Who should be the Sexiest Man Alive in 2017?

Certainly not Blake Shelton


People Magazine recently named Blake Shelton 2017's "Sexiest Man Alive."

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

On Nov. 14, People Magazine blithely announced the chief warrior in the fight for cheek-blushing and lip-biting, the man they deem sexiest alive, in the entire world, in a certain year. 

And they picked Blake Shelton. 

No offense to the country singer and constant-presence-on-background-TV judge of “The Voice,” but the choice left a lot to be desired for readers who eagerly anticipated People’s 2017 pick. While his success on the country music charts and two-year relationship with Gwen Stefani are impressive, the fact that Shelton is dating Stefani means he’s not even the sexiest in his own home. 

After all, 2017 has been — and continues to be — a tumultuous year. What better way to ease the world’s collective conscious than by choosing one man from a vast world of movies, television, music or sports, slapping him in some sturdy denim and a tight-fitting tee and proclaiming him the bastion of sexiness in 2017? 

According to People managing editor Larry Hackett in a 2010 interview, the qualifiers for being deemed Sexiest Man Alive go beyond merely being “someone who’s hot but well-known.” The sexiest must fall within a comfortable age range of “not too young, not too old” and have experienced professional success in the previous year. People also purports to search for less predictable honorees — although they do not get very high marks for diversity — to bequeath the title.

A carefully compiled list of alternatives to Shelton are below, in no particular order, selected following the same criteria that People uses to make their selection each year. 

Chris Pine

Chris Pine charmed audiences alongside Gal Gadot in “Wonder Woman” over the summer, which made over $400 million at the domestic box office. While he lacked her fierceness on the battlefield — his character Steve Trevor fit squarely in the “love interest who needs saving” role — Pine looked mighty fine on the press tour, during which he wore a lot of tailored suits and admitted he uses a flip phone. Nothing is more rustic and sexy than a flip phone. “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins also called him “a beast” on Twitter, noting his “skill, talent, and generosity” — all distinctly sexy attributes. 

Donald Glover

Also known to the world as rapper Childish Gambino, Donald Glover had a successful 2017 as an actor, director and musical artist. He won two Emmys in September for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series —  becoming the first black director to take home that award — and his single “Redbone” from his 2016 album “Awaken, My Love!” was certified double platinum in July. With a range of talent and a natural charm, Glover deserves the distinction for several years of success and sexiness.  

Jason Momoa 

Although the success of “Justice League” is yet to be seen given its late November premiere, Jason Momoa has still had a year of sexiness. His enthusiastic embrace of the Aquaman role proves Momoa has a personality that can elevate a character to an iconic level — the man is Khal Drogo, even years after his last appearance on “Game of Thrones.” Beyond the professional, Momoa wed his partner of 12 years, actress Lisa Bonet, in a secret ceremony in October. A father of two with an immaculate head of hair, Momoa is the ideal mix of goofy and passionate, and could contend for Sexiest Man Alive after a successful 2017. 

Taika Waititi

The man behind the blockbuster Marvel comedy “Thor: Ragnarok” would be a dark horse candidate for the award, given his relatively new status as a high-budget director. But his natural humor and relentlessly endearing New Zealander accent make him a contender, as well as his role in “Ragnarok” as a mild-mannered gladiator rock monster named Korg, who was the best part of a movie that included Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Mark Ruffalo — all men that could be included in the Sexiest Man Alive conversation. Waititi is a talented director, a plucky comedian, and has a self-aware charm that gives him an edge. Plus, he wears a lot of printed shirt and shorts combos, which is a puzzling kind of sexy suited only to a year as complicated as 2017.

related stories