It has been quite a year on Days of our Lives, even before the time-jump, life in Salem was crazy, to say the least.
Throughout all the ups and downs of 2019, some outstanding performances deserve to be mentioned as the year winds down.
Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker) and Stacy Haiduk (Kristen DiMera)
Arianne Zucker and Stacy Haiduk have had an amazing year. They had to work hand in hand when Kristen had all of Salem believing she was Nicole. On-screen it was merely a wig and mask, but behind the scenes, two actresses were making sure the continuity was on point.
Kristen masquerading as Nicole was a challenge for the two ladies. Arianne had to master a character, essentially playing a character.
Stacy had a little bit less of a challenge than Arianne, but she still deserves kudos. Plus, Stacy and Arianne both ended up with storylines after the time-jump that further proved they are so talented.
Stephen Nichols (Stefano DiMera)
Yes, it is strange to see Stephen Nichols playing Stefano. The actor will forever be Steve Johnson, and the late Joseph Mascolo will always be The Phoenix.
However, given the circumstances, Stephen deserves kudos for taking on, not only a different role than he previously played on the NBC show but one that Days of our Lives fans hold in high regard. It is easy to see Stephen studied Joseph’s portrayal of Stefano closely because the mannerisms and voice is spot on.
Stephen has done a phenomenal job of taking a rather unusual situation and making the best of it. He has only been airing as Stefano for a few weeks, but the actor’s talents are shining through in each scene.
Brandon Barash (Stefan DiMera)
Brandon Barash came in as a recast for Stefan DiMera, but the talented actor quickly made the role his own. The chemistry between Brandon and Camila Banus was on fire. They breathed new life into the turbulent relationship Stefan had with Gabi.
Sadly, it seemed just when Brandon was digging in and taking Stefan to a different level, the character was shot and killed. It is the performances leading up to Stefan’s death that earned Brandon a spot on this list. He did a tremendous job portraying a son trying to protect his crazy mother at any cost, even giving his own life.
Camila Banus (Gabi Hernandez)
Gabi Hernandez is not a good person, but Camila Banus has managed to make her a villain who fans love. The actress knows how to give glimpses of Gabi’s vulnerable side at just the right moment, which makes the character relatable, instead of evil.
Camila can take Gabi from a heartbreaking moment like weeping over Stefan’s beside to a horrendous moment like blackmailing Lani (Sal Stowers) with ease. Her range is outstanding. Camila deserves props for adding so many layers to Gabi that fans can’t decide if they love her or hate her.
Casey Moss (JJ Deveraux)
JJ spent most of the year falling in love with a nurse, Haley, who had her fair share of serious problems. The two were rock solid before Days did the time jump. After the flash-forward, Haley was dead and JJ was out of control.
Casey Moss deserves an Emmy for his performance of a drug-addicted JJ hell-bent on vengeance. The scene where JJ held Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) at gunpoint was a tearjerker. Viewers watched the young man finally reach his breaking point, and Casey was phenomenal.
Words don’t do Casey’s acting since the time jump justice, but anyone who saw the scenes knows he hit it out of the park.
Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC.