Nicole Polizzi is an undisputed global phenomenon, and nobody can pass through Laguna Beach these days without considering Lauren Conrad‘s huge success. But every star QB starts out on the bench, and this year we were thrilled to see some second-stringers get their first shot on the playing field. Consider 2012 the year of the MTV up-and-comer, and featured below are some of our favorite zero-to-hero stories from the past 12 months.
From a superhuman creature to a zygote that was still in utero when he first appeared on our channel, the Biggest Breakout Stars of 2012 were an MTV tour de force. Take a look at our list, and place your bets on which of these newbies could one day have a chance at their own spin-off!
Breakout Star: Isaac Lahey
Show: “Teen Wolf“
Isaac was a little meek when he first showed up to Beacon Hills, but by the end of the second “Teen Wolf” season, he was gritting his teeth and going toe-to-toe with the best of ’em as a full-fledged werewolf. Sure, he was at the beck and call of Derek, his pack’s Alpha, but there’s something about Isaac that always seemed a little renegade, and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing what tricks he has up his sleeve when Season 3 comes around.
Breakout Star: Snooki‘s Baby Bump
Show: “Snooki & JWOWW”
It was the “I’m pregnant” heard ’round the world. Former party girl Nicole Polizzi announced she had one on the way earlier this year, and on “Snooki & JWOWW,” we saw the most unexpected baby bump of all time take shape beneath Snooks’ animal print blankets and comfy maternity clothes. Of course, Snooks has since had her child, and ‘Enzo is growing up before our eyes, but he first made quite a splash in Jersey City when he got his dear ol’ ma to ditch the drink in favor of pacifiers and informational classes involving the care of fake babies.
Breakout Star: Clark Stevenson
Clark popped up once or twice during “Awkward”‘s inaugural season, but he really came into his own during the show’s second go-around as Jenna’s unexpected confidant. After helping J-Town survive church camp and convincing her to look at the Jenna/Matty/Jake love triangle critically, Clark revealed himself to be J’s anonymous (and social life-saving) blog commenter. Oh, and he totally made out with Ricky Schwartz, effectively spoon-feeding boyfriend-stealer Sadie Saxton more than a taste of her own medicine.
Breakout Star: “The Unit”
Show: “Jersey Shore“
Remote Control can personally attest to the fact that this man is an attention-grabber, and he definitely drove the point home during Season 5 of “Jersey Shore.” “Unit” likes his meatballs, but proved he likes his booze more, and on an especially drunken night in Seaside Heights, wound up in the back of a police car. He’s the only guy we know who welcomes his friends back from their trip overseas by starting a huge fight at their homecoming party, and for that, he’s a keeper. It may not be the way of tradition, but it is certainly the way of the breakout star.
Breakout Star: Team San Diego
Show: “Battle Of The Seasons”
Show up, get sent into an elimination round before you have a chance to unpack your bags and go the f*** home: It’s been the way of the rookies on “The Challenge” for years. But Frank, Ashley, Zach and Sam have rewritten the rules for first-timers on “BOTS,” and, having had a heavy hand in sending two teams full of vets home straight out of the gate, they’ve developed into one of the competition’s strongest teams. They might be young, but don’t call them naive.
+ Tell us what you think of the list, and keep up with Remote Control for more of the Best Of 2012.
Don’t miss “The Big & Best of 2012: A Year End Celebration Presented by T-Mobile” at 12 p.m. ET on 12/12/12. Watch at bigandbestof2012.com for eight hours of live performances, surprise guest appearances, prize giveaways and special editions of “Rapfix Live,” “Big Morning Buzz Live,” “You Oughta Know” and much more!