Huddle: Our 2012 Hot 100 Picks


Today is one of our favorite days — the kick-off of our annual Hot 100! Starting today, you can cast your votes by visiting and “liking” our Facebook page. Otherwise, look for the official Hot 100 kickoff announcement and regular voting form here on the site on Monday, May 14.

So for this week’s Huddle, we’ve asked our writers to weigh in with their top ten picks for this year’s poll.

Trish Bendix: I’m a fan of smart women, out women, women who are happy to be gay, women who are happy to have gay fans or play gay on TV. Call me, all of you.

1. Rachel Maddow

2. Alison Bechdel

3. Megan Rapinoe

4. Brandi Carlile

5. Shay Mitchell

6. Kimberly Peirce

7. Ellen Page

8. Evan Rachel Wood

9. Anna Paquin

10. Archie Panjabi

Lucy Hallowell: So every year I flick through the Hot 100 and inevitably think, “Damn she’s so hot, why didn’t I include her in my picks?” So I know that as I write this I will surely look at everyone else’s picks and think “Ooooh, good one, what a moron I am for leaving her off.” So, in no particular order, here are my picks:

1. Jessica Capshaw

2. Tina Fey

3. Jennifer Garner

4. Heather Peace

5. Emma Thompson

6. Rachel Maddow

7. Megan Rapinoe

8. Kate Winslet

9. Archie Panjabi

10. Jodie Foster

Ed note: Lucy can’t count. Or else she sneaky-sneaked in an extra vote and then left for vacation so she wouln’t be forced to trim down her list. She included Michelle Obama with these lovely ladies. 

What does this list say about what I find attractive? Smart and funny win for me every time. I can appreciate a hot girl as much as the next red-blooded lesbian, but if that girl opens her mouth and sounds like any of the cast of The Jersey Shore I will never be able to see her as hot again. A woman who is intelligent and can make me laugh is irresistible. If you can add an accent, the ability to swear like a sailor, or some athletic skill to the mix, I am yours for keeps.

Mia Jones: Thinking about this is really so awkward for me – it makes me feel like a big nerd. There are a lot of women, when shown a picture, whom I would agree are hot – but they wouldn’t be someone I’d ever have a crush on, which seems counterintuitive. I’m over-thinking this, aren’t I? I guess I’ll start with Butterfly Boucher because I just finished interviewing her but our phone conversation felt like I was just chatting with a friend who had a really fantastic accent and also happened to be extremely talented and good-looking. Definitely swoon-worthy. My other picks are in no particular order but all of these women share the killer combo of beauty and brains.

2. Alison Mosshart

3. Sharon Van Etten

4. Emma Stone

5. Lissy Trullie

6. Mila Kunis

7. Sarah Jaffe

8. Hannah Billie

9. Kate Winslet

10. Rihanna (OK, her decision to even consider speaking to Chris Brown again doesn’t really speak to the brains I was talking about earlier – but I love her and she’s staying.)

Dorothy Snarker: What’s hot? So many things. Smart women. Funny women. Strong women. Outspoken women. Powerful women. Talented women. Just women, in all their incarnations and all their wonders. My list features perennial standbys. (Like I wasn’t going to include Tina Fey.) But each year a few new names rotate in and out. But every year, there are just too many amazing, incredible and, yes, hot women to contain it to 10.

1. Tina Fey

2. Naya Rivera

3. Lena Headey

4. Kate Winslet

5. Jennifer Beals

6. Padma Lakshmi

7. Rachel Maddow

8. Hillary Clinton

9. Zoie Palmer

10. Hope Solo

Jill Guccini: I have to say that my biggest shock of the 2011 list was that Arizona Roberts beat out Callie Torres. I should note that I haven’t actually watched Grey’s Anatomy ever since that shooter-in-the-hospital episode gave me approximately a gazillion anxiety attacks which caused me to almost puke or pass out or scream or all three at once, so maybe Arizona has really stepped up the hotness factor in the years since, but I feel doubtful about it. I mean I know she saves children’s lives or whatever, but as far as I’m concerned, Callie can set my bones any time she wants. Wait, what?

1. Brandi Carlile. (Specifically, Brandi Carlile wearing a vest, bare-armed, with some type of bandanna involved somewhere. Although the vest is more important than the bandanna if you want to get technical.)

2. Ellen DeGeneres (How does she get more beautiful each year? I’m convinced she’s constantly surrounded by a bubble of magic.)

3. Janelle Monae

4. Halle Berry

5. Rachel McAdams

6. Sara Ramirez

7. Mila Kunis

8. Zoe Saldana

9. (Short-haired) Emma Watson

10. Dame Helen Mirren

Ali Davis:

Cool is hot.

10. AzMarie Livingston

Top Model‘s breakout star got kicked off too early for a silly reason, but not too soon for her savvy career move to pay off. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

9. Ellen Barkin

If you’re not following her on Twitter you’re missing out on a balls-out, hilarious, creatively swearing gem.

Talented is hot.

8. Helen Mirren

I know she gives crazy interviews. I don’t care. She’s an amazing actress and hotter than plenty of people a third of her age. My rule is if Helen Mirren is in it, I’m seeing it. And, yes, I can recite Morgana’s spell casting chant from Excalibur from memory.

7. Queen Latifah

“U.N.I.T.Y.” with it’s refrain “Who you calling a bitch?!” was a revelation to me when I heard it as a teenager, and she’s only gotten better. She can rap, she can act, she can sing, and she can pull off hilarious SNL skits. She is win.

6. Christina Hendricks

Joan would terrify me in real life, but I would be unable to stay away from her. Hendricks is just plain perfect in the role. And she’s choosing interesting movie roles too. More, please, always.

Funny is hot.

5. Jane Lynch

4. Sofia Vergara

Do I really need to explain either of these picks? I know that the world must be an overall good place based on the overwhelming evidence that these two women exist.

Smart is hot.

3. Ranae Holland

Finding Bigfoot‘s lone skeptic brings a cool head, practical logic, and scientific rigor to a show that otherwise would just be a weird fest. It’s her firm insistence on reality that makes the show work. I hope more kids watch the show – she’s quietly one of the best TV role models out there.

2. Ana Marie Cox

She writes some of the sharpest, funniest political commentary out there, and manages to be an unabashed liberal who really understands and empathizes with how conservatives think. Her Twitter feed and her column in The Guardian are delicious brain treats.

1. Rachel Maddow

She just may be the smartest person on television, with a dedicated geek’s commitment to fairness and fact-checking. She can conduct interviews so incisive that they’ll give you a head rush. Oh, and there’s the nationally best-selling book Drift that even her political enemies have to admit is a tour de force. No one fires up the gray cells like she can.

(And, for all my lofty reasoning, I think my list also makes it clear that sometimes just plain hot is hot. But thanks to all these women for refusing to stand pat at just being hot.)

Heather Hogan: Smart, funny, powerful women are my Kryptonite. Also, my Kryptonite is Naomily and my girlfriend scolded me last night for thinking of leaving Lily and Kat off my list just because they haven’t been around much this year. She said I have to vote with my conscience and cast my ballot in “keeping solidarity with my heart.” (Pro Tip: Always fall in love inside your own fandom.)

1. Lily Loveless

2. Kat Prescott

3. Melissa Harris-Perry

4. Alex Kingston

5. Hillary Clinton

6. Connie Britton

7. Eve Myles

8. Amy Poehler

9. Rachel Maddow

10. Maya Rudolph

Karman Kregloe: Since when do I have a thing for blondes? I don’t know. It doesn’t extend to real life, but I guess our Hot 100 has always been a world unto itself.

1. Scarlett Johansson

2. Grace Potter

3. Beyoncé

4. Amber Heard

5. Jennifer Lawrence

6. Kate Winslet

7. Salma Hayek

8. Elisha Cuthbert

9. Marion Cotillard

10. Evan Rachel Wood

TheLinster: Making a top 10 hottest women list is kind of like making a top 10 cutest puppies list. I mean, seriously. Hot women are hot. Certain women, though, consistently amaze me with their beauty, intelligence and wit. Add a bit of swagger to the equation and I’m helpless.

1. Jessica Capshaw

2. Rachel Maddow

3. Meryl Streep

4. Hillary Clinton

5. Michelle Pfeiffer

6. Dana Delaney

7. Elizabeth Mitchell

8. Eve Best

9. Robin Roberts

10. Michele Obama

Bridget McManus: My wife told me I was not “allowed” to put her on my list but, honestly, she would have been. So these ladies made my list by default.

1. Adele

2. Alex Guarnaschelli

3. Mila Kunis

4. Annette Bening

5. Jennifer Lawrence

6. Emma Watson

7. Shakira

8. Agyness Deyn

9. Rachel McAdams

10. Cate Blanchett

Are you as excited about the Hot 100 as we are? Be sure to cast your vote today over at our Facebook page!

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