The Most Fascinating People

The names of a select few of Barbara Walters’ “Most Fascinating People” have trickled out, as Andrew reports on Here in Van Nuys. As I said there, who can remember the name of last year’s “most fascinating person”? Last year’s best-picture Oscar winner? Not that I’ve won anything ever or am thought of as “fascinating” by anybody, but these things have an incredible burst of power followed by quick amnesia.

Now back to the fascination. Presumably none of those currently mentioned are in the running for “Most Fascinating Person.” Here’s what we have so far:

NEW YORK (AP) – Tom Cruise, Teri Hatcher and Kanye West are among the names on Barbara Walters’ list of the 10 most fascinating people of 2005.The list of the year’s most prominent names in entertainment, politics and sports also includes Lance Armstrong, Michael Jackson’s lawyer Tom Mesereau and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, ABC announced Monday.

“Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2005” will air Nov. 29 (10 p.m. EST). The No. 1 most fascinating person of the year will be revealed on the special, now in its 12th year.

Presumably the “most fascinating person” is not among these six, so that leaves four more “fascinating” people, with one of those “most fascinating.” By process of elimination and elucidation, I will attempt to, at least, name Babs’ No. 1, if not get a few of the others remaining on the list. Return her Nov. 30 to see how well I did — and feel free to supply your picks in the comments.

They could be fascinating:

The politicians

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (long shot)

Arnold Schwarzenegger (long shot)

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (not as long, but still a long shot)

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (good bet)

The activists

Cindy Sheehan (leading anti-Iraq War voice is a good bet)

Morgan Spurlock (the “Super Size Me” guy who’s an advocate for the working class)

The anchors

Anderson Cooper (most-buzzed-about anchor of the moment)

Shepard Smith (defied Fox News conventional wisdom by critizing government during Katrina aftermath)

MY PICK FOR MOST FASCINATING: Jon Stewart (incredible buzz, best-selling books, the ear of the under-40 generation and the ability to get bow-tied talking heads yanked from all-news networks)

The Actors

Angelina Jolie (she stole a “world’s sexiest man” candidate from one of “America’s sweethearts” and is also intent on saving the world — and not just by adopting children at a Mia Farrow-esque pace)

Charlize Theron (could repeat as Best Actress Oscar winner)

Jennifer Aniston (had “world’s sexiest man” stolen by “world’s sexiest woman” … what does that make her? A freakin’ martyr with patentable hair)

Music

Gwen Stefani (she’s being played in every boutique in L.A. Barbara Walters wants tutorial on how to pronounce, “Hollaback.”)

Oddities

Ashley Smith (the woman who kept a fugitive from killing her by quoting out of preacher Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life” … and offering him some of her crystal meth, the latter of which she renounced after getting her own book deal)

3 thoughts on “The Most Fascinating People

  1. Ilene

    Oh I find you fascinating. Especially after many days without a full night of sleep and a few espressos under your belt. Otherwise I am just happy to find you sentient.

  2. Steven Rosenberg

    I think Angelina had the total inside track, except for one thing: You can’t be a man-stealer and be the “most fascinating” in the world of Barbara Walters. Just ain’t gonna happen.I’m starting to warm up to Cindy Sheehan, but I will stick with Jon Stewart.

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