Photo Credit: ABC/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua
You always know where to find Barbara Walters in December. Year in, year out, she's there on ABC, informing you about the 10 public figures who grabbed the world's attention that year -- and held onto it with an iron grip. In this year's installment of her annual special, Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People (Dec. 18 at 9:30 p.m. ET), the veteran journalist will once again interview some of the most prominent people in the world of entertainment, politics, sports and pop culture. (And, well, some of them she'll just tell us about in a clip package and voiceover.)
Sadly, this is the last year that Walters will be around to grant the year's most over-exposed celebrities yet another publicity opportunity. She's retiring in May. So who are the final beneficiaries of her largesse? Oh, you can guess them.
Miley Cyrus. Kimye. (Yes, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, together.) Jennifer Lawrence. The cast of Duck Dynasty. The royal baby, naturally. Let's see... who else's name was repeated on newscasts like a never-ending, pounding bass? Yep: Edward Snowden, the NSA whistle blower. The controversial new Pope. Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America anchor whose harrowing battle with myelodyslplastic syndrome led to a groundswell of viewer support (and rising ratings for her show).
As for the top spot -- the most fascinating person of the year -- Walters is keeping that under wraps, as usual. Who will it be? A seemingly obvious pick would be George Zimmerman, whose trial in the death of Treyvon Martin was so highly publicized that omitting him from the list seems odd. It also seems strange to leave off Beyonce (who performed at the 2013 Superbowl) and Jay-Z (who spent the year promoting an album and launching a sports management group, among other high-profile projects).
Or... would Walters dare to give the top spot to a retiring, 84-year-old icon of television news, whose legacy and impact on public culture can't be overestimated? Nah, she can't give the title to herself...
Or can she?
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.