Every year broadcast journalist Barbara Walters reveals her 10 Most Fascinating People of the year in an ABC special, but some of this year’s “captivating” guests were more controversial than others.

For one, Walters sat down with former GOP candidate Herman Cain to discuss the scandals that had ultimately brought down his campaign. Cain addressed the accusations of sexual harassment and infidelity that four different women leveled against him in recent months. “It was the vicious, unrelenting character assassination that finally caused too much pain to my wife, my family and me, ” the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO revealed. When Walters asked how he would respond to people who think, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” Cain sported a dazzling white smile and said, “What I’d say to people is, ‘Not in this case!'” He ended his interview serenading Walters, showing off a singing voice of which he is obviously very proud.

Katy Perry and Donald Trump also made the cut. Perry sat down to talk about her marriage to comedian and actor Russell Brand and her upbringing in a highly religious home with born-again Christian parents. Trump, in an interview with a very different tone, continued to offer vague answers about whether or not he would seek the presidency in the upcoming election year as an Independent, and then he had Walters tug on his hair to prove that he does not wear a toupee.

The Kardashian family, collectively (at least the female part of it), took one of the slots on Walters’ list. Maybe no one quite expected how explicit the mystery behind what makes them “fascinating” became in the interview. Walters went ahead and asked what everyone was wondering: “You don’t really act. You don’t sing. You don’t dance. You don’t have any — forgive me — any talent,” she prompted, to see how the family — Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and mom Kris — would react. Kim seemed prepared for the question. “It’s more of a challenge for you to go on a reality show and get people to fall in love with you for being you” than it is to be beloved for playing a character, she claimed.

Walters, who conducted her interview with the Kardashians in September, previously commented on her disappointment that the meeting had happened before Kim divorced 72-day hubby Kris Humphries and Kourtney revealed her second pregnancy. Still, the segment alluded to the new drama, even showing clips from the girls’ reality show, Kim and Kourtney Take New York, to shed light on the more recent events.

Walters also sat down with The X-Factor mogul Simon Cowell and New York Yankee Derek Jeter, as well as Modern Family actors and close friends Jesse Tyler Furguson and Eric Stonestreet. She did segments on how the falsely accused Amanda Knox and British royal sister-in-law Pippa Middleton had captivated the nation this year, though neither of them showed up for interviews. But for the most fascinating person of 2011, Walter’s broke with tradition to honor Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Jobs. In the past, it was decided that the honor had to go to someone who was still living, but Walters said that “rules were made to be broken, and that’s certainly how Steve Jobs lived his life.”

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