(By the way, I know I may seem hypocritical, because in another blog entry I rip people who put too much emphasis on looks, but in that one I’m mainly saying it’s a shame that people treat people better based on looks and status. You can admire beauty and still treat everybody equally. I treat women who aren’t as beautiful just as great – probably even better. This list is basically just a fun thing.)
Anyway, I think that personality (at least as much as you can tell on TV), humor, moxie, and intelligence count for a lot so that’s why there are a few non-traditional choices on the list. For example, I think that Karen Finerman and Nicole Chang are amazing. Their pictures aren’t the best but they come across much better on TV.
I decided to do this in a single-elimination “tournament” format after ranking the top 16 seeds. See the attached bracket for how things ended up in the fantasy tournament (This is the one area where you can use the word “fantasy” and sports together and it actually fits. I know – I need to get a life). So let’s begin.
Sharon Tay, Anchor/Reporter, KCAL, Los Angeles. I think a lot of the women in TV news are good looking but many of them look the same (i.e. the ones on Fox News). Not Sharon Tay. My jaw dropped to the ground the first time I saw her on TV. Forget about TV anchors – I think she is one of the most beautiful women in the world. The only possible downside is that she is only 5-2.
Mélissa Theuriau, M6, Paris, France. Often called the most beautiful TV news reporter in the world. You really can’t make an argument against her. She is pretty stunning.
Georgie Thompson, Sky Sports. ESPN wouldn’t know what hit them if she came to work for them. She is a superstar.
Amy Robach, NBC. She just about has it all. A beauty who became a newswoman who also has a lot of credibility.
Jackie Johnson, KCAL and KCBS, Los Angeles. Meteorologist. Classic tall blonde looks.
Carmen Dominicci, Univision. Awesome, devastating, exotic look. After four blondes in a row, Dominicci crashes the party.
Amy Poehler, Weekend Update, Saturday Night Live. Wow. She is funny and great looking. She has radiant eyes and an unbelievable smile. They will have a very hard time replacing her.
Karen Finerman, Fast Money, CNBC. Obviously there are others who have better classic looks. But there’s something about her. She is so cool. She has excellent knowledge. And she is very good looking.
Kristine Johnson, WCBS, New York. I haven’t seen her on TV but her pics look pretty great. Brown hair, brown eyes, awesome.
Nicole Chang, Sports Action Team. This is a fake show, and she isn’t even a reporter on the show. She’s plays the producer. But she is hot. And humor and moxie rank highly.
Tracey Neale, former anchor, WUSA, Washington. Both beautiful and cute.
Courtney Friel, Fox News. Very solid. I had to include someone from Fox but I think many of them are overrated.
Susan Lisovicz, CNN. Classy and older. Represents the financial set along with the Chairwoman.
Hannah Storm, ESPN. She is very sharp. She’s gotten better in sports knowledge and looks as she’s gotten older. I didn’t expect to include her but now I can’t keep her out. Her work is absolutely stellar, way better than it was years ago.
Play-in game: Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC vs. Campbell Brown, CNN. Who says vanilla is boring?
Honorable Mention: Julia Boorstin, CNBC; Contessa Brewer, MSNBC; Erin Burnett, CNBC; Colleen Dominguez, ESPN; Erica Hill, CNN; Robin Meade, CNN; Arthel Neville, KSWB.
So here’s how the tournament played out. The newswomen played a one-on-one game of basketball up to 11 – having to win by two. There was one fairly significant upset, and a few minor surprises, but for the most part the games held to form. Check out the brackets. (Obviously, this tournament is purely fictional. Don’t you wish it was real, though?).
Click here for the brackets! Most Beautiful TV News Women – 2008 Tournament Brackets
Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC vs. Campbell Brown, CNN. This was a very evenly matched game. O’Donnell’s tenacity gave her the edge in the end over Brown’s solid decision making as O’Donnell advanced into the main draw.
Sharon Tay, KCAL (1) vs. Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC (16). O’Donnell couldn’t keep up with Tay’s repertoire of shots and moves in this one, as the speedy point guard ran around O’Donnell all game long despite O’Donnell trying to post Tay up.
Amy Poehler, SNL (8) vs. Karen Finerman, CNBC (9). Finerman pulled the minor upset here – the Chairwoman studied hard and analyzed trends to prepare, using fundamentals to get by. Meanwhile, the spritely pixie had fun and entertained, but jokes didn’t result in a victory.
Jackie Johnson, KCAL and KCBS (5) vs. Tracey Neale, WUSA (12). You always have to watch for upsets in the 5-12 matchup and it happened here. Johnson didn’t know what to expect from the underrated, scrappy former DC anchorwoman, who upset Johnson and her superb inside shooting by taking the tall meteorologist outside and playing tough defense.
Amy Robach, NBC (4) vs. Courtney Friel, Fox News (13). The opposing coaches, Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly, started arguing before the opening tip and were both ejected, resulting in a ban of all coaches from the tourney. The actual game was much more civil, but wasn’t much of a contest with Robach using her jumping ability and elite athleticism to get past Friel.
Georgie Thompson, Sky Sports (3) vs. Susan Lisovicz, CNN (14). The hard working Lisovicz put up a game effort, but this superstar from across the pond possessed superior athletic ability. Thompson’s netball skills translated well to basketball as she sent the classy financial whiz packing.
Carmen Dominicci, Univision (6) vs. Nicole Chang, Sports Action Team (11). Dominicci dominated this one from the outset, using quick and precise moves. Chang’s skill at being a Bossy Boots didn’t help sway the refs in this one-on-one matchup.
Lisa Sylvester, CNN (7) vs. Kristine Johnson, WCBS (10). This eagerly anticipated matchup of graceful, photogenic stars went to Sylvester in overtime with help from, or perhaps despite, Lou Dobbs’ incessant taunting of Johnson, reminiscent of Robin Ficker heckling opposing players at Washington Bullets games.
Mélissa Theuriau, M6 (2) vs. Hannah Storm, ESPN (15). Storm played like her name, making this a surprisingly close battle. She just gets better with age, but Theuriau’s silky smooth, fluid skills did the prolifically talented Storm in.
Sharon Tay (1) vs. Karen Finerman (9). In one-on-one battles, quickness and agility usually win out, and Tay’s athleticism proved too much for Finerman, who pored over stats and tendencies to prepare for the game, which was close only in the first half. Critics questioned Finerman’s decision to play in a business suit, while Tay’s short shorts allowed for greater flexibility.
Amy Robach (4) vs. Tracey Neale (12). Neale didn’t have much left after the upset of Jackie Johnson. Robach, who never loses her cool, displayed a killer jump shot, and used crossover and spin moves to get to the hoop.
Georgie Thompson (3) vs. Carmen Dominicci (6). This one was a double overtime classic. Fans lined up for hours for tickets. Each player had vociferous fan support though Thompson’s UK fans became a little unruly. Dominicci’s aggressive play led her to the Final Four in Hotlanta over Thompson and her creative arsenal of shots.
Lisa Sylvester (7) vs. Mélissa Theuriau (2). Sylvester kept this one close, using her trademark great intensity and versatility, but Theuriau had a large contingent of French soccer fans who made the trip to support their countrywoman in the basketball game, inspiring the French star. In the end, Theuriau had a little too much.
Sharon Tay (1) vs. Amy Robach (4). Sparks were flying in this matchup, held in Hotlanta, of a national anchor against a local major market star. Tay used her quickness to slash to the basket and create opportunities against the former gymnast, who had Bela Karolyi behind the bench exhorting her on, yelling, “You can doo eet!” Tay withstood Robach’s impressive athletic ability, overcame a 3-point deficit, and drove to the hoop for the game winner to make it to the final. A few L.A. stars even showed up to support Tay as Hollywood beat the Midwest.
Mélissa Theuriau, M6 (2) vs. Carmen Dominicci (6). Giving the Final Four an international flavor, French fans flocked to Hotlanta to support Theuriau while raucous Spanish speaking fans everywhere chanted, “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole” to support the Puerto-Rican born Dominicci. This was a true clash of the titans. Theuriau’s scoring mentality and determination helped her score almost at will at times, but she was a little overwhelmed, perhaps even intimidated by Dominicci. The Univision model-journalist delighted fans by dancing during timeouts, and pulled the upset with strong, polished moves around the basket, getting the win despite playing the first quarter in high heels.
Sharon Tay (1) vs. Carmen Dominicci (6). A sold out crowd was on hand in Hotlanta to witness this historic battle of two 40-year old beauties in their prime, and they did not disappoint. Dominicci threw everything she had at Tay, with an impressive array of spin moves, double pumps, fakes, and even rejected the shorter Tay 3 times. However, the relentless number one seed twice stole the ball from the taller Dominicci, driving to the hoop and drawing fouls several times, and used her overall perkiness to win the championship. Tay was virtually unstoppable in crunch time and showed why she is the best.
It was a spectacular tournament. Stay tuned for the real tournament – March Madness in 2009, when there will be a great deal of controversy over who gets the 64 spots in the tournament. Millions will be glued to the tournament announcement show, studying brackets, making bets, watching intently, and wondering who will make it to the Final Four. But enough about the Newswomen Tournament of 2009. Don’t forget about college basketball…
Tags: ESPN, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Sharon Tay, Melissa Theuriau, Georgie Thompson, Amy Robach, Jackie Johnson, Carmen Dominicci, Lisa Sylvester, Amy Poehler, Karen Finerman, Kristine Johnson, Nicole Chang, Tracey Neale, Courtney Friel, Susan Lisovicz, Hannah Storm, Campbell Brown, Norah O’Donnell, beautiful, anchors, reporters, Women