Alana Thompson, Honey Boo Boo

Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Barbara Walters certainly had a plethora of characters to choose from in determining—as has become her annual tradition—who was the most fascinating person of the year.

There was Lindsay Lohan, who just can't keep herself out of trouble (and she dissed Walters by canceling on her, to boot). Kate Middleton has an heir in the oven. President Barack Obama came roaring back from a dismal first debate and overcame even more dismal attacks from Mitt Romney's camp to win a historic second term. Taylor Swift dated a Kennedy!

But it wasn't any of those muy fascinating folks. And, while Honey Boo Boo made the top-10 cut, it wasn't her, either.

Instead, Walters bestowed the Most Fascinating Person of 2012 title on disgraced Gen. David Petraeus, the decorated U.S. military hero and director of the CIA who saw the bottom drop out of his career due to—not Libya, not Afghanistan, not Iraq—an affair!

General David Petraeus


Just a plain, simple, dumb ole affair that came to light because his mistress (and biographer) Paula Broadwell got territorial and suggested via email to another woman in their social circle—who was also married, mind you—to back off. And because nobody ever reads anybody else's email...

Controversy still swirls around whether the otherwise seemingly sterling leader's personal mistake should have resulted in his resignation as it did, but the downfall of a powerful, prominent figure is finger-wagging fodder that everyone can get behind.

Fifty shades of fascinating, indeed!

Speaking of which, rounding out Walters' list in addition to Petraeus and Honey Boo Boo (now linked forever in the annals of history) were: Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James, New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieBen AffleckOne Direction, Olympian Gabby Douglas, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Seth MacFarlane and Prince Harry.

Every single one of them caught our attention this year, so...No major objections here!

Do you think these are the most fascinating people of 2012? Give us your list in the comments!

Best of 2012: Celebrities of the Year

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.