1. BEST Conan O’Brien. In early January, when Conan O’Brien received the news that NBC intended to move him as host of “The Tonight Show” to 12:05am to accommodate Jay Leno whose “Jay Leno Show” would be moved to 11:35pm, he was definitely unhappy. Rather than begin a negative campaign against NBC or Jay Leno, Conan took the high road. He made the decision to leave NBC, but not without obtaining adequate compensation for his many employees who had moved out from New York to Los Angeles. Throughout the ordeal, he remained polite, patient and committed to his work. On the last night of his show he said these words, “Every comedian, every comedian dreams of hosting The Tonight Show and—for seven months—I got to do it. I did it my way, with people I love, and I do not regret a second [of it]…. All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism; for the record it’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” What a classy guy!
2. WORST John Mayer. If you happened to catch a glance at his Playboy interview back in February or read the complete transcript online, you will understand why John Mayer made our list. For someone who apparently was growing tired of his “douche bag” reputation and poor interview skills, we’re not so sure this guy cares to change anything. He comes across as overly arrogant, pompous, self-indulgent and self-aggrandizing. Besides his kiss and tell remark about Jessica Simpson, he provided a bevy of other slanderous statements and racially insensitive comments completely embarrassing himself. We hope this ridiculous egotistical attitude will wear off in 2011 so we can go back to enjoying his beautiful music.
3. WORST Jesse James. On March 17th, just ten days after his wife, Sandra Bullock accepted her winning Oscar, reports of Jesse James infidelity during their 5 year marriage were igniting all over the place. The affair with tattooed stripper Michelle (“Bombshell”) McGee, rumored to have occurred during the time Bullock was filming “The Blind Side,” was the longest transgression. We wonder what James must have been thinking as Bullock attended the awards circuit thanking him profusely for staying by her side during her career. When the news came out, he issued a public apology claiming, “There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me.” While Jesse James made his best efforts to take full responsibility and reconcile with Bullock, the irrevocable damage had already been done.
5. WORST/BEST Lady Gaga. The talented glam pop singer has a pension for stirring things up. Most of the time it is for her outrageously flamboyant outfits that actually landed her the Best Dressed of the Year Award by Vogue Magazine (remember the meat dress she wore to the VMA’s?) and other times it is for her misguided public behavior. One moment stood out for us in particular over the summer in June when she wore only a bikini, fishnets and a baseball jersey to a New York Mets game. Inappropriately dressed and apparently “lit”, she was moved from her front-row seat and into Jerry Seinfeld’s empty box. When the photographers went to take a picture, she gave them the finger. Cut to several months later and hopefully a bit wiser, Lady Gaga has focused her energy on her role as a rising iconic figure for the Gay community standing up for Gay rights and speaking on behalf of the US military in favor of reversing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” campaign.
6. WORST Mel Gibson. Still fresh in our memory was the actor’s anti-Semitic rant following his DUI arrest in 2006 and now Mel has done it again. Gibson was back in the news this July for his massive tantrum caught on audio tape with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. After a series of countless allegations including everything from his abusive nature to racist remarks and a bitter custody battle over his daughter, he was finally dropped by his agency, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.
7. WORST Lindsay Lohan. The innocent Lindsay Lohan of the “Herbie the Love Bug” and “Parent Trap” fame has certainly seen better days. This year found her grappling with endless legal troubles, rehab stints and court hearings. One particular court hearing that took place over the summer made headlines over her controversial nail polish. Miss Lohan had taken the liberty of writing in tiny letters “F— U” on the nail of her left middle finger. The surveillance cameras in the courtroom caught the blatantly disrespectful message on tape and enlarged it for easier viewing. Within minutes, it was all over the Internet.
8. WORST Charlie Sheen. Playing true to his character on “Two and A Half Men,” Charlie Sheen made headlines in October for his reckless and shameful behavior in the famed Eloise Suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Just a couple of months fresh out of rehab, Sheen digressed into the world of drugs and escorts and went off the deep end trashing his hotel room while naked and frantically searching for his missing cell phone and wallet. The worst part about the incident was that his ex-wife, Denise Richards, and their two daughters were also staying in the hotel at the time for a planned vacation.
9. WORST Meg Whitman & Jerry Brown. There was quite a bit of mud-slinging leading up to this year’s race for Governor of California. A particularly low point found Democrat Jerry Brown’s campaign calling Republican challenger, Meg Whitman, a “whore.” This came on the heels of another unfortunate incident in which Meg Whitman’s housekeeper of 9 years sued her for wrongful termination and hired Gloria Allred to represent her. A series of negative television ads were created by both camps and then fired back and forth for the remainder of the campaign. The smear tactics became so prevalent that it prompted Matt Lauer, who was moderating an impromptu discussion at the Women’s Conference between the candidates, to get them to pledge a truce for the final week of the campaign. No such luck, the race was a fight until the bitter end.
10. BEST Nacho Figueras. In comparison to most of the athletes we hear about in the tabloids on a daily basis, Nacho Figueras has all the right stuff. While Tiger and Derek, Brett and Tony are busy getting press for all the wrong reasons, Nacho has been making a positive impression as a charming and passionate polo player and a committed family man. This year he travelled extensively spreading the word about polo and working diligently to turn it into a mainstream sport that is more accessible to the masses. In addition to being a star athlete, he is also a celebrity in his own right as the face of Ralph Lauren’s fragrances and a model for his Black Label collection. His stunning good looks and natural talents could easily make him arrogant and entitled, but instead Nacho is known for his eloquent style, polite nature and genuine friendliness emitting warmth and charisma wherever he goes.
11. BEST Elizabeth Edwards. This December Elizabeth Edwards lost her long battle with cancer. Despite the many months dealing with her husband’s unsuccessful campaign for Vice President, the scandal surrounding his infidelity and the fathering of a child with his former aide, Edwards maintained her composure, remained poised and put on a brave face. The words resilience and grace do not even begin to describe her strength and courage as she knew the end was soon approaching. She had these final words to share. “You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.”