Richard Burgi always jumps back into the soap opera genre like he never left as evidenced by his powerful portrayal of Ashland Locke on The Young and the Restless. For his role as a calculating businessman who’s going head to head against Genoa City’s top power players, Soap Hub bestows on Burgi Performer of the Week for YR honors.
Richard Burgi — Performer of the Week
The actor juggles Ashland’s multiple agendas subtly. He’ll toss out a remark and wait to see how his opponent interprets it and what the ripple effects are before he reveals his hand or makes his next move.
Jack (Peter Bergman) suggested to Kyle (Michael Mealor) that he play his interactions with Ashland by being indirect and sly. The problem for Kyle is that Ashland practically invented that game.
Burgi is well-matched with all his scene partners as if he were a mainstay on the show and not a relative newcomer. Ashland questioned Jack, trying to find out if he knew that his son Kyle had had an affair with Ashland’s wife Tara (Elizabeth Leiner) and that he is the father of her son.
When Jack tried to pump info from Ashland about what he knows about trouble at Jabot divisions, Ashland played dumb. He deflected any involvement in Jack’s business woes. As Ashland was making his exit, knowing he was leaving Jack hanging, Kyle showed up ready for a confrontation.
First, Tara, who accompanied Kyle to the confrontation, tried to get some information from her husband, asking him why he wasn’t taking her calls. Rather than answer her directly, he posed his own question — how did you know where to find me? When Tara said that Kyle helped her, he cryptically said to his cheating wife: “Where would be without Kyle?”
Ashland stays one step ahead of his wife. He appears to enjoy watching his Tara sweat and making sure she’s uncomfortable just as the knowledge of her affair has impacted him.
Burgi not only bantered with the Abbott men but he also went head to head against Victor (Eric Braeden). At the Newman ranch, a sweaty Ashland failed to stay in control. Viewers had seen in an advance promo teaser that Ashland was going to suffer some kind of health-related episode so, some fans saw what was coming as he continued to sweat, acted nervously, and grew agitated.
Then, Ashland placed his hand on his chest — it appeared that he was having a heart attack! Forced to sign the business deal with Victor before help would be summoned, Burgi was convincing as Ashland painfully scribbled his name on the deal.
Ashland struggled to shake his fist at Victor, warning him that this wasn’t over. Let’s hope not. Burgi’s an excellent addition to the cast and the writers have in a short amount of time given him plenty of interpersonal dynamics to explore.
All that’s missing is testing the actor’s chemistry with some of Genoa City’s leading ladies. We shudder to think of what a smush name for Ashland and Ashley (Eileen Davidson) would be but we’d love to find out! The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.