No. 10: Robert Scott Wilson, All My Children
All My Children's casting department won the showcase showdown when they found The Price is Right model Robert Scott Wilson for the role of Petey, err, Pete Cortlandt. Wilson brought charisma, charm, maturity and one killer bod to the part of Palmer (the late James Mitchell) and Opal's (Jill Larson) son.
Not even Wilson could save Pete's insipid relationship with virginal Celia (Jordan Lane Price) on the internet soap. However, the digital sparks Wilson and fellow outstanding newbie Brooke Newton created when Pete and Colby were sexing up our second screens, had us needing to download an app for cooling down our laptops, tablets and smartphones.
No. 9: Parry Shen, General Hospital
Love him or loathe him, General Hospital's Parry Shen has cemented lab technician Brad as one of the most outrageous characters on the ABC Daytime soap — and that's saying something! Whether flirting shamelessly with every citizen over 18 possessing a phallus, or showing genuine feelings for fellow hospital staffer Felix (Marc Samuel), Shen has worked hard to make Brad less of a prick and more of a human being.
The talented actor managed to turn a character, which started off as merely The Britch's (Kelly Thiebaud) flying monkey, into one we can actually root for. With Lucas Jones (Ryan Carnes) on his way back to town, we wonder if Felix and Brad's budding connection is about to become quite the three-way?
No. 8: Brooke Newton, All My Children
From the moment Colby's hot pink high heels walked back into Pine Valley on the new All My Children, newcomer Brooke Newton convinced us she was a worthy heiress to Adam Chandler (David Canary) and Liza Colby (Marcy Walker). Newton broke a long tradition of vapid, little things being cast as the youngest Chandler daughter.
The stunning actress infused Colby with healthy doses of cunning and sexuality. She was also quite humorous while doing so; proving blondes definitely do have more fun!
It wasn't all fun, games and fellatio for Colby. She supported her best friend Cassandra (Sal Stowers) following her horrifying sex trafficking ordeal, giving Newton the opportunity to showcase her impressive chops. We hope one of the four remaining daytime soaps snaps this one up in 2014.
No. 7: Mishael Morgan, The Young and the Restless
Much like a boring lump of coal can sometimes turn into a sparkling diamond, The Young and the Restless found quite the gem in Mishael Morgan (Hilary), via the soap's snorefest blogger storyline. Sexy, manipulative and on-the-make, Hilary descended on Genoa City like a one-woman plague of locusts in 2013.
That isn't quite accurate, since she had help in the form of previously-wasted hottie Mason (Lamon Archey). When was the last time daytime had a pair of mocha schemers this delicious? We can't remember either.
No. 6: Corbin Bleu, One Life to Live
High School Musical alum Corbin Bleu surprised us with his portrayal of intrepid journalist Jeffrey King on the short-lived One Life to Live reboot. Bleu held his own in scenes opposite soap legend Erika Slezak, as Jeffrey tried to help bring Viki Lord's struggling newspaperinto the digital age.
We dug Bleu's chemistry with Robert Gorrie's Matthew Buchannan and Kelley Missal's Dani. The trio helped create a fresh feel to Llanview's 20-something set. After One Life to Live ended, Bleu landed on Dancing With the Stars. We hope he foxtrots back onto our TV screens in 2014.
No. 5: Sean Carrigan, The Young and the Restless
We groaned when we found out Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton) was getting a best friend on The Young and the Restless. Y&R made us eat a little crow, however, because we started drooling the moment hunky Sean Carrigan made his debut as soldier-turned-doctor Stitch. Get this, he's gorgeous and he can act!
All of the sudden we found ourselves wondering which lucky Genoa City lady would be getting some of Stitch's bedside manner. If we were Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott), we'd be coming up with reasons to go in for check-ups like once a week.
No. 4: Robert Gorrie, One Life to Live
Okay, technically Robert Gorrie wasn't a daytime soap newbie in 2013. He appeared as Nate Bradley for a handful of episodes on As The World Turns back in 2006. However, the sharp, good-looking thespian impressed us so much in his first lead suds role as Matthew Buchanan on One Life to Live, we had to add him to our list of Best Newbies.
It was hard filling fan favorite Eddie Alderson's shoes on the new OLTL. What made the challenge all the more difficult was Matt being written as a dope-using deadbeat dad!
Gorrie not only managed to make the role of Matthew his own, but he actually conveyed the complicated emotions behind the troubled young adult's behavior. We predict big things for this guy in 2014.
No. 3: Sal Stowers, All My Children
Talk about trial by fire. Not only did Sal Stowers (Cassie) have to recreate the role of soap royal Debbi Morgan's (Dr. Angie Hubbard) on screen daughter on All My Children, she was tasked with playing out Cassie being brutally raped and tortured by sex traffickers for much of the soap's brief online run.
Beautiful and bubbly in real life, Stowers shunned soap opera glamour in favor of grit and the gruesome reality of a young woman sold into sexual slavery. She made you feel every horrifying emotion Cassie went through at the hands of her Russian captors.
Then, when Cassie was finally rescued, Stowers took viewers through her character learning she'd become pregnant during her unspeakable ordeal. This America's Next Top Model winner proved she can definitely do more than strike a pose.
No. 2: Casey Moss, Days of Our Lives
Days of Our Lives has a long and storied history of introducing teen bad seeds. Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes), Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) and yes, even virtuous Jennifer Rose Horton (Melissa Reeves), all once showcased rebellious natures.
Okay, Sami hasn't changed all that much since she was pulling her teenage scandals two decades ago. The other women mentioned are now practically paragons of virtue — unless they're eating donuts!
In Casey Moss (JJ), DAYS found a young actor more than capable of carrying on the tradition of being Salem's resident pubescent troublemaker. We got a kick out of the nasty glee Moss displayed when JJ was giving our least favorite Salem couple, Dannifer, the blues. However, when DAYS smartly revisited Kayla Brady's (Mary Beth Evans) rape at the hands of JJ's late father Jack Deveraux (Matthew Ashford), the young actor was given material usually reserved for veteran stars.
Moss brilliantly revealed JJ's torment after learning the father he hero-worshipped had viciously assaulted the boy's aunt. Horton Square didn't stand a chance against JJ's rage. We wonder if Moss's Outstanding Younger Actor competitors will suffer the same fate come Daytime Emmy time?
No. 1: Bryan Craig, General Hospital
Who says pretty boys can't act? Certainly not anyone who was a fan of Paul Newman, James Dean or Marlon Brando, the latter of whom General Hospital newbie Bryan Craig recalls as tortured mob heir Morgan Corinthos.
As the only biological child to spring forth from the combustible union of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Carly Roberts (Laura Wright), all eyes were destined to be on Morgan when he returned to Port Charles as a SORASed young adult. This could have gone either way.
All the added attention to the character could have made a less-than-stellar debut for NuMorgan crushingly bad (See: The most recent Kristina Corinthos-Davis), or GH could have discovered a screen partner for Benard who is what a young Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky) was for Tony Geary (Luke). We're glad to say Craig is definitely Mo's "Cowboy".
When Morgan begged Sonny not to tell golden boy Michael (Chad Duell) that Kiki (Kristen Alderson)—the girl both brothers loved—wasn't related to Michael (and therefore fair game), Craig engaged in a delicate dance of pathos and mania on screen with Benard. Suddenly, a silly teen triangle meant so much more.
This wasn't about Kiki, or her forbidden fruit. It was about God, Cane and Abel. Which son did the God(father) love best? Which would be sent to dwell in the land East of Eden with the sinister Jeromes?
Morgan Corinthos may not be his brother's keeper, but as his relationship with Sonny fell apart in 2013, Craig definitely proved he's Daytime Emmy winner Benard's heir apparent.