In the end it was a single vote that separated the two leading contenders for AP Entertainer of the Year, and the title went to Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, over headline-grabbing twerk queen Miley Cyrus.
In the annual vote among the Associated Press newspaper and broadcast members, Lawrence beat out Cyrus 15-14. In all, 70 ballots were submitted by U.S. news directors and editors, asked to name whoever had the most influence on entertainment and culture during the year 2013.
Placing third was Netflix with 13 votes, in a year in which the streaming service changed the television landscape with acclaimed series such as "Orange Is the New Black" and "House of Cards."
"But Lawrence — who started the year with an Academy Award for best actress, fueled a box-office franchise as ‘The Hunger Games’ heroine Katniss Everdeen, and wrapped 2013 with a critically acclaimed performance in ‘American Hustle’ that just earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations — charmed fans everywhere with her candid sincerity," the story reports. "She was also a fashion darling — a muse for Dior — who made headlines with her pixie haircut. (‘That was the weirdest thing that ever happened to me,’ she recently told Jon Stewart.)"
Kristi Runyan of The Derrick and The News-Herald Newspapers in Oil City, Pa., wrote of Lawrence, 23, that she is "not only talented and beautiful, but comes off as incredibly intelligent, genuine, funny and well-spoken in her public appearances and interviews. It’s refreshing to see a young woman not squandering her talent and success by succumbing to the temptations many do in Hollywood and who actively speaks about the ridiculous behavior of some of her peers."
"Speaking of ridiculous behavior," AP adds, "Cyrus raised eyebrows throughout 2013 with her embrace of twerking, nudity and public pot smoking. The 21-year-old ‘Wrecking Ball’ singer also made news with her pixie chop, but her breakup with fiancé Liam Hemsworth and highly sexualized (and scrutinized) performances made her water-cooler chatter all year."
Jim Turpin of KMPH-TV in Fresno, Calif., commented on Cyrus: "She made the biggest splash, without comment on whether I thought it was a good thing."
The report notes that women have dominated the Entertainer of the Year voting. "Past titleholders include Adele, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey, Betty White and Taylor Swift. Stephen Colbert is the lone male winner in seven years of voting," the story reports.
The piece adds: "Netflix commanded votes for changing viewing habits (binge-watch ‘Breaking Bad,’ anyone?) and challenging the traditional TV-release concept with its original series. The outlet eschewed typical TV pilots and released a season’s worth of episodes at once of its acclaimed series ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black.’"
Sean Stangland of Paddock Publications in suburban Chicago wrote: "In a divided entertainment landscape that includes the fans of pop princesses like Miley as well as high-minded devotees of cutting-edge filmmaking, Netflix is the one common denominator."
"Breaking Bad" took fourth place, with Justin Timberlake placing fifth.