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CNN Access

Susan Lucci sets straight Emmy incident

Lucci on daytime Emmy confusion : "I was cued four times."  

Editor's Note: CNN Access is a regular feature on providing interviews with newsmakers from around the world.

(CNN) -- Sometimes on live television stuff just happens. During the daytime Emmy awards last month it appeared to Susan Lucci backstage and to viewers at home that she won the best actress award for her role as Erica Kane on "All My Children." But it turned out to be a case of confusion; Susan Flannery had actually won for her role in "The Bold and the Beautiful."

CNN anchor Daryn Kagan walked through the event with Lucci, who had a few rumors to dispel on Friday morning, including one about Rosie O'Donnell.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about what has happened since [the] outcry from fans on how Susan Lucci was treated. We have her with us right here in the studio. Such a thrill to have you here with us.

LUCCI: I'm so happy to be here, thank you.

EW.COM: All about Susan Lucci 

KAGAN: And in the interest of journalistic integrity, I have to say that I've been an "All My Children" fan since I was in the third grade.

LUCCI: Oh, thank you.

KAGAN: I've experienced so many years of watching your story line, watching "All My Children" and, of course, all the fuss about all the nominations. You've already won previously, but take a look at what happened just last month on the daytime Emmy awards and why it looked like perhaps you might have thought that you won.




KAGAN: So this is the first time you've seen it.

LUCCI: I have never seen it until just this minute.

KAGAN: Now to back up and explain -- you had previously been out there on stage.

Her account

LUCCI: I had just presented the award previous to the award I was nominated for. And they asked me to wait in the wings. And I was in the place where there were curtains around me and I was on my mark. I heard them announce the award that I was up for and I heard them say "Susan," but I didn't hear anything after that.

I don't know whether it was the curtains, or I have said previously, after about the ninth time I didn't win, I go numb when they say the name. I don't hear the name.

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I was standing there in the wings and I heard "Susan." I did not hear anything else. And from that clip, it looks like I thought immediately it was me and I went out. That's really not what happened.

I was standing in the wings, I heard Susan, didn't hear anything else. And all of a sudden the camera came up on me, and then the tally light of the camera came up on me. And then the cameraman started getting more active in walking backwards towards the stage. And then he started pointing to me.

And then the stage manager cued me and I said, "It was Susan Flannery, wasn't it?" They said, "No, you, you." Both the cameraman and the stage manager were saying, "No, it's you, you. Go, go." And I didn't hear my name, and I felt it wasn't right for me to go out.

KAGAN: I can tell that you're hesitating.

LUCCI: And then they cued my music.

KAGAN: Right, for enthusiasts: Anybody will recognize, if you've been watching as long as I have, that is the "All My Children" theme music that's playing.

LUCCI: Yes. And so when I heard the theme music from "All My Children," I thought, "Well my goodness, all right." I mean, I didn't hear my name, but if they're cueing me three different ways and the music, I guess it's me.

So I started out and then I saw Susan Flannery coming up towards the stage and I thought, well, probably not.

KAGAN: Maybe not, OK.

Sentiments of grace

LUCCI: So I went back, but I in no way wanted to muddy up Susan Flannery's moment. You know, I want to congratulate her here and I felt bad that it would somehow muddy up her moment. And when I went backstage, the stage manager said she heard my name. And apparently in the control room, they must have thought they heard my name.

KAGAN: Well, that's why they played the music.

LUCCI: Of course they did. And so it was an honest mistake. I mean, you could hear from the announcement. That's the first time I ever saw that. It was clearly Susan Flannery. You could hear it.

KAGAN: Well, it was kind of muddied, I think, when you heard the name. And you weren't the only one who was confused.


KAGAN: And you know better than anyone else how special that moment is, and that's why you don't want to take it away from Susan Flannery.

LUCCI: Of course not. From whoever won I wouldn't want to take it away. But I was cued four times. And when they played my music, I said, "All right then. I guess it is."

But everyone who was backstage truly thought that they heard my name. And I gather [they did] in the control room.

Rosie didn't do it

LUCCI: I want to take a moment to clear Rosie O'Donnell. Rosie O'Donnell was backstage after I retreated; when I went backstage knowing that Susan Flannery had won or thinking that she had. Everyone there, including Rosie, felt they heard my name legitimately, as did, obviously, the people in the control room.

But in no way was Rosie O'Donnell responsible for sending me out on stage. That story had gotten around and that just was not true.

KAGAN: You have received an apology from Dick Clark Productions, which produced this show.

LUCCI: Yes, I have.

KAGAN: So all is good in daytime Emmy land and in Pine Valley.

LUCCI: All is fabulous. Thank you.

KAGAN: Very good. Susan Lucci, a pleasure to have you with us.

LUCCI: Thank you. Great to be here.

KAGAN: I know it's not the last time your name will be called to win the award; especially daytime Emmy.




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