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Taylor Momsen: Gossip Girl‘s It Girl?

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Giovanni Rufino/THE CW

Taylor Momsen, who plays social climber Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl, has quickly becoming the breakout star of the CW show, according to the New York Observer.

While her co-stars Chace Crawford and Blake Lively have their share of fans, the Observer says that Momsen’s portrayal of the manipulative Jenny Humphrey saved the show from an early death.

In the book series the show is based off of, Jenny is a “busty, curly-haired” social outcast “who is constantly getting trampled on.” But producers decided early on to take her character in a different direction.

“We wanted a character that in this journey of trying to fit in at school might actually succeed in her goal and even triumph over the other girls at some point,” said show writer Stephanie Savage.

So far Jenny has triumphed, briefly dethroning queen bee Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) in the middle of season one, and while she fell out of the in crowd, next season (which starts September 1) will bring some new drama for her. Savage, who is the driving force behind the character, calls Jenny the new Eve Harrington, the scheming character from 1950’s movie All About Eve who inserts herself into Broadway star Margo Channing’s life and destroys Channing in the process.

Says Savage: “With Jenny, there’s that sense of a very intelligent, observant young girl looking around and going, ‘You know, I’m not as rich as these girls, and I don’t have that leg up because of my family, but I’m just as pretty and I think that I’m smarter, so if I play my cards right, I can win this game.'” —Emmet Sullivan

Tell us: Is Jenny the most compelling character on GG? Is Taylor Momsen the It Girl of the show?

Giovanni Rufino/THE CW