The long weekend wait is finally over for the 10 soap star hopefuls, who auditioned live on The Early Show last week and were rated by you, the viewers, to fill a pair of roles on daytime's top drama, "The Young and the Restless."
Meanwhile, "The Young and the Restless" just picked up the Emmy for "Most Outstanding Drama" during Friday's "31st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards" on NBC. Even though "Y&R" has been the top-rated daytime drama for the past 15 years, it's been more than 10 years since it won in this category.
Holding the statue, co-executive producer Jack Smith tells co-anchor Hannah Storm Friday was a very exciting night for him, even though the show did not win the writing award. "As a writer on the show also, I was really focusing on the writing award. That was the one that I really wanted to win, and when we won best show -- We didn't win the writing award, but we won best show. So OK, this is pretty cool."
Smith has won three Emmys for writing. And having been with the show for 25 years, he says he knows just what to do about writing parts for the two college students, who won the screen test.
"It's a collaborative event," he says. "We have a number of different character sets, and we'll put them with one of the characters. We have schedules to be concerned about, their schedules and our schedules and story considerations there."
As for the winners, Nazemzadeh and Patton both credit the Dallas area for getting behind them and getting out the vote.
"We kind of helped each other," Nazemzadeh tells Storm. "We knew each other and the people around us."
And Patton notes being last to audition helped her in the long run. "It was really good. But I've been back and forth. I flew back and forth and it's been crazy," she says.
Patton is 18 and just finished her freshman year at SMU, which she says she would promptly leave if a long-term deal were offered to her from "Y&R."
"I love SMU, but I would go back and pack my bags and move to LA. I couldn't skip an opportunity like this that comes once a lifetime," she said during a pre-interview.
Nazemzadeh said he was thankful for the opportunity and is most pleased with the support from the Persian community and SMU community who got behind him. "People spent time on the computer getting people to vote and voting themselves," he said. Nazemzadeh was also pleased to have had such an impact on his family.
His mother broke the news of Nazemzadeh's victory to his 94 year-old grandfather. "The look he had on his face upon hearing the news brought tears to my mother's eyes," he said.
In addition to Nazemzadeh's Screen Test victory, a pilot he shot for NBC has also been picked up. "LAX" featuring Heather Lochlear and Blair Underwood has been given the green light by NBC. Nazemzadeh and his brother both play baggage handlers on the drama, but as Nazemzadeh puts it, "We are the comic relief."
Nazemzadeh graduated this year from SMU and will most likely be moving to Los Angeles to continue building his career.