I’ll have to admit, I’m not surprised at the most recent tween debate. I remember my intense hatred for *NSYNC when I was in middle school. Not because I actually had good taste in music at the time. No, no, simply because I loved the Backstreet Boys so much. One cannot live while the other survives. Or at least that’s what I thought. So now, in a world that is once again full of teenyboppers, who are the real competitors? Evidently, it’s High School Musical vs. Twilight nowadays.

I’ll admit that I saw both High School Musical 3 and Twilight on opening weekend. I’ve seen all three HSM movies and I’ve read all four Twilight books. I may be all grown up but I’m still a tween at heart. Let’s put all loyalties aside though and truly try to figure out who is the better teen heartthrob: Robert Pattinson or Zac Efron?

To figure out which boy would make the better posterchild, I compiled a list of questions to determine which piece of man meat is better teen idol material.

When did he first hit mainstream?

Robert: First, as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005.

Zac: 2004 on Summerland, of course. Zac played Cameron Bale, the adorable but troubled boyfriend of little Nikki Westerly.

When did he gain heartthrob status?

Robert: For Twilight fans, July of 2008 at Comic Con. For the rest of the world, November of 2008 with the release of Twilight and the subsequent pandemonium.

Zac: January of 2006 with the airing of the original High School Musical. Girls were writing “Mrs. Troy Bolton” in their notebooks the very next day.

Does he have any special talents?

Robert: Evidently musically inclined. Robert writes his own music and costar Nikki Reed even grabbed a gem from his personal collection and the song was used as Bella’s lullaby for quite some time. He’s featured on the soundtrack with his song “Never Think.” In one interview, when asked what he wanted to do next, Pattinson stated he wanted to focus on his music.

Zac: He can sing and he can dance. Although his voice was blended with Andrew Seeley’s voice for the High School Musical soundtrack, it was only because the songs were written before Efron was cast and they were a bit difficult for his baritone range. Zac is more serious about acting than singing though.

How’s the hair?

Robert: His hair is shaggy, unkempt, and unwashed. It does, however, evoke wonderful images of a new age “bed head.” His hair in the Harry Potter days was clean and parted but didn’t look nearly as good. Update: Rob has ditched his luscious locks for a buzz cut, which probably requires as much maintenance as his previous unwashed, unbrushed do.

Zac: His hair is long, well maintained, swept to the right and carefully styled. Although it’s his current look, he’s shown the ability to sport many different hairstyles and still look fantastic.

When does he look best?

Robert: Honestly, with sunglasses. Not to say he isn’t beautiful without them because he is. It’s just that he gets this rock star vibe when he sports the shades. His devil may care attitude is enough to make any girl swoon.

Zac: Shirtless. Seriously. Go google image search Zac Efron. Shirtless, shirtless, shirtless. And believe me, no one is complaining. It’s simple math: Abs + Smile = Pure Joy for a teenage girl. I can’t even find a shirtless picture of Robert Pattinson out there and I’ve definitely tried.

Where’s he from?

London, England. Not only is he a city boy, he’s a London bloke. That means sexy accent. Think of that scene in Love Actually where the unattractive Colin travels to America to use his “cute British accent” on unsuspecting girls – now, if we’re taking that as a point of reference, Colin nabbed Shannon Elizabeth and Denise Richards, then Robert would be able to score the equivalent of Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry AND Jessica Alba. No joke. I might even throw in Jessica Biel for good measure.

Zac: San Luis Obispo, California. That makes him a surfer boy. Maybe.

Biggest thing holding him back?

Robert: He doesn’t seem to want to embrace his heartthrob status. He has been doing a ton of interviews, but he doesn’t seem to want the spotlight.

Zac: All the “Zac Efron is gay” rumors. It seriously hurts your heartthrob status if people think you are gay. Look at Clay Aiken. Wait, bad example. Look at Tom Cruise.

Is he single?

Robert: Yes. The recent rumors about the Twilight love triangle are intrieguing but have not proven to be true. Robert Pattinson is obsessed with Kristen Stewart, Kristen doesn’t care because she’s probably too busy smoking on stoops, and Nikki Reed is crazy jealous because she’s in love with Rob. If he starts dating Kristen, he could start a crazy phenomenon (see below).

Zac: No. Zac Efron is currently dating Vanessa Hudgens. Although he’s only 21, he already has a couple name: Zanessa. If that doesn’t scream tied down, I don’t know what does. This, however, doesn’t seem to bug any of his fans. They are as obsessed with Troy and Gabriella as they are obsessed with Zac and Vanessa.

After comparing Robert Pattinson and Zac Efron, I’ve determined that Zac Efron would make a better teen heartthrob… in the traditional sense. If I think back to how cheesy and wonderful *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys were, I know Zac’s the right fit. He’s willing to accept his status and carry out Disney’s bidding. But, in a world where Justin Timberlake is still king, I feel Robert Pattinson will be the longer lasting sensation if he doesn’t get too annoyed and run away to a hidden island in the Bermuda Triangle. I can only hope that one day, Rob will be bringing sexy back.

Who do you think would make the better teen heartthrob? Sound off in the comments below.

-Kim Wetter, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(images courtesy of WENN)

Kim Wetter

Senior Writer, BuddyTV