By Emily Feimster and Stacy Jenel Smith
They're hot and fresh stars on the rise, and they have enough power in their performing punch for their burgeoning fame not to be fleeting. For those who enjoy keeping track of the latest top contenders in the fame game, here are ten of today's most exciting breakout names in entertainment.
HE'S GOT THE MUSIC:
Teddy Geiger is just 17, but, as ABC News put it, "Jump aboard the Teddy Geiger bandwagon - everybody's doing it." He recently released his first album, "Underage Thinking," and more than 24,000 teenage girls entered Seventeen magazine's "Win a Date With Teddy Geiger" contest for a chance to spend a day with the blue-eyed cutie. Teddy was discovered by top music producer Billy Mann while doing the 2004 VH1 reality show "In Search of the Partridge Family." He got further exposure on the short-lived CBS show "Love Monkey." Self-taught musically, he can sing, play guitar, play piano, you name it. People are already comparing him to John Mayer.
UP, UP AND AWAY:
There's already a lot of buzz surrounding 26-year-old Brandon Routh, who's starring in Warner Bros. June 30 release "Superman Returns" movie. He was recently honored as the male Star of Tomorrow at ShoWEST - the annual convention where movie studios unveil their film rosters and show off their talent. Plus, he ain't bad to look at! Brandon spent a year working out to play the Man of Steel. And he received the good wishes of none other than Christopher Reeve's widow, the late Dana Reeve, some months ago: "She gave me her blessing and said I reminded her of Chris, which was nice," Brandon said.
MAKING A SPLASH:
Also on the super hero front, former "American Idol" contestant and Abercrombie & Fitch hunk Alan Ritchson drew attention this season as Aquaman on "Smallville." Last year he also lensed the horror flick "The Harvest" and is played the title monster-slayin' hero in Robert Zemeckis' upcoming adaptation of "Beowulf." He has a CD, "This Is Next Time," on the way as well. "Everything is happening really fast," acknowledges the 23-year-old from Niceville, Florida, "but it's the culmination of years of hard work. I decided years ago get my ducks in a row and work and work and work and then unleash it all on Hollywood at once."
SISTER ACT, TOO:
Alyson and A.J. Michalka are already known to Disney Channel viewers, but the 16 and 14-year-old actress/singers stand to break through to a wider audience this summer with their major headlining concert tour. There are also features and a potential new series in the works for the sisters who are known as pop duo Aly & AJ.
"People have known of Heather Headley before, but with her second album, 'In My Mind,' she's really blown everyone away," in the opinion of legendary music mogul Clive Davis of J Records, BMG North America and "American Idol" renown. "She's so spectacular, she's one of those artists who stands apart." Headley is due to move up from cognoscenti favorite to mass audience superstar status on the ladder of fame. She won a Grammy nomination for her "This is Who I Am" debut album. The 31-year-old from Trinidad is already known as a major force in the theatrical musical world. She originated the role of feisty lioness Nala in the hit musical "The Lion King" before getting the lead in Elton John's opus "Aida."
SHE'S GOT THE MOVES:
Twenty-six-year-old Stacy Keibler may not have danced off with the prize in the latest "Dancing With the Stars" - but she danced off with a giant addition to the already-sizeable fan following she's attained from her highly colorful career as a wrestling diva. Standing five-foot-11 -- 42-1/2 inches of which is her long legs - the blond beauty is currently considering a number of acting offers. Her WWE contract expires in July, and it remains to be seen whether she'll decide to give up the ring.
COULDN'T YOU JUST HUG HIM:
T.R. Knight - He plays the lovable George on "Grey's Anatomy." His character definitely steals many of the scenes with his humor and vulnerability. At the recent TV Land Awards, people were just going nuts for him - a sure sign of his boom in popularity. This is the beginning of some kind of comedic career for him.
Zac Efron won a following as Cameron Bale on the WB show "Summerland," and now has teens sighing with his role as jock cum musical star Troy in the Disney Channel movie, "High School Musical." The San Luis Obispo, California-born 18-year-old's latest effort is the upcoming Fox comedy movie, "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now," about a group of people from different backgrounds who live in a temporary housing complex in Los Angeles.
WOMAN OF TASTE:
Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network is getting bigger and bigger in terms of her public following. She is absolutely stunning and very charming. She is the granddaughter of producer Dino De Laurentiis. With her show called "Everyday Italian," in which she uses her family's homemade recipes, she's becoming a household name.
Handsome 25-year-old Chris Pine, who played Anne Hathaway's naughty-but-noble love interest, Lord Nicholas Devereaux, in the 2004 "Princess Diaries: A Royal Engagement," gets into slapstick funny business with Lindsay Lohan in the May release "Just My Luck." But there's more to Pine than playing beau to reigning young movie divas. The son of Actor Robert Pine ("CHiPs") and actress Gwynne Gilford has an extensive theater background, and he has a couple of feature roles upcoming that gave him the chance to show some very different skills. He plays a blind American man who falls for an Indian lovely in the romantic dramedy "Blind Guy Driving," with Anjali Jay. And in the all-star ensemble mob comedy "Smokin' the Aces," he plays a Southern Neo Nazi assassin - complete with a Mohawk, blacked-out teeth and gross-out tattoos.
Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are featured in over 100 print publications and other media outlets with cutting edge celebrity news and insider scoop. Have a burning showbiz question?
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