Barbara Walters reveals the people she finds the most fascinating of all the many people she finds fascinating

Barbara Walters reveals the people she finds the most fascinating of all the many people she finds fascinating

Briefly tearing herself away from marveling at the astonishing leaf design that the barista put in her latte, Barbara Walters has revealed 2012's Most Fascinating People, her annual list of those who have most bewitched her with their endlessly captivating celebrity. This year it includes Ben Affleck, Gov. Chris Christie, Fifty Shades Of Grey writer E.L James, Hilary Clinton, Seth MacFarlane, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, and boy band One Direction, whose names Walters read aloud on this morning's The View, each time falling into a deep reverie about how truly fascinating they are, and awakened only by a prompting from Whoopi Goldberg—a prompting that Walters proclaimed "simply enchanting."

Affleck, One Direction et al. were deemed to have met Walters' very rigorous criteria of being "very much in the news" and also "no criminals," whom Walters finds fascinating but in a way that she recognizes is wrong, no matter how much it may thrill her inside. For that, they will all appear on the Dec. 12 Most Fascinating People telecast, in which Walters will stare at them, mouth agape, telling herself that she should really look away but no… She can't, and she doesn't regret a moment of it. There Walters will also finally reveal the No. 1 Most Fascinating person of the year, whose name she can't even say aloud without entering some sort of blissful catatonia. No. Not yet.