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Backstage at Daytime Emmys: Craig Ferguson, Anthony Geary, Hunter King Talk Up Wins

Between host Tyra Banks rapping, Craig Ferguson making fun of Sharon Osbourne for being “liquored up” and Betty White imitating Charo, Sunday’s 42nd annual Daytime Emmy Awards were a wild ride for fans of daytime television.

Backstage, a parade of enthusiastic winners provided just as much entertainment.

Ferguson took home the game show host win for his syndicated “Celebrity Name Game” series. When asked what fuels his success, his self-deprecating side took over: “I think I’m a panicky person that seeks approval,” Ferguson said.

He added that he was grateful for the award, which he took as a vote of confidence in his future after signing off from CBS’ “Late Late Show” in December. “There comes a point where you have to move on and do something else, and that’s why I’m so excited about getting this,” he said. “It makes me feel encouraged. There may be a future for me,” he said.

Anthony Geary of “General Hospital” said he was surprised to be recognized with his seventh win for lead actor in a drama series. The actor who has been on the show since 1978 last won in 2012. “I frankly thought the academy was getting a little tired of me,” Geary said.

Geary’s co-star Maura West won her second trophy for lead actress in a drama series. “It’s an extraordinary gift for an actress to have a ‘once in a lifetime’ twice,” West said. She attributed her success on the show to the atmosphere on its set. “I feel like ‘General Hospital’ gets a big trophy for sportsmanship, because they are open to actors coming onboard. They just welcome you, like, ‘Come on board. Let’s play.’ “

Amelia Heinle, who won supporting actress in a drama series for “The Young and the Restless,” ran to accept her award from Steve Harvey. In the press room, her thoughts came out in a stream of consciousness. “My mouth is dry, I have celery in my teeth, but this is amazing. This is pretty cool. I need a drink,” she said. Heinle also mused that the win was somewhat cosmic: this year, she turned 42, and it was the 42nd year of “Young and the Restless” and the 42nd year of the Daytime Emmys.

Nancy O’Dell spoke on behalf of “Entertainment Tonight” after it won the entertainment news program prize. O’Dell saw the win as motivation to keep the show on top of the newsmagazine pack. “We want to keep ‘Entertainment Tonight’ at the gold standard that it started out as,” O’Dell said.

Hunter King, who won younger actress in a drama series for her work on “The Young and the Restless,” explained the appeal of working on a daytime drama. “Daytime has the best fans and I work with my friends,” she said. “I love it just as much as I did the first day.”

Rand Morrison, producer of “CBS Sunday Morning,” which beat out ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Today” for best morning show, joked about the program’s timeslot. “We think we’re a very enjoyable alternative to church,” he said.

Fans made their opinions known throughout the night, awarding statues in categories including Best Bitch Slap and Biggest Wedding Disaster, staples of the genre.

The telecast also included a wedding, gunshot and trapped-in-a-casket-montage celebrating the 50th year of  NBC’s sudser “Days of Our Lives.”

(Pictured: Craig Ferguson)

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