Must see, Adam Lambert interview segment with Adam Lambert and Barbara Walters on the 10 most fascinating people of 2009:
Barbara spices up lineup this year
By MICHAEL SHAIN
No movie stars, no politicians, no models.
It’s a little like the “Seinfeld” creed — no hugging, no learning — with Barbara Walters as Larry David.
This fall, Walters set out deliberately to come up with an unusual list of characters for her annual, year-and-a-tear “10 Most Fascinating People” special.
Glenn Beck, Lady Gaga, Kate Gosselin, Jenny Sanford (the wife of wandering South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford), Tyler Perry, Michael Jackson’s three kids and, now famously, Adam Lambert.
“A lot of people nobody had ever heard of last year,” Walters told The Post. “And a lot of it is about sexuality.”
‘IDOL’ FAN: Barbara has had her eye on Adam from the start.
No global warming, no mortgage meltdown, no public option.
“We call the show ‘The 10 Most Fascinating People’ of the year — not ‘The 10 Best Role Models,’ ” she says.
They may not all be people you’d want to bring home to Nana at Thanksgiving, but they have something in common. They are purely creatures of TV.
“I don’t know many people who knew who Lady Gaga was two years ago,” says Walters. “Last year, no one knew who Adam Lambert was.
“Tyler Perry, I’d venture to say that most white people don’t know who he is.” All the interviews were conducted since September — most have been done in the last three weeks, she says.
Lambert sat with her the morning after his now-notorious performance on the American Music Awards — and before her network, ABC, started banning him from upcoming shows. She’s going back today to see Adam and update the interview.
“I watch ‘American Idol,’ ” says Walters, surprisingly. “And when I saw Adam I thought, ‘This is someone we’re going to a see a lot of.’ The business of him coming in second and that whole question mark about him being gay, we booked him long before the controversy.”
That’s how you brag — politely — about still having an instinct for what people want to watch.
Without fanfare or Oprah-style hoopla, Barbara Walters turned 80 last September. She bristles at the mention of the word “semi-retirement” — which is what she led viewers to believe she was doing four years ago when she gave up hosting “20/20.”
She wanted to travel, Walters explained back then, see more than the airport and hotel in the places around the world where she’d had to work over the last 30 years. She wanted to spend more time with her daughter, Jackie.
So where’s she been in the last three years? Long pause.
Ten days in Vietnam, to a friend’s birthday in Switzerland and, oh yes, she’s going to the Dominican Republic for a few days later this month.
Leaving “20/20” was more about leaving the grind of doing a prime-time TV show three weeks a month than about relaxing by the pool boys in Mororcco, it seems.
Then, Walters said the most revealing thing of a short, show-promoting phone interview.
“Diane Sawyer and I are no longer going to the same people all the time,” she said. “And let me tell you, it’s been a great relief to both of us.”
She has plans now, she says, to update her first book “How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything,” which she wrote in 1970 when she was still working on the “Today” show and is now out of print (the cheapest, used copy on Amazon sells for $115 as a “collectible”).
“It’s dated,” she says. “But the advice is still good, and I’d like to redo it again.”