Barbara Walters is quite fascinating herself. At 83 years old, the fab grande dame of television shows no signs of slowing down. She looks great, and her trademark series "The View" continues to be emulated on practically every network. BW is a TV staple, as is her annual "10 Most Fascinating People" ABC special.
As usual, we don't know who the most fascinating is until the special airs. While we ponder that, the journalistic maven is off in Washington, D.C., interviewing President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle on their first interview since being re-elected. We're guessing that means that they didn't make the list this year. That's OK. Walters deemed them fascinating in both 2008 and 2009.
As usual, there are fascinating hits and misses. Celebs, wannabes, and gonnabes lobby all year to make the cut. If you don't like who is chosen, Barbara's not completely at fault. You can also blame her main partner in crime, Bill Geddie, who also executive produces "The View."
So, who did make the list? Let's jump in!
Honey Boo Boo
You can't avoid knowing who Honey Boo Boo child is, even if you try. The reality TV star has been called the Shirley Temple of our times. Insert snarky comment here. Alana Thompson and her family bring American hillbilly pride into living rooms worldwide with their hit show, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." Perhaps the Kardashian-ization of viewers left fans craving moments that are just too real to be faked.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
The brilliant Mrs. Clinton wields power on the world stage like nobody's business. The secretary of state topped the list back when she was FLOTUS in 1993. Now there are loud whispers of Hillary for president in 2016. We dare anyone to count this history-making woman out. If Hillary became commander in chief, William Jefferson Clinton would become the first ex-president to become "First Dude," as Sarah Palin would put it.
Ben's fate seemed to have been sealed when Bennifer, his very public relationship with Jennifer Lopez, exploded. Who can forget the image of him rubbing her bodacious backside in a J-Lo music video? These days, the "Good Will Hunting" Oscar winner is happy with a much more low-key Jennifer. He's also making powerful moves as a director -- and actor. Just call him the comeback kid!
Other "Fascinating People" for 2012 include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, boy band One Direction, comic and mogul Seth MacFarlane, and "50 Shades of Grey" author E.L. James. So who is the "Most Fascinating" person of 2012? How about superhero Newark New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker or "Celebrity Apprentice" star Donald Trump of the birther movement?
What do you think of this list? Who has your vote for the number one spot?
"Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People" airs on ABC. Check your local listings for details.
More from this contributor:
Year in Review! African-American Women Who Rocked TV in 2012
The most embarrassing reality TV mothers of 2012! Dubious mom honors
Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes take on 'Oprah's Next Chapter'
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- Barbara Walters
- Barbara Walters
- Hillary Rodham Clinton
- President Barack Obama