmerizing — that’s why I “enjoy” this villain.

Of the women, my absolute favorite is Kate, also mesmerizing and stunning. I’m always happy for any storyline they send her way; I don’t care how many times she is held captive; at least she’s on screen!

And I am totally with you on Sarah (“whiney” personified) and Julie (“busy-body” personified). I think it’s great that this actress has a long and storied body of work with this show. But when there are scenes of Julie and Gabi arguing, I often find myself siding with Gabi.

Thanks for your quick reply. Not too much to look forward to these days. I had meant to reply to your comment about Steve and Kayla’s
outburst to him. Being a woman, I can perfectly understand what that was all about. She was hurt, angry and any other emotion I could think of because he gave up so easy and didn’t rant and rave about giving her up to someone else, mainly Justin without a fight.We women are like that James, if you love us fight, you don’t just walk away!
So nice talking to you, stay well,

Just a quick reply, Violet Lemm 2, you make a great point about Kayla’s reaction to Steve. Okay, so now I can “walk away….” 🙂

Thank you, Violet Lemm 2. You stay well, too!

She became completely abusive and cruel! Kayla lies not sweetness at all! She needs therapy!

I don’t see that at all. She was hurt? She is living with another man for heaven’s sake! She does everything she can to throw Justin in Steve’s face and is as abusive as she can be. Sorry these excuses for Kayla are a bit off and seem more like the interviews given by the actress to justify spoiled and crappy behaviors

Thanks for your replies, Jaime. I am just noticing them now. (I didn’t get the usual email noting a reply to a post.) But you make some great points about the flawed character of Kayla. Take care.

Sounds more like the interviews by the Days staffers and actors than a reality. This woman is weak, dependent, needy and everything a professional should not be. She is also in total denial of her own actions and the consequences not of others behaviors but her own.

I am in total agreement with everything you stated.
As for Kayla she is unrecognizable today and enables the worst. She is a woman who completely denies her own role in creating situations and destroying her own marriage. She blames, she rants, she lashes out, she distorts the events and facts, feels entitled, shamelessly blames the victim and inserts herself as the primary victim! She and Justin have acted out, have enabled their worst of behaviors and present themselves as weak, spoiled and completely needy individuals incapable of standing on their own two feet.
As Chief of Staff its a bit ridiculous since her actions are completely lacking in professional ethics. From operating without a trained certified neurosurgeon, to operating based on emotions, to entertaining her new boyfriend in the ex’s hospital room while unconscious and having that boyfriend stalk a patient was rather obscene. There is just so little left of the Kayla that we knew. As for Justin a more infantile man would be hard to find. He is totally dependent on having someone there for constant ego stroking. To pretend this is entertaining is a farce. To say they are over bolstering a character Justin who had not led a story for 20 years and has been inserted not naturally placed in this one was in such poor taste that one can only be turned off.

Thank you for your reply, Dexter. Your further analyses of the characters of Kayla and Justin are insightful, and I agree with you! I was looking at Kayla’s profession only in the sense of her boundless areas of expertise. Your point about her “lacking in professional ethics” in myriad ways is an even stronger argument, to say nothing of a Chief of Staff constantly showing public displays of affection in the workplace. Take care.

So grateful to have Stephen back. Watching Steve and Kayla again feels like I have my Days back. They bring to the show what other couples dont for me. As outrageous as having a chip in your brain SL is Steve and Kayla always bring a realness to their scenes. I hope Stephen finally gets Emmy recognition

Loved the Stayla scenes. These two shine incredible performances no wonder MBE has so many Emmy’s. And Stephen Nichols going from obsessed villain, Stefano to our beloved Steve Johnson, incredible acting range . Love love loved it

Steve broke my heart. For once it wasn’t his bad choices that hurt Kayla. He was on his way home to her. His life got blown up in 5 minutes- he found out his wife was with someone else and his sister was killed. Just heartbreaking scenes.

It is Kayla who betrayed him. It is her bad behaviors not his. Its just time Kayla looked into a mirror rather than this nonsense that anything Kayla says goes. Because of Kayla’s insistence upon everything her way I can no longer support that character and I truly believe its Time Steve dumped her for real

Based on the number of posts/replies, it looks like you’re here only to bash Kayla to those who are fans of the couple. Wish I had that much free time. But, then, I wouldn’t use it for such petty & infantile behavior.

How can you defend Kayla and her bad behaviors??!

But Kayla never accepts any blame! It’s disgusting

Stephen Nichols hands down is best actor on Days and hopefully the writer will capitalize on it. The chemistry/connection he and Mary Beth Evans have is out of this world. I love their dance scenes because they convey more with a look than any couple I have ever watched on tv.

He is the best by far.

To bad the writing is awful and those justifying bad behaviors including some from the days set who just stroke the writers egos are doing more harm than good. It becomes insulting and that is a good way to lose your own fan base.

For the most part, Days seems like it’s getting back to what makes it so good, family, drama, and angst. It was nice to watch this week. Though they really need to cut back on all the flashbacks. The only ones that were really relevant and fitting were the Steve/Kayla and Marlena/Orpheus ones. Watching the two actors that play Steve and Kayla is a true joy, they have that much connection and chemistry. Plus they are both really good actors!! Eric has really grown and continues to grow it’s a joy.

Oh please don’t let Steve and Hope get together. I was really sick of him and Sweetness, but she is the lesser of two evils. It was bad enough seeing him romance Marlena.

Better Hope than the spoiled thing that is now Kayla

I am not crazy about Kayla, but it is not that she’s spoiled. She’s hurt because Steve is not fighting for her as he always has. Nothing could ever come between them, but now Steve feels so guilty with the Stefano thing, he’s pushing her away to another man and she can’t stand it.

She is abusive and shows a total lack of concern for anyone’s feelings other than herself. His never even come into play. She threw him away and dumped him like garbage. She not he.

I love Steve and Kayla; would love for them to reunite. Agree Hope and him no.

Yes to hope

O.K here goes.I know there are a lot of Kristin fans out there, but has everyone including the writers who made her this person,really,forget who she really is? Brady is so stupid when it comes to women, I can ALMOST give him a pass, but to let this crazy woman take off with his child is worse than stupid, it is aiding and abetting a criminal. My God, she stole his first child right out of his mother’s womb. I don’t think she would hurt the baby, it’s the idea of rewarding her in a sense, letting her just take the baby and run, like she deserves this prize she’s won. She just sat there and stuck a knife into his grandfather, and then he just gives up his daughter to this lunatic! Sorry, but this is so distasteful to me and my maternal feelings.

Days Of Our Lives

Arianne Zucker Reflects Back on the ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape with Donald Trump, and Speaks to Her Exit from Days of our Lives

It’s been eight years, but somehow seems like ages ago, that Arianne Zucker was thrust into the mainstream public limelight, unfortunately not for her work as Nicole on Days of our Lives, but for the Access Hollywood taped that surfaced when former president Donald Trump  and current Republican nominee, visited the set of the (then) NBC soap opera, and met Zucker.

The tape captured a hot mic moment between Trump and then ‘Access’ host Billy Bush inside of their bus which featured lewd remarks about Zucker between the two men.

Speaking on the moment, Zucker opened about it on Rachel Uchitel’s Miss Understood podcast, where the video version of the interview is now on Uchitel’s You Tube Channel. Back in 2005, Arianne was the scene partner with Trump in his Apprentice/Days of our Lives crossover appearance, because her character of Nicole was at the time a gold-digger.

Photo: JPI

Zucker shared of her on set experience with Trump from 2005, “I had a great experience. He was lovely, and I had no idea anything behind the scenes was happening. So, it never affected me.” Next in October 2016, Arianne says she it got a call from her manager at the time when the Access Hollywood tapes came to light and that is when she first heard about the situation.

The actress and life coach reflected back, “Everybody has spoken poorly about somebody in their lifetime. I don’t care who you are, everybody has, it’s just people get caught on camera doing it. Unfortunately, that happens all the time. And if you’ve ever gone to a fraternity party, these things happen. So (when she later read the taped comments) I’m going, ‘sounds like something my fraternity guys I know would say.’ But I just didn’t see it in the way that people were seeing it.’”

Expressing why she never made an official comment when the press were asking for one, Arianne revealed, “I didn’t make a comment though, because I was in fear of losing my job. So I didn’t say anything.”  She added, “I felt attacked by the media because I knew all they wanted. I mean, the biggest thing was to get Trump off the ballot. I was like, that is not my job.”

Later, Arianne explained she felt she received no protection from the situation. “I got no apology from my place of employment. I really got no apology from NBC. I felt I had no protection. ”

Photo: JPI

DAYS fans are counting down and not happily that about six weeks from now, on July 29th, when Zucker makes her on-screen exit from Days of our Lives. After being fired for standing up to Corday Productions for on set sexual harassment and discrimination charges, the actress formally filed a lawsuit she has brought against her former employer which includes charges of wrongful termination.

Zucker said on her upcoming departure from DAYS, “I will not say how I leave the show. I do respect that we don’t want to share that. We want the fans to be excited and enticed.” However, Arianne confirmed that the character of Nicole is not ‘killed-off”.

So, what do you think of Arianne’s comments reflecting back on the Access Hollywood tapes media frenzy with Donald Trump, and her upcoming exit from DAYS? Weigh-in. But first, check out Ari on Rachel’s podcast below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Dan Feuerriegel on EJ Keeping Eric From His Child, “He’s in the Deep End … There’s No Coming Back for Him Now”

On Days of our Lives, Nicole (Arianne Zucker) has been reunited with her biological son, baby Jude. Her husband, EJ (Dan Feuerriegel), is now keeping a major secret, and in order to keep it from coming out he had to get Sloan (Jessica Serfaty) out of Salem, and keep both Melinda Trask (Tina Huang) and Leo Stark (Greg Rikaart) quiet and at bay.

However, as in any good soap opera, time is running out for EJ. What will happen when Nicole and Eric (Greg Vaughan) find out that EJ is not the little one’s biological father, but Eric is? And, what will happen when they realize EJ knew the truth and hid it from them?

This is just one item in a laundry list of skullduggery committed by EJ since he has been in Salem. With Arianne Zucker set to exit on-screen on July 29th, it looks like we are heading into the home stretch of the baby switch storyline.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Dan Feuerriegel to get his take on the situation and what it has been like working with Greg and Ari in the story.

Dan shared on EJ’s despicable decision to pretend he is Jude’s bio-dad, “I know I’m a terrible human being, but I love playing a terrible human being.” Feurriegel added, “Oh, he’s in the deep end. Like, there is no coming back for him now.”

The DAYS star also noted if EJ had done anything more nefarious to Sloan, his character might not ever be able to come back from that. “There’s only so much hatred EJ can get from the viewers that it probably would’ve been a bridge too far for me to just make her (Sloan) disappear,” clarified Dan.

Photo: JPI

As to his time working with Arianne Zucker as his on-screen wife, Dan had noting but praise for her. Feuerriegel expressed, “I loved working with her. She’s so good. She’s an amazing actress. She’s fantastic. Every scene that I did with her, I didn’t have to do anything because I just rode on the coattails of what she did. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her.”

Photo: JPI

Dan also had high marks for his on-screen nemesis, Greg Vaughan, “Greg is fantastic, like everybody in the storyline was amazing. Greg’s amazing … Ari’s amazing … Jessica was fantastic and that’s what made it work. I’m very grateful to have worked with every single one of them.”

Photo: JPI

On soap operas and especially on Days of our Lives, when someone exits, or ‘dies’ on-screen that doesn’t mean goodbye forever, and Dan knows this too. In regards to anyone who leaves Salem, the actor joked, “I’m not going to say the doors closed, because you never say never, especially in Hollywood or on a soap. I mean, I’ve come back and I was like two inches shorter and (with) a completely different face.”

So, how do you think Eric will find out that Jude is really his son, and that EJ has been lying to keep Nicole? Let us know in the comment section, but first Check out our conversation with Dan from the red carpet at the recent 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Lamon Archey and Sal Stowers Return to Days of our Lives to Celebrate Abe and Paulina’s Juneteenth Wedding Anniversary and a ‘Going Away’ Party

There are several reasons that Days of our Lives favorites Lamon Archey (Eli) and Sal Stowers (Lani) are making a return on the Wednesday, June 19th episode of the Peacock streaming soap opera.

First, Lani and Eli come back to Salem to celebrate the wedding anniversary of Abe (James Reynolds) and Paulina (Jackee Harry), which happened on Juneteenth Day which is on June 19th.

Juneteenth, which is a Federal holiday, is an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War, has been celebrated by African Americans since the late 1800s.

Photo: JPI

Meanwhile, the return also serves as a “apparent” send-off for Johnny (Carson Boatman) and Chanel (Raven Bowens), who are set to depart Salem, since Johnny landed his dream job in California.

Look like Elani is also attending their going away party, but are the departing couple (with Chanel being pregnant) really going to leave Salem? Stay tuned.

Stowers made her first Days of our Lives appearance back in September of 2015. Lani is the adoptive daughter of Abe and the biological daughter of Paulina. As for Archey, he arrived on the scene in 2017 as Julie’s (Susan Seaforth Hayes) grandson. Sal and Lamon were last seen on-screen in March of this year.

Looking forward to seeing Eli and Lani back on DAYS? Do you think Johnny and Chanel are exiting the Salem canvas? Comment below.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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