Kim Kardashian, one member of the endlessly fascinating Kardashian family. (© Danny Moloshok / Reuters)

It’s time for the annual guessing game entitled, “Who Will Be Named Barbara Walters’s Most Fascinating Person of the Year?”

ABC got the ball rolling earlier today by issuing a news release that revealed the first seven entries on Walters’s big list of 10: Pippa Middleton (who has apparently trumped Kate Middleton, named on last year’s list), the Kardashian family (which, as a multi-headed publicity-seeking entity, qualifies as one person), Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson of “Modern Family” (also a single unit known as Cam-Mitchell), Donald Trump, Katy Perry and New York Yankee Derek Jeter.

The mathematically astute already have realized that this leaves three slots open, including the highly coveted Most Fascinating Person of the Year position. Presumably at least one of those spots will go to a politician (maybe Anthony Weiner?) and/or a non-entertainment figure (perhaps, sadly, Casey Anthony).

But surely there are other stars who have a strong shot at claiming the Most Fascinating Person Crown, the winner of which will be announced when the Walters special airs Dec. 14. Here are five of the worthiest contenders.

1. Melissa McCarthy

(Chris Pizzello/AP)

It’s already been established that 2011 was a mega-year for McCarthy. She certainly deserves a place somewhere on the list, possibly even at No. 1.

2. Beyonce

(Evan Agostini/AP)

In a year filled with celebrity births and pregnancy announcements, Beyonce’s baby-bump reveal generated by far the most buzz. Walters can’t ignore the phenomenon that is Sasha Fetus. The question is whether all the hype about Beyonce’s pending motherhood is enough to make her the most fascinating person of the year.

3. Selena Gomez

(Chris Pizzello/AP)

Since Bieber made the list last year, it would seem fitting to see his girlfriend — the same poised young lady who had to tolerate much Twitter hatred as well as her “Baby Baby” boyfriend’s pesky paternity suit — on Walters’s list.

4. Charlie Sheen

(Peter Kramer/AP)

The tiger blood may no longer flow as freely as it once did, but remember, it was only a few months ago that we were riveted by Sheen’s Twitter feed, his goddesses and his multiple mega-freaky TV interviews. He’s deserving of the Most Fascinating honor, although he didn’t quite sustain the fascination for the full year. So maybe that disqualifies him from taking the top spot. If he doesn’t make the rundown at all, though, that seems like a massive oversight.

5. Ryan Gosling

(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

You all knew this would eventually come back to Gosling, didn’t you? That’s because all things, eventually, return to Gosling. It’s called the circle of life — perhaps you’ve heard of it? Anyway, back to the matter at hand. ... Walters would be wise to place him at the top of her list. But whatever she does, she had better include the “Drive” star somehow. Otherwise, I hope she’s ready for protesters to gather outside the studio where “The View” is taped. I mean, there is only so much Gosling injustice the public can take.

Think any of these people is worthy of Most Fascinating Person designation? Or do you have someone better in mind? Weigh in by posting a comment.