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THE BRAD BELL INTERVIEW – DAYTIME EMMY NOMINEE

bradmain.jpgOn the stage of The Bold and the Beautiful at CBS in Los Angeles, Brad Bell and his producers, colleagues, crew members and some of his stellar cast including: Lesley-Anne Down, Brandon Beemer, Susan Flannery, Jennifer Gareis and Jack Wagner – gathered to celebrate the series nomination for the 36th annual Daytime Emmys.

We caught up with Brad, who not only discussed the nominations, but previewed what’s to come on the show now that Don Diamont, Rick Hearst and Jackie M., are going to take front and center stage.

Here are some thoughts from executive producer, head writer, and Emmy-nominated Brad Bell!

What shows did you submit for competition that got you into the final three of the Outstanding
Daytime Drama Series category?

BRAD:

We submitted the shows where Storm took his life to save his sister. So, heavy drama, mostly hospital scenes with great family drama, and tragedy and triumph, and everything that goes into drama! We did submit those two back-to-back episodes, and did submit the same shows for writing and directing. Those were my special shows in the whole run of this series, I think.

Did you feel, with the Storm suicide/heart transplant story, that this was your big shot to nab the prize? Did you feel good about your submission?

stormSuicide.jpgBRAD:

Absolutely! I thought this year was better than what we had in previous years. I thought the story with Betty White and Stephanie going home to confront her mother was strong, but this one was top tier. So, we will keep our fingers crossed

Were you shocked there were only three nominees in the category?

BRAD:

Totally shocked! Maria Arena Bell (head writer and co-executive producer, “Y&R”) sent me a nice email already. It is a shock because “Y&R”, in the ratings, is by far and above the top show. It’s a brilliant show and deserves to be nominated. So, it’s hard to understand. But, it’s great to be nominated and it’s great that a show from each network is represented in the finals, and it’s great for all the networks.

How do you feel about the Emmy broadcast being on the CW and not on a major network that carries daytime soap opera?

BRAD:

I think it would be great if it was on one of the networks that airs these shows, but we are in a time of change. I hope this will deliver good ratings for the CW, and we will find a new home, and it will be fresh and interesting.

Do you think the networks are looking to see how it does this year?

BRAD:

I think so. It’s a time where programmers are making up their minds and forming their opinions of where things need to be heading, and what’s best for the networks.

Now that Guiding Light was cancelled did you ever think of trying to make “B&B” go to an hour?

rickHearst.jpgBRAD:

I am very happy to have a half hour show, and it’s wonderful to be that.

Big news is that Rick Hearst who just left his role on General Hospital is coming back to “B&B” to reprise his role of Whip Jones. Will he have a romance? What can we expect?

BRAD:

Yes, Whip Jones is back. We will have some new romances on the show.
I think with Bill Spencer, played by Don Diamont, and Whip, played by Rick Hearst; we will also go back to the fashion house part of our storytelling. Jackie M. has emerged as the new Spectra. There was nothing like Sally Spectra, but now we have a ‘cougar’ running a fashion house in Jackie.

Is Jackie turning a bit more to the dark side?

BRAD:

Well, it’s going to continue to be sexy, and there are wonderful and unique relationships that come up. We are building around Jackie M., and now Spencer Publications is in the middle of the mix. So you have two fashion houses, Bill Spencer in the middle, and it’s wonderful and all new and exciting.

How did you nab Rick Hearst to return to “B&B”?

BRAD:

I had heard he was let go. There are only a few people in the history of our show that you can bring back. And, Rick is such a great actor, and there was a need for someone like him. So I jumped on it.

lesleyann.jpgWill Whip be entangled again with Brooke?

BRAD:

Brooke, The Jackie M group, and Stephanie….We are going back to Forrester being about heavy drama, and Jackie M being a contrast to that. There is a lot of drama, but also there will be lots of fun. We are bringing camp back, which was popular in the 80’s and the 90’s. It’s time to have fun again, and I think that’s the difference you will see in the show in the next six months to a year. We are going to have more comedy, silliness, and craziness… and it should be a fun to watch.

Lesley–Anne Down is really doing a great job. Jackie Marone is truly in charge here!

BRAD:

It works so well, because Jackie is going to lead this fashion house. She is like a Bond girl. We are writing her as the boss, and she is going to handle all these guys, and she is not about to fall in love overnight.

But many this week thought perhaps she was crossing the line in sexual harassment of Owen. What is your take on Jackie’s point of view?

BRAD:

It’s interesting. It’s about a woman in control. Owen is like this surfer dude who’s come up and into this fashion world, and obviously he is falling for this woman. He is intrigued by her. She is like no one he has ever met, and he is the one who is going to fall head over heels. While she will be like, “No, get a grip! Try to control yourself.” A lot of people would think Owen would be the one calling the shots, but she is the one in charge

bb_celebrates.jpgWhat about Madame X? Will Bridget ever have her own man?

BRAD:

Bridget’s going to have her own man, soon.

Would you ever consider bringing back Deacon, played by Sean Kanan, at this point in time to mix things up even more with Jackie and the gang?

BRAD:

Sean as Deacon is wonderful! Right now, we are on to Bill Spencer and the return of Whip, but don’t rule anything out. Sean is a great actor, a wild-card, and can cause trouble for the lives of the characters on our show.

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My best Halloween costume was definitely Rubik’s Cube. I was about 11 years old and all of the older kids in the neighborhood were calling me, Rubie. I felt so cool. 8)

Days Of Our Lives

(INTERVIEW) Eric Martsolf Previews DAYS Stars on ‘Weakest Link’, How He Fared in the Game, Plus Welcoming New Tate, Leo Howard

Tuesday night on NBC’s Weakest Link (9 p.m. ET/PT), the stars of Days our of Lives test their knowledge, and try to win big money for the charity of their choice on the newest season of the popular game show hosted by Jane Lynch. In case you miss it, you can also catch the episode on Wednesday streaming on Peacock.

The question on everyone’s mind is … who will be revealed as Salem’s weakest link? Who will be left standing at the end of the game? DAYS favorites: Eric Martsolf (Brady) Brynn Dattilo (Lucas), Galen Gering (Rafe), Martha Madison (Belle), Victoria Konefal (ex-Ciara), Zach Tinker (Sonny), Tina Huang (Melinda) and Lindsay Arnold (ex-Allie) play while literally having the task of throwing their co-stars under the bus. The contestant who receives the highest number of votes leaves the game throughout, as Lynch declares their exit with the now iconic phrase, “You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.” 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Eric Martsolf, who daytime fans know is great as a host in his own right and oh-so-fun at playing any trivia game you throw at him. Martsolf gave us the inside scoop of what it was like to be on the set and backstage in a rather nerve-wracking environment, and trying to come off as smart while Jane Lynch roasts you at the same time!

Photo: NBC

In addition, Eric shared his thoughts on the new Tate, as Leo Howard takes over the role of his on-screen son from Jamie Martin Mann on the April 5th episode of Days of our Lives, plus working with Emily O’Brien as Theresa, and the loss of the legendary Bill Hayes. Check out what Eric had to say below.

Did you know about the game before? Had you watched the original version of the Weakest Link, or this latest incarnation?

ERIC: I was very, very familiar with the game because I found, as someone who enjoys hosting, that has to be one of the best hosting gigs out there because they just have extreme liberties in belittling the contestants, and it’s all done in jest of course, but it’s great. Jane Lynch is a master.

Did you get to meet Jane Lynch before she hit the stage for the taping?

ERIC: I don’t think any of us met her prior to being on the set. So, we’re standing there behind our podiums and these cyber lights just point all in one direction. At one point when we’re out there, it was kind of a hurry up and wait thing. We’re just like, “When is this going to start?” Then, here Jane comes and in all her glory in a beautiful navy-blue suit. She just prances onto stage and just glares over at us, and starts making fun of a silly soap opera actors like you wouldn’t believe. It was just great. I’ll let the public see what how she crucified us. But it was all done in fun.

Photo: NBC

Did she crucify you?

ERIC: I don’t think anybody got out unscathed to be honest with you.

For those that don’t know the game, you try to eliminate those that are the weakest in answering questions.

ERIC: Correct, and therein lies the problem. Historically, I think the Weakest Link is comprised of contestants that don’t really know each other, and in this case, you have not only coworkers, but almost family members because we all know each other very, very well. It’s a tight circle and even more so when you’re on the same show. So, we all went in into it pretty nervous because the premise of the game is to expose the inadequacy of people’s knowledge of general facts and information. So, essentially, you’re voting each other off because you don’t think they’re as smart as you are and that they’re the least smart in the group. So, I mean, that in itself is pretty, pretty tough to swallow. It was really hard, because you have to look at your friends in the eye and go, “yeah, I don’t think you’re going to get the next couple questions. You’re not the smartest, you’re not the crispiest chip in the bag. I’m going to let you go. ”

Did you feel bad about some of the eliminations?

ERIC: At one point, without giving away any spoilers, I voted off someone that without a doubt, has more smarts and education than I do. I just felt silly. But, you know, the way the game was going, I just felt it was the right. There is a bit of strategy involved. I’m worried about the airing of this particular episode because I did fumble some questions that people are going to turn their heads and go, “Really? You didn’t get that one?” It’s so much easier to answer these questions at home in your pajamas than it is, you know, looking at Jane Lynch in the eye with 6,000 lights at your face in front of cameras. Your brain tends to wander. So yes, we all had had some answers that we couldn’t believe we didn’t get at the time!

Photo: NBC

Did it get very competitive?

ERIC: There was little competition there. If I recall, it’s Galen and Bryan that went at it a little bit and had some laughs. But again, I can’t stress this enough, it was all done with fun. At the end of the day, every one of us wanted to win. I think the smartest person did actually come out victorious.

Now in the game, for those that have never seen it, you’re on your podium, and then Jane gives a question, right?

ERIC:  It’s a firing squad of questions. You only have a certain amount of time to answer. If you get the correct answer or the wrong answer, you immediately, go to the next contestant and you have a certain amount of time. And then, at the end of that line of questioning, everyone gets to vote as to who they believed was the biggest dummy in the group. (Laughs) Some questions are simple. You know, “What color is Santa Claus’ suit?” And then, the next question is “What is 648,000 times 14?” or what’s the population of some obscure country? So, that was the biggest challenge. Someone else might get, “What is the main ingredient of a banana split?” And my question could be like, “How much is 9,430 times x 59 million?” There’s an intimidation factor that Jane Lynch brings to it when she’s staring you down.

Photo: NBC

When the cast finished the entire game, what happened backstage?

ERIC:  The best part was there were these post interviews that the Weakest Link conducts where you have to go into a dark black room. I think my first question was, “How did you feel about that wrong answer?” They don’t let up. They just keep jabbing at you. “Did you feel ridiculous getting the wrong answer to that fourth-grade level question?” (Laughs) There was also a lot of trash talk with that happened after the show. It got so competitive. If I recall, we were all supposed to go out together and get a meal with everybody, and that never happened. They’re like, “I’m not eating lasagna with you right now. You just voted me off!” Now, even the first person that gets voted off, you’re going to be shocked, because I thought this person would probably win it. In the game, you want the best people to remain on the panel because that’s what drives up the money.

Photo: JPI

Later this week on DAYS, we will see the debut of your new on-screen son, Leo Howard, taking over from Jamie Martin Mann as Tate.

ERIC: How about that?  I just did a post on Instagram, because I saw that Jamie Martin Mann had liked and hearted a post about Leo Howard coming on the show. I just thought that was so classy of him. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, “This is the new guy. Embrace him. He’s good. I’ve met him. He is a good guy.” It’s about handing off the character baton sometimes, sort to speak. I was really proud of those guys. I reached out to Jamie. He just wants to go to college and be a student. I understand that. That’s important.

Photo: JPI

Is that challenging for you as an actor since you’ve built this relationship with the one guy as your son, and now you’ve got to pivot and create a different kind of energy with someone else taking on the part?

ERIC: Leo Howard has been in the industry for a while, with some very good credits to his name. He brings a certain charisma to this role that I think people are really going to love. And yes, he’s older, but he plays younger, and he has that ability and he’s pulling it off brilliantly. I can’t wait for people to see him, but of course I miss Jamie. Emily O’Brien (Theresa) and I really grew to love him very quickly because the storyline got so deep, so quickly, with the drug intervention and then him getting beat up in in prison. I mean, as a father, that’s the kind of stuff that you have nightmares about, you know, your kids being in pain.

Photo: JPI

I still love the fact that Emily O’Brien is still noticeably wearing a blonde wig as Theresa. What are your thoughts on how the transition has been for you, and for her pivoting to a completely different role?

ERIC: I hadn’t worked with Emily much before, because Gwen and Brady never really crossed paths. We all saw the transition that she had to make. When I became Brady, the character hadn’t been on the map for three years.  When she became Theresa, she walks out one gate and comes through the other as Theresa. We all had a good giggle about it. That’s hard to ask an audience to go,  OK, I’m Gwen, now I’m Theresa.” I was scrolling through X (formerly Twitter) and I saw a couple posts from fans that said how they were really weary, at first, about accepting Emily O’Brien as Theresa. But after today’s episode, they shared, “I’m loving her as Tate’s mom, and the chemistry she has with the family.” I texted Emily and I said, “I just want to let you know that you’re just bringing it home really brilliantly, and people are starting to come around.” I think they’ll do that with Leo Howard too.

Photo: JPI

What had it been like without the iconic Bill Hayes (Doug Williams) coming to work and being part of the Days of our Lives cast since his passing?

ERIC: You really do miss that presence in the hallways. He was a song and dance guy and I am a song and dance guy. as well. I kind of find myself the lone singer in the makeup room sometimes, but I could always count on Bill. He’d be humming some old tune from the sixties. I’d start humming along and he’d just kind of lean over and take a look at me, and give a little smile. Everyone else was probably irritated at us, but we just kept singing along. and it’s like 6:30 in the morning. I think Bill was a lot like the late John Aniston (ex-Victor), in the sense that I don’t really feel like he felt he was working. He was just always having fun right up until the end. That little number he did with his wife, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), and Dick Van Dyke (guest starring as Timothy Robicheaux), where he was singing along, he was just living it. It was so cute and so adorable to watch.

Photo: JPI

Your final tease for the Weakest Link tonight is, “Fans should watch because …”

ERIC: Fans should watch it because if they thought we were smart before, wait till they see the show.

You can check out the cold open for tonight’s Weakest Link “Days of our Lives special” below.

Now let us know, will you be watching Eric and his co-stars, past and present, attempting to showcase their knowledge on the ‘Weakest Link? Intrigued to see Leo Howard and Eric in scenes as new Tate and his father, Brady? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Interviews

The Young and the Restless’ Michael Damian On Christine/Danny/Phyllis: “It’s a Fun Triangle Story That They’re Having Us Do, Because It’s Very Retro”

This week on The Young and the Restless, while Danny (Michael Damian) and Christine (Lauralee Bell) hit the sheets, and Phyllis (Michele Stafford) sets off an alarm as payback (literally!), the top-rated CBS soap opera continues to weave the tale of these three characters decades later, finding themselves in very familiar territory with each other.

We know that Christine and Phyllis are basically, mortal enemies, while Danny, who has been the man in the middle, has had a past with both women. However, it is Christine who has been, for all intent and purposes the love of his life.  But, will Phyllis’ machinations make it near to impossible for Danny and Christine to be together? Stay tuned.

Last week, Michael and his real-life wife, Janeen Damian visited the Michael Fairman Channel promoting their #1 streaming film on Netflix, Irish Wish starring Lindsay Lohan. The film was produced by the Damians, while Janeen directed it and co-wrote the romantic story. Michael is featured on the Irish Wish soundtrack performing his track, Wild Irish Heart.

Photo: Netflix

During the conversation, Michael shared what it has been like revisiting the Christine/Danny/Phyllis triangle years later. Damian addressed the fans on the livestream, who inquired. “It’s a fun triangle story that they’re having us do, because it’s very retro. And I think it’s fun to bring that nostalgia, retro thing back.”

Photo: JPI

Recalling a tender moment between Danny on the piano alone with Christine (during the standalone episode which honored Lauralee Bell’s 40th anniversary with Y&R), Michael expressed, “I think what they’re doing is so smart, and they’re reconnecting a lot of the fans to a lot of the story. I mean, we’re talking years and years of story.”

Photo: JPI

The longtime Y&R fan favorite, added, “I’m really glad they did the thing on the piano because people have been asking, ‘Why are you not doing any music? Why are you not singing? Where’s your band?’ You know what I mean? Janeen is asking the same thing, ‘Why aren’t you singing something on the show?’ The last time I sang on the show was when we thought Phyllis was dead. So, you know, that didn’t count. (Laughs)

One of the funniest moment in the revisiting of the triangle occurred when Phyllis and Christine were arguing over Danny, and he was right there in the room with them. The two women got so engrossed in their fight, they forgot he was there, and thus he walked out of the room.

Photo: JPI

Michael revealed, he liked that scene too! “They’re fighting. They’re arguing and Danny’s like, ‘Listen, I’m over here. Please stop it.” And then they don’t stop,” Damian recalled. “And so Danny just grabs his coat, picks up his sheet music, because he was working on a song. He goes to the door. In the scene, I even look back to see if they are even noticing me leave, and then I just left. That one was pretty funny. I’ll be honest. I was laughing out in the hallway when I left. I was thinking, ‘Should I slam the door? But then if I slam the door, they still have dialogue.’ They’re still talking and they would’ve turned, and then it would’ve ruined it. So, I just gently closed the door and left.

Photo: JPI

During the livestream, Damian teased he has some upcoming scenes with longtime Y&R co-star Beth Maitland (Traci), “I just worked with Beth Maitland actually the other day, and that was really fun. I can’t wait for people to see that show.”

Check out the the Michael Fairman Channel chat with Michael and Janeen Damian below.

Now, let us know, are you rooting for Danny and Christine? Do you think Phyllis will continue to be a disruptor in this relationship and somehow worm her way back into Dannys good graces? Share your thoughts in the comment section. But first check out this sneak peek for this week’s Y&R featuring the trio.

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Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Star Blake Berris Chats On the Everett Lynch/Bobby Stein Mystery, Working with His New Co-Stars, and the Last Christmas Episode with Bill Hayes

On Days of our Lives, the return of Blake Berris is making for some very intriguing drama, with the audience guessing just which way the story will go.

When Berris arrived back on Days of our Lives, after previously playing Nick Fallon, he was taking on the new role of Everett Lynch, who has a past with Stephanie Johnson (Abigail Klein) and Jada Hunter (Elia Cantu). Only, as it has been revealed, the past he had with Jada was under the name “Bobby Stein,” who from what we can tell was far from a nice guy.

Blake visited the Michael Fairman Channel for a livestream interview this week, where fans in the live chat were weighing-on what could be the truth about the guy – is he a split personality suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder? Did the accident that cost him a year of his life in a coma, never happen? Recently, someone set fire to the beloved Horton house. Fans are suspecting it would have been “Bobby” who is working for Clyde Weston (James Read). Others believe that Everett/Bobby could actually be Clyde’s son. With upcoming therapy sessions with Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) about to start, things are about to get more juicy in Salem.

Photo: JPI

Here are just a few excerpts from our conversation with Blake on a myriad of Everett/Bobby subjects. Make sure to check out the full interview for more.

Did you know that they were going to make Everett Lynch a Jewish character? This is only the second time in the history of the show that they have even had a Jewish character on the canvas. Didn’t they reveal this at the Horton family Christmas episode?

BLAKE: No, they never asked me. I am half-Jewish on my dad’s side. There was never like, ‘You’re Jewish, right? We can call you Jewish on the show?’ At the Horton Christmas, “They made a real point of it, yeah.”

And now the new ‘character’ is “Bobby Stein” …

BLAKE: “Right, and that suggests more Jewish, and then Lynch must be coming from somewhere else, maybe the mother. I was so curious because I think the show has been historically, I’m gonna say, Catholic more than like Wasps. With the Bradys there’s this sort of Irish influence, and then the DiMeras, that’s Italian. So, we’ve got Catholics sort of on both sides that are dominant. Now I, “represent”.

Photo: JPI

What has it been like working with Abigail Klein?

BLAKE: I think she is extraordinary. We start off sort of frosty, or she’s frosty with me, like she doesn’t want to let me in. And then, for a while things are going really well. I just could not adore Abigail more. She’s such a good actor. I could always rely on her to bring me back into a scene and be there in this emotionally, supportive way.

Photo: JPI

Everett and Chad seemed to be becoming friend-ish, when all went awry when at the PCPD interrogation room, Everett let him know about Elia and Bobby Stein, and Chad let him have it for worming his way back in to Stephanie’s life.

BLAKE: Billy would call us the ‘disgusting brothers’ and that’s a reference from Succession, because all of a sudden they’re just so chummy with each other. It’s like all of a sudden we just had this like ‘Bernstein and Woodward’, sort of dynamic duo. I think that Everett really started to think of Chad as a friend and feels sort of disappointed, and he feels, “Oh, it’s that easy? I just needed to have some other identity and now you’re a fair-weather friend?”‘

Photo: JPI

In recent scenes, Jada sees Bobby Stein for the first time, and we see you and Elia Cantu share scenes with each other for the first time. What is it like working with Elia?

BLAKE: She’s fire, man. She comes in hot and she tells you the way it’s going to be. I think early on, we were trying to suss each other out and the more we worked together, the more comfortable you get with somebody. I think actors do this sometimes with each other; if there’s spice on screen, you like to keep some of what you have on-screen in your (real-life) interactions because it helps … it helps the work.  Eventually, we just sort of wore each other down and we’re like, ‘I actually totally get you, and you’re great.'”

Did you know that they were going to make Everett Lynch a Jewish character? This is only the second time in the history of the show that they have even had a Jewish character and didn’t they reveal this at the Horton family Christmas episode?

BLAKE: No, they never asked me. I am half-Jewish on my dad’s side. There was never like, ‘You’re Jewish, right? We can call you Jewish on the show?’ At the Horton Christmas, “They made a real point of it, yeah.”

And now the new ‘character’ is “Bobby Stein” …

BLAKE: “Right, and that suggests more Jewish, and then Lynch must be coming from somewhere else, maybe the mother. I was so curious because I think the show has been historically, I’m gonna say, Catholic more than like Wasps. With the Bradys there’s this sort of Irish influence, and then the DiMeras, that’s Italian. So we’ve got Catholics sort of on both sides that are dominant. Now I, “represent”.

Photo: JPI

You were on set and in the annual Horton Christmas episode which sadly marked the last for Days of our Lives legendary Bill Hayes, who passed away in January of this year.  What do you recall of that tape day?

BLAKE: It was the Christmas episode when we were watching Susan (Julie) and Bill, say ‘Merry Christmas.’  And there was something about it that just felt like it could be the last time. I mean, it wrecked us all on set. Bill gets so choked up and there was something really profound about the moment. They kiss each other as they have so many times before on the show. It was just beautiful. It felt beautiful to be there for that last Christmas. He’s just such an icon. Every time I’d see him, he was so with it … he knew my name, he knew his lines. What an incredible, incredible man.

Photo: JPI

Fans will get to see Everett in therapy sessions with Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall)? Would you say she is helping the guy?

BLAKE: Deidre’s always making jokes about Marlena, ‘She’s the worst therapist in the world’ (Laughs) I remember in the first therapy session, we almost couldn’t get through the scenes because it’s just so clear that Everett has a litany of very profound psychological issues that he is going to have to work through. He’ll keep coming back. This guy’s gonna pay the bills!

Photo: JPI

Viewers are waiting to see how they mystery of Everett Lynch/Bobby Stein plays out. What can you say as a tease for what’s to come?

BLAKE: As far as a tease, I would say, you have all these characters sort of, trying to wake up the ‘sleeping giant’ in a way. I think it’s safe to say that like if you poke a bear, the bear might wake up.

Watch the livestream chat with Blake in full below.

Now let us know, what do you think is going with Everett/Bobby? What has happened to him in his past? Share your theories in the comment section below, and make sure to catch Days of our Lives next week on Peacock for more to his story.

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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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