(PHOTO: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
Barbara Walters will present the “10 Most Fascinating People” on Wednesday, highlighting the year’s most prominent names in entertainment, sports and pop culture.
This year’s guests will include such figures as pop sensation Katy Perry and the much-watched family the Kardashians, among many other A-list names.
Since 1993, the show has garnered much praise and popularity, consistently resulting in the highest rated specials of the year.
Now in its 19th season, Walters continues to capture audiences with her frank interviews and discussions with some of the world’s most intriguing people.
The filming for the special began in September, with the Kardashians the first to be interviewed. Much of their recent publicized drama, including Kim’s short-lived marriage to Kris Humphries and Khloe’s move to Dallas due to her husband Lamar Odom’s trade from the Lakers to the Mavericks, will not be featured.
“They were the first ones we interviewed and we did them in September,” Walters explained to David Letterman on “The Late Show.”
“We said, ‘anything going to happen?’ ‘No, no, no, you can do it now because nothing’s going to happen.’ Then Kim gets married. Then Kourtney gets pregnant. Then Khloe’s moving to Dallas.”
“You cannot trust the Kardashians,” she joked.
When questioned about her choice of the family, Walters offered an explanation.
“They’re pretty woman, they’re glamorous and they don’t know private from public,” she shared, according to The Associated Press. “And they’re part of a family – one for all and all for one – that people relate to.”
But she wasn’t sure how long America’s fascination with them would last. “They’re famous, and richer probably in one year than I am in – God, how many years have I been doing this?”
“You know that song from Follies: ‘I’m Still Here!’ I don’t know where they will be.”
Other guests being featured include breakout stars from “Modern Family,” New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter, royal sister Pippa Middleton, X Factor host Simon Cowell, and business tycoon Donald Trump.
“Why is Donald Trump on the list?” Letterman asked Walters.
“Because whatever you think of him, the man is fascinating,” she responded. “The day after someone else is elected, Donald Trump is still going to be saying that he’s the candidate. You know, he’s all over the place.”
As for Cowell, the special will give audiences a look into his home, “with its fountains and its ring of fire all around,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “He’s claustrophobic, he said. You’ll be surprised, and what he has to say about Paula Abdul will make you laugh. It may not make her laugh, but it’ll make you laugh.”
“Each one of [the guests] has something, we hope, that’s new and surprising,” Walters stated.
The 90-minute special will air Wednesday, Dec. 14,9:30-11:00 p.m. ET on the ABC Television Network.
The number one most fascinating person of 2011 will also be revealed on the program, which most people are expecting to be a politician. Houston Pastor Joel Osteen topped the list in 2006.