A Recap of Walters’ Most Fascinating People of 2010

Walters with the cast of Jersey Shore

Last night, ABC aired Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People special. With past specials including interviews with Fidel Castro, Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Michelle Obama, this year’s list seemed lacklustre.

Walters kicked off the special with our favourite octogenarian, 88-year-old Betty White (correction: 88 and ¾, according to the busy boomer who corrected Walters in the interview). Walters asked White how she stayed active; her response: “I have a two-storey house and a bad memory.” About her love for animals, White commented, “I certainly like animals more than a lot of people. Not saying I don’t like people, but I am passionate about animals.”

The interview became more sombre when Walters asked White’s feelings on aging and death. White said her mother would always say that a family member found the secret after dying. After Walters asked her how she felt about death, she replied, “I find myself a bit curious.”

Walters shamelessly admitted to having Bieber fever before introducing her next interview with Stratford, Ont.- born Justin Bieber. The teen said he aspires to be a mix of Prince and Michael Jackson. After the interview, the 17-year-old sang a song just for Walters. Tween girls all over the world swooned.

There was a brief clip on Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg for being the youngest billionaire in the world. Walters did not have an opportunity to sit down with Zuckerberg; the feature was simply a bunch of clips of the social media expert.

Moving on.

Walters awkwardly interviewed the cast of Jersey Shore. Walters tried to make sense of the wild 20-somethings. Asking questions about their slang, for example, she asked what it meant to “smush,” and they had to explain to Walters that it meant to “hook up or have sex.” This made us slightly uncomfortable.

Jennifer Lopez made the list because of her anticipated involvement as a judge on American Idol. Walters interviewed the singer-actress and asked if she was going to replace mean judge Simon Cowell. Lopez answered, “I am not going to be mean because I don’t like it when people are mean to me.” We’re still wondering why Lopez made the list.

Sandra Bullock made the cut for her successful award-winning role in The Blind Side as well as for her admirable grace publicly facing her ex-husband Jesse James’s infidelities and her adoption of her son, Louis Bardot. A battle that would be difficult for even those not standing in the spotlight. While speaking to Walters, Bullock demonstrated nothing but modesty and humility, saying that she is just grateful to work and lives in the moment because she never knows what tomorrow is going to bring.

Topping off the list were Lebron James, Kate Middleton and Sarah Palin. James made the list for his ESPN special airing his decision to take his talents to the Miami Heat. A decision that is usually presented at a press conference had viewers sitting on the edge of their seats for a full hour, and Ohio fans in hysterics with a clip of one fan commenting on James’s plan to transfer, “This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life.”

Soon-to-be-princess and fiancé of Prince William, Kate Middleton made the list purely for withstanding years and years as part of the Royal Family (unofficially) and her willingness to venture into a lifetime of scrutiny. Walters highlighted her most exemplary traits — her ability to wear odd hats well, not being exactly like her mother-in-law (a shot of her on the runway in that see-through dress), being social but not too social and keeping her mouth shut.

For the No. 2 spot, Walters was able to nab an interview with Sarah Palin, which she scheduled through Palin’s husband, Todd. The interview consisted of Palin not really answering Walters’s questions but rambling on instead about the misconceptions the media has created about her. Todd joined briefly, and Walters asked him for three words that described his wife. He in turn rambled on for four sentences. Walters shook his hand and thanked him. Enough said.

In the end, the No. 1 most fascinating person was General David Petraeus, which makes sense. Petraeus is a United States Army general who serves as the current commander, International Security Assistance Force and has been a big presence in Afghanistan. Walters said about the General, “In life, it seems there are people who break things and people who fix them. This man is a fixer.”

We think the decision to include General Petraeus on the list seemed a bit lop-sided after watching Walters speak to Jennifer Lopez about her alleged diva attitude and to Snooki and the gang from Jersey Shore about what the word “grenade” means.