12/04/2012 02:54 pm ET Updated Dec 04, 2012

Barbara Walters Names Honey Boo Boo One Of The 'Most Fascinating People' Of 2012

Honey Boo Boo has officially fascinated Barbara Walters.

The reality TV star whose real name is Alana Thompson was named one of Walters' most "Fascinating People" of 2012. Walters feels the legacy of the "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" reality star is touching.

"It's a love story," Walters told "Us Weekly" of the bond between Honey Boo Boo and her mother, June. "It's a very sweet, loving story.

"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," Walters admitted. "But the relationship between Alana and her mother -- that's the story, the two of them. It's very touching."

A spinoff of "Toddlers and Tiaras," TLC's "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" has been a ratings success for the network. The show's first season averaged 2.3 million viewers, with its most-watched episode racking in approximately 3 million viewers.

HuffPost's Rob Shuter was tipped off by an ABC insider in November that Thompson would likely make Walters' list.

"Barbara is a genius and knows controversy sell," an insider said. "Plus, she is right -- who has received more attention this year than Honey Boo Boo?"

Walters may find Honey Boo Boo "sweet," but Maroon 5 frontman and actor Adam Levine isn't quite as impressed.

"Seriously, Honey Boo Boo is the DECAY of Western civilization," he told "GQ." "That show is literally The. Worst. Thing. That's. Ever. Happened."

Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People" special is scheduled to air at 9:30 p.m. EST on Wed., Dec. 12 on ABC.

Celebs Who Love Honey Boo Boo
Celebs Who Love Honey Boo Boo