Barbara Walters added Alana Thompson, the 7-year-old star of TLC's "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo", to her annual list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year.
Walters defends her deicision saying: "A lot of people will say, 'For heaven's sake, this is ridiculous, this is a child at 5 or 6 years old entering beauty contests'.
"But the relationship between Alana and her mother -- that's the story, the two of them. It's very touching."
She adds: "Honey Boo Boo is not an obnoxious little girl. She's sweet and loving with her mother and loving with her sisters [Jessica, Lauryn and Anna]. And now Anna has a new baby, and the baby has [three] thumbs -- but so what? It'll make you smile."
Other names on Walter's 2012 list include Ben Affleck, "Family Guy"’s Seth MacFarlane; British boy band One Direction; Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and EL James, the author behind the erotic mega-hit "Fifty Shades of Grey".
As is tradition, Walters will announce the No. 1 most fascinating person of 2012 during the ABC broadcast, set to air at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.