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The Young and The Restless Michelle Stafford Interview: One Of Soaps Greatest On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

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There is no question that The Young and the Restless’ Michelle Stafford is one of the most phenomenal actresses in the history of the soap genre! And now this year, Stafford scores her tenth Daytime Emmy Nomination for her role as Genoa City’s fiery Phyllis! Already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner, could this be the year that Michelle adds to her gold collection if she takes home the prize for Outstanding Lead Actress?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Michelle in her dressing room at Y&R’s studios at CBS to get her thoughts on the recognition from her peers, what episode she picked when she always has some amazing work to choose from, and how not to let an Emmy win, or never being nominated, define your hard work and performances.

Always a straight-shooter, always humorous, and always someone who understands the human condition, here is our Emmy chat with Michelle!  Don’t forget, the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be handed out on Sunday night, June 16th and broadcast live on HLN!

What episode did you submit that landed you in the finals of the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category this year?  And, why did you decide to go with that episode?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHELLE:  I actually loved the show because on paper it was very different than how I played it.  I always go with what I like, and if I don’t get in, I don’t get in.  Like last year, I loved the show I submitted and I didn’t get nominated.  And you know, I feel better not getting nominated, or not winning based on integrity, and what I thought was good.  I don’t always go with how I think people will perceive it.  I liked this because there were a lot of twists and turns in it.  In the episode, Phyllis goes after Christine (Lauralee Bell) in the coffee house, and I kind of made it funny.  Then I was pissed, and then it was like a ‘screw you!’  It was a rollercoaster ride, which I liked.  And, then there are scenes with Nick (Joshua Morrow) where she is hurt over his relationship with Avery (Jessica Collins).

How was it on paper, or written in the script?

MICHELLE: On paper they wanted me to come in a like a bull and lose my mind on Christine.  I was like, “Well, you know … she is a lot smarter than that.”   The thing was, Phyllis already won.  She got off for the crime.  So when you already won, you don’t need to throw it to be mad, because you won!  I put some gloating in there!  Like, “I’m free, bitch!” (Laughs)  Phyllis was just making fun of Christine, and Lauralee Bell was awesome in the scene!  In fact, she pushed me as Christine, and that was not in the script, and so I pushed her back! (Laughs) It was a good old-fashioned bitch fight! (Laughs) I am so glad though that the writers had these scenes for me to play.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Who weighed-in on your choices for your Emmy submission?  I know Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R) always usually helps you pick, or offers up an opinion to you come Emmy time!

MICHELLE: It was one of those years that I had some really good scenes in episodes, and then two boring ones at the end.  Everyone falls into that.  I had two really great shows, but then at the end of that I had these two scenes, where I talk about nothing for a long time with somebody.  So it was between this one with Lauralee and Josh, or the other episode was with me and Christian going back and forth.  I sent it to Christian and I also sent to Nancy Lee Grahn, (Alexis, GH) because she sends me hers.  And, she did not look it at it because she was too busy.  So it was just Christian.  See Nancy! (Laughs)  In the end though, I go with my gut.

What do you think about the other ladies in your category this year …  Susan Flannery (Ex-Stephanie) and Heather Tom (Katie) for their work on The Bold and the Beautiful, and Peggy McKay (Caroline) of Days of our Lives?

MICHELLE:  There are only four nominees in the category, which is shocking!  I saw a performance of Susan Flannery’s (Ex-Stephanie, B&B) in scenes with John McCook (Eric, B&B) as I judged Lead Actor.  Having just experienced going through cancer with my sister every single day, the way that Susan Flannery reacted was brilliant.  I was so relieved to see she did not go to the tears and the histrionics, and I really loved it.  I don’t know what she submitted, but this one I loved.  These ladies I am in the category with are all amazing!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

We have often talked that the best way to look at the Daytime Emmys is that it’s just a big game, in which you play to win, but in no way does it define you.  What advice would you give to other actors or nominees, having been a veteran of these proceedings now ten times?

MICHELLE: I think you can get wrapped up in it.  It is a validation of your work, but you put to much credence on it.  If you think it means that you’re good, or not good, it can screw with your head, that’s all.  I can see if someone is continuously not nominated, like Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B) up until this year.  Now, this year she has said to me, “It’s embarrassing.”  And I said to her, “No.  It’s not embarrassing. You’re in!  It doesn’t matter!”   So I am very excited for Katherine.  She worked so hard and deserves it, and she is a sweetheart.  It is a game.  It’s not, “I don’t care if I win or lose,” because when I play a game, I play to win. 

And … you have lost many times too!

MICHELLE: Oh, my gosh. (Laughs)  I have lost so many times.   One year I remember I was just pissed!  And I wasn’t pissed that I lost.  I wasn’t pissed at the person who won, but I was just like, “Really?  I got dressed up tonight!  God! I had so much going on!  I got my hair and make-up done!  Geez!”  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

You are always, if not thee, one of the stunners always walking the red carpet on Daytime Emmy night!  Is it fun for you to get all dressed up?  Or, do you feel pressure that you have to top yourself year after year with the look and the dress?

MICHELLE:  Yes, it is totally fun, and it is not pressure.  Every woman wants to dress up and look pretty.  Every woman wants to look good.   And every man wants to look good, right?

Well… some men dress up better than others!

MICHELLE: Yes, but in their mind, they look good! (Laughs)

So Y&R fans, what do you think of Michelle’s choice of submission for the Daytime Emmys?  Do you think she has a good shot at winning the Lead Actress prize this year? Would you agree she is one of the best actresses on television? Share your thoughts!

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I think she picked the best scene. I remember the confrontation at Crimson Lights. I really hope Michelle wins! I love her to death! I have the utmost respect for Michelle. ❤

I hope Michelle wins. She is my favorite on the show!! Michelle is up there in the Jeanne Cooper category for me. Class Act!! They are my 2 favorite women on the show! Michelle is always stunning on the red carpet! Good luck Michelle!!

sour grapes. sure.

it’s about time the NATAS panel – realize in this day and age of economics… that bringing credibility to the Emmys…is not dumbing down… the one genre that has built daytime.

i’m over the popularity contest and/or lumping all your votes for said persons’ to bring recognition to said show.

Michelle Stafford… thank you for contributing…

where’s Sharon Case.
where’s Finola Hughes.
where’s Kelly Sullivan.

This isn’t your year. Heather Tom won last year…. Susan Flannery.. sentiment – Possibly. Peggy McCay.. Why not… it’s not like the voting is all that.

Evidently the judging panel did not think the others were worthy of an Emmy nomination!

Doug Davidson was one of the judges for Lead Actress and in his interview on this site on 5/12 said “Michelle Stafford day in and day out brings it to the table, I think she is arguably one of the best in the genre”

Michelle has a great chance of winning!

she is my fave on the rooting for her!!

I think she is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think she’s great!!! Love her character! I am hoping Susan wins… but if not Susan… then Michelle!!!

Great interview as usual Michael… thank you Michelle!!!

I’m going for Susan Flannery for the win since this is her last year to be nominated and to win. If I really want to get greedy, I’d have Heather Tom winning with Susan as well…….a tie or as they prefer to say it, “There are two recipients and the first one is…..”. That would be my preference. I saw the same scene too and I just don’t think Michelle will win with that one. The other three actresses have much stronger material than she does. Peggy McKay, Susan, and Heather all had social issue storylines that they were playing. Michelle does not. So, in my mind, she’s a long shot. And as someone said, Susan is the sentimental favorite going in.

WOW! This catagory is packed heavy with talent….I know the scenes which was very good…because you had not only Christine, Nina, Paul, Lauren, Michael in the scene and it was a fun ride. I love her and hopes she does win….

I pick Michelle video for the Emmy before Y&R did I told my Brother his is the video will win the Emmy for Michelle…I just don’t understand why Michelle Sister Finn was left out of the Emmy this year…and Why wasn’t LLB left out Support Actress for the same Video is the Emmy Fix….will watch Michelle was Ann 12 time stright so shye better win she lose 12 times that enough..GO Michelle.

Michelle Stafford is talented. She can swing so much emotion out of a viewer, she can make you want to hug her, so her or just smirk cause you get the joke. I really hope she wins.

I love her portrayal of Phyllis. She projects every emotion to a T. Deep down I think Phyllis is mentally disturbed and Ms. Stafford allows that to come out every now & then. It is not only the vocal aspects of her acting but the way she uses her entire body,,,hands shaking and neck tensing when she is upset. Phyllis is such a complex character and Michelle Stafford has the acting chops to pull off the entire range of emotions that are necessary to bring out the complexities.

Ms. Stafford should take into consideration what she liked about Susan Flannery’s performance: “I was so relieved to see she did not go to the tears and the histrionics”. And lol yes, Phyllis did come in like a bull and lost her mind on Christine,lol. Phyllis came off like a total loon – the writers got what they wanted out of those scenes.

i met Michelle las summer n Vancouver and had a chance for a chat. She is as genuine as in this interview. Her enthusiasm is always so present. At the Charity Tea she attended in Vancouver, she gave up a weekend with her daughter to help promote the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. That was done after her work week and then a flight back to LA. She was totally enthused for the event. I found out following, her sister has now been declared ‘cancer free’ after treatments for the same cancer.
Am hoping for Michelle to be recognized once again for all the stellar acting she brings to Y&R.

Just read that Michelle is leaving Y&R. What a HUGE loss!!!

I wonder if that means Victoria Rowell is coming back. I can’t think of whom else would want to break up Neil and Leslie if not Drucilla.

I love & support MS in any scene she does. She is a consummate pro. Good luck Michelle in both the nomination & your new ventures.

I’ve enjoyed watching Michelle Stafford for years. As for the Daytime Emmys, win or lose, I will always have love for Michelle. She’s truly one of the best.

Michelle is a phenomenal actress. She plays the heavy role so well and with such ease. She doesn’t even appear to be acting and I know she is under alot of lights, cameras, people all around and still makes every scene so believable. Michelle has been one of my favorites ever since she came on the Y&R. I hate to see her leave the show.


Kathie Lee Gifford Reacts to ‘The Bachelor’ Joey Graziadei Having ‘No Idea’ Who She Is On ‘Live with Kelly and Mark’

Let’s set the stage! Kathie Lee Gifford was previously mentioned by Today Show’s Hoda Kotb and Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos as someone who would make a great lead for the upcoming dating-reality series competition, The Golden Bachelorette.

Then came the Wednesday February 28th episode of Live with Kelly and Mark, when the current ‘Bachelor’ leading man, Joey Graziadei was the guest.

During his interview, Kelly and Mark asked Graziadei what his thoughts were on Gifford becoming the first-ever ‘Golden Bachelorette’.

Photo: JPI

Graziadei’s response was: “I will be honest… I have no idea who Kathie Lee Gifford is.” That prompted some boos and some laughs from the in-studio audience. Joey added, ‘I’m only 28! I’m sorry!”

In a response to a post on X featuring the faux-pas, Gifford reacted by saying: “I don’t expect him to know me. I’ve got shoes that are older than this kid is!”

Photo: ABC

Gifford received the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. She has also been in the chair occupied by Ripa on ‘Live’. From 1985 to 2000, Kathie Lee and Regis Philbin were the co-hosts of  the morning talk show. She then went on to co-host the fourth hour of Today in 2008 and continued till 2019.

When E! News asked Kotb about Gifford potentially getting the nod as the “Golden Bachelorette”, she shared, “By the way, she would be a 10 plus, and she’d get her choice of all the men, and you know how she is all flirty and cute.”

So, what do you think about Joey not knowing who Kathie Lee is? Could it possibly be that ABC would cast Gifford as the ‘Golden Bachelorette’? Comment below.

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Brian Gaskill Previews Seth’s Next Move on The Young and the Restless: “It’s the Beginning of Everything”

Coming up on the Friday, March 1st episode of The Young and the Restless be on the lookout for what could send Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) into yet another spiral with her alcohol addiction.

As viewers have recently witnessed, Jordan (Colleen Zenk), in disguise with red wig, has become ‘fast’ friends with Seth as a drinking buddy at a local dive bar. She has been egging him on to become ‘friends’ with Nikki, but also cited to him, how Nikki disappeared on her when she needed help in her attempt to get sober (all fabricated, of course).

Seth was able to get Nikki to agree to meet him one day for coffee or for an outing, even though she knows that he is also struggling to get sober and was not going to be a good AA sponsor for her.  Now, the trap is set.

Photo: JPI

Taking to his account on X, Gaskill shared on Wednesday, “Look for me Friday I think on Young and the Restless (tomorrow in Canada) pay attention. It’s the beginning of everything…”

Gaskill returned to daytime television in early January in his new recurring role on Y&R. Soap fans previously knew of his work as Bobby Warner on All My Children, Rafe Kovich on Port Charles, Ozzy Marone on The Bold and the Beautiful and Dylan Lewis on Guiding Light.

So, what are you theories of what’s about to go down? Will Seth lure Nikki into a trap knowing or unknowingly? Will he become obsessed with her? Will Jordan sneak into the Newman Ranch, and terrorize Nikki? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

In the meantime for some clues of what’s next in Nikki’s battle with the bottle, check out the Michael Fairman Channel’s recent interview with Melody Thomas Scott below.

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Vivica A. Fox, Jonelle Allen and Sally Sussman Revisit ‘Generations’ Classic Catfight and If They Would Be Down for a Revival

As it is Black history month, you can’t help but a shed a light on the groundbreaking soap opera, Generations. It was almost 35-years ago that NBC took a gamble on a new soap opera with an African-American family at its epicenter.

Generations was created by renowned soap opera writer, Sally Sussman and premiered back on Monday, March 27, 1989. Ironically, the show was up against the top-rated daytime drama The Young and the Restless and for 13 months it landed in the bottom of the ratings, until NBC canceled it in January 1991.

One of the most memorable moments in the series short history was a knock-down drag-out catfight between the characters of Maya (Vivica A. Fox) and Doreen (Jonelle Allen), with the late Kristoff St. John (Adam Marshall) in the middle of it all.

Photo: NBC

Speaking with, Fox recalled, “We just didn’t want it to look fake, because there’s nothing worse when you can see the stunt double. As you can see, I kind of dig doing fight scenes.”

Allen offered up: “The lines were scripted. What we were doing while we were saying them – the earrings and all of that stuff — was not. I added the kicking off the shoes and the pulling up the train. The actors didn’t get hurt, but the cameraman could have, because when I kicked off my shoes, I kicked my shoe so far it almost hit the camera!”

Photo: NBC

Jonelle also remembered Kristoff almost getting injured in the scenes, recalling: “He almost got beaten up. We were so in it, and he’s trying to break us apart, but we were pumped. The fight itself was choreographed. Him walking in and breaking it up was not, so he could have gotten hurt. He just thought he’d come in and separate us, but we were still going at it.”

Sussman shared the scenes cultural impact: “It put the show in a different stratosphere. And I remember less than a year later, Y&R copied it. A lot of people copied it. All the subsequent (catfights) that have been forced upon people were not motivated. This one was so motivated, that even though Maya was the aggressor, you agreed with her. Doreen had it coming, but you can’t overstate how long (the tension) was built up between them.”

Photo: NBC

So, is it time for a Generations 2.0 ? Sussman believes it just might be, “Over the last number of years, several young writers – I’m talking very young, younger than 30 — who love soaps of all different stripes, have been reaching out to me about how much they love the show, because there are so many episodes on YouTube. They say how much they love the show, and that I must try and do a revival.”

Jonelle Allen says she would be down too, expressing: “Revisiting these people later, and then seeing all the babies that were born who would be adults now and seeing what’s up with their stories, would be exciting. And Sally’s a great storyteller.”

Vivica A. Fox summed it up best, “I would be totally game for a revival …. I’d love to see soap operas make a comeback.”

So, did you watch ‘Generations’ when it aired on NBC? Do you recall your reaction to the Maya and Doreen catfight? And with Peacock streaming Days of our Lives, would they consider a series order for a reboot of a series such as ‘Generations’ too? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. But first, check out that classic catfight!

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