As the mercury climbed towards triple digits, the stars hopscotched their way down the gauntlet that is the Red Carpet. Along the way, the stars posed for photographers or graciously granted interviews. In the end, most invariably sought out the coolest place on the Red Carpet - the shade under the Soap Central umbrella. Poised halfway down the carpet and sandwiched between a gaggle of chattering paparazzi, the Soap Central pit stop was a welcome oasis on the way into the Kodak Theater.
In an attempt to look cool and remain current, there were several changes made to the Emmy broadcast this year. The seating configuration was shuffled. Gone was the movie theater style seating and in was table seating, making the show more in line with the Golden Globes. Host Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery, All My Children) likened the set up to that of a wedding. At each table was a miniature digital camera so that the stars of each show could record moments to share later with fans on the Internet.
The awards process actually saw changes this year as well. The multi-phase nominating and voting process was ditched in favor of a one-time, winner-takes-all vote. This year, each soap was permitted three nominees in each category, up from the two permitted in recent years. Only one soap was able to capitalize on the extra nominations: The Young and the Restless, which picked up three nods in the Outstanding Younger Actress field.
At the end of the night, all of the winners were familiar faces, but it didn't mean that the night lacked emotion, surprise or smiles.
Long-time star of The Young and the Restless, Jeanne Cooper, picked up her first Outstanding Lead Actress win. Jennifer Landon pulled off an incredible back-to-back-to-back win in the Outstanding Younger Actress field. Anthony Geary and General Hospital added to their record-setting win totals.
» PART TWO: SUPPORTING ACTOR AND ACTRESS