Are all of Barbara Walters's fascinating people truly fascinating?
Barbara Walters has revealed eight of her 10 most fascinating people of 2010, all of whom will be spotlighted (of course) during her annual Most Fascinating People special, which airs Dec. 9 on ABC.
Earlier today, People magazine shared the names of eight of the celebrities who made the cut. The last two will be revealed during the aforementioned special, but we all know at least one of them will be Lady Gaga, and the other one is probably either Tiger Woods or Kanye West. So the odds of anyone quivering with anticipation between now and Dec. 9 are low.
Nevertheless, let's focus on the first eight: Do all of these individuals rise to the level of truly fascinating? An assessment is clearly in order.
Sandra Bullock: She won an Academy Award, watched her seemingly rock-solid marriage crumble and arrives at the end of 2010 seeming unfazed by either experience.
Fascination rank, on a scale of 1 to 10: 10.
Kate Middleton: With her engagement to Prince William confirmed -- and her ability to set fashion trends simultaneously confirmed -- Middleton officially qualifies as fascinating. With the royal wedding set for April, her fascination factor will only rise.
Rank on fascination scale: 9, with potential to rise to 10 next year.
Justin Bieber: Bieber mania and its accompanying memes? Endlessly fascinating. The Biebs himself? Hard to know if it's the kid who is interesting or just the phenomenon he has become. Then again, maybe they're the same thing.
Rank on fascination scale: 7 for the person, 10 for the phenom.
Betty White: At the beginning of the year, America was pretty much besotted with everyone's favorite sassy granny. The White fascination hit its apex when she hosted SNL in May. By year's end -- around the time the Forest Service made her an honorary ranger -- a bit of "Golden Girl" fatigue began to sink in.
Rank on fascination scale: 9, then down to 8.
LeBron James: Only a basketball player like James would have the audacity to announce his plans to join the Miami Heat during a live ESPN special -- titled, with the requisite lack of perspective, "The Decision" -- and cause so much hype and chatter in the process.
Rank on fascination scale: 8.5
Sarah Palin: Love her or loathe her, Palin gets our attention, whether she's blatantly clamoring for the spotlight in the realm of politics or reality television.
Rank on fascination scale: 9.5
The cast of "Jersey Shore": If you met any one of these people at a happy hour -- and given the drinking habits of the "Shore" crew, it's likely that you have -- you'd probably find them completely irritating. But as a collective, creepin' entity on the inescapable MTV reality show, I must begrudgingly admit that the Situation, Snooki and Co. can be fascinating. Sometimes. When I can stop focusing on their unnatural faux tans.
Rank on fascination scale: 7
Jennifer Lopez: The ridiculous level of hype that built up around Lopez's new gig as "American Idol" host certainly captured some media attention. But that was more about the reinvention of the show and less about Lopez herself. Honestly, Lopez has rarely been less interesting than she is right now, a fact that could -- and probably will -- change once she gets a twice-weekly opportunity to go full-throttle diva on a national television show. Maybe Walters should have reserved J. Lo for the 2011 list?
Rank on fascination scale: 5, with room for improvement in 2011.
| November 29, 2010; 3:29 PM ET
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