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The 2016 Pajiba Ten: The 10 Brainiest, Most Lustful Celebrities on the Planet

By The Pajiba Staff | Pajiba 10 | July 20, 2016 |

By The Pajiba Staff | Pajiba 10 | July 20, 2016 |

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of our Annual Pajiba 10, which means that we have been objectifying the intelligence, charm, and sexiness of celebrities for a decade now. Our first annual list had the likes of Nathan Fillion, Salma Hayek, and Paul Rudd on the list, and while they have been elevated to our Pajiba 10 Hall of Fame, the spirits of their personalities, their shapeliness, and their dance moves live on a decade later.

This year, we have something of a special treat, through happenstance. We had an honest-to-God three-way tie for the final spot, and because we couldn’t break it with our usual tie-breaker (best British accent), this year we decided to include all three.

In other words, this year’s Pajiba 10 is a Pajiba 12, and without further ado, we present them to you in all their comely glory.

10. (tie) David Tennant


Tall and thin, delicately freckled under a perfectly rufflable mop of hair, effusive and quickly and angular and with such purpose. David Tennant is an exclamation point. He can convey the sheerest glee, the somberest darkness, the purest most naked emotion. He is commanding. He is gentle. And sometimes he isn’t. All of these things made him a perfect Doctor. And a perfect Kilgrave. He is terrifying. Evil. But also…Mrmph. I would. I so would. Because that’s what he does. Giddy or steely or soft or utterly wicked, he is singularly capable of electrifying you to your very core, inciting that all over tingle that settles in the middle and undoes every thought. He pierces your everything with a glance. He crumples your legs with a look. And he knows it. — Courtney Enlow


10. (tie) John Oliver


Last year’s No. 1 was almost knocked off the list this year, but Praise Be for three-way ties. Several seasons into his weekly HBO show, John Oliver continues to demonstrate he’s a master at making seemingly mundane topics — credit scores, special-purpose districts, food waste, bail, native advertising — not only interesting, but buzzworthy. He delves into topics often seen as not sexy enough for TV news and gets us to care. He’s got us around the water cooler Monday mornings asking Janice in accounting if she knows just how messed up payday loans are! (She don’t give a f*ck, but whatever.) Ugh, this beautiful delightful nerd. Bless those brown eyes and dimples and his all-around goofiness. He’ll always be our King — Sarah Carlson


10. (tie) Rachel Bloom


Forming a new crush is maybe the best thing in the world. Second only to that is figuring out what thing you like most about your crush. And in Rachel Bloom’s case, that’s a surprisingly difficult undertaking. Is it that she’s a quadruple-threat singer/dancer/actor/writer? Is it that she’s managed to create and produce a show with a mentally unbalanced, female main character who is both realistically horrible at times and sympathetic? Is it that she convinced the world that Ryan Murphy doesn’t have a lock on TV musicals, and that we actually can enjoy them without fear of being Glee‘d? Is it the heavy boobs? The answer is probably a little of all of the above (but seriously, a lot of it’s the heavy boobs). But for me it’s mostly that Bloom got her start by propositioning the “greatest sci-fi writer in history.” Bloom, and by extension her Crazy Ex-Girlfriend counterpart Rebecca Bunch, aren’t attractive despite their weirdness and odd sense of humor, but because of it. Bloom is both weirdly fearless and fearlessly weird. She’s smart and hot, and ballsy enough to know that playing up one of those traits doesn’t mean sacrificing the other. Oh, and did I mention how goddamn funny she is? She might be joking, but I fully believe she could actually whisper your dick hard. Behold the sexy power of the Bloom. — Emily Chambers


9. Jessica Williams


It’s a person’s looks you notice first. That’s not a shallow thing; it’s a question of physics. Unless you fall for a radio personality it’s the photons that hit your eyes first. So it is with everyone; so it is with Jessica Williams. What Jessica Williams then does that’s different is she opens her mouth, and she makes Einstein spin in his grave. Her words reach your ears at relativistically impossible speeds and they take you back in time and just for a second you forget about her perfect lips, and her worship-worthy hair, and those eyes that open as twin suns of knowledge and power; instead suddenly it is her wit, her intelligence, her message that is all that there ever was. Jessica Williams makes you want to spend countless hours by a never-ending dusk with her, debating, theorising, listening. She makes you want to be a better person, but make no mistake, she’ll get shit done whether you’re along for the ride or not. And then a rush as the waves of reality come washing back over you. You see her again, and you catch yourself to prevent fainting from the sensory overload. In her run on The Daily Show Jessica Williams proved herself one of the most insightful, funny, and downright necessary correspondents, and nothing but an even brighter future awaits her following her recent departure. Because forget the Night’s Watch; it is Jessica Williams who is the bullshit-watcher on the walls; the shield that guards the realms of sense; the sword in the darkness of our collective ignorance.
— Petr Knava



8. Emily Blunt


There’s almost nowhere to begin when writing about Emily Blunt because she’s so amazing in so many ways. Yes, she’s gorgeous. Just look at her. Dear god in heaven she’s magnificent. But it’s not just straight-up hotness. It’s partly that, but her beauty is so ancient and serene. And it’s so inextricably tied to her personality, which is kind of awe-inspiringly, legendarily cool. People this lovely shouldn’t also get to be this cool and smart and funny. There should be a rule somewhere, right? Like a little from column A and a little from column B so no column C or D for you? She maxes out every column and it’s impossible to hate her for it. You feel like she’d get you, no matter who you are. That knowing smirk, always ready with a laugh…it’s a five course meal of awesome. She is equally beautiful dressed for a gala as she is going to work out. And makeup? For her it’s a shoulder shrug. Great with it. Great without it. Effortlessly enchanting at all times, she brings a British sensibility combined with the laugh-out-loud ass-kicking of the U S of A. If America and England made a baby, and infused it with the best of both countries, she would be Emily Blunt. Love her, admire her, celebrate her. She’s worthy of all of it and then some. — Lord Castleton


7. Lin-Manuel Miranda


Lin-Manuel Miranda is the embodiment of the perfect modern man. He is tough and fierce, but with finesse; scathing and intellectual, but without arrogance. He’s a MacArthur Fellow (i.e., designated “genius”) and will likely complete the EGOT cycle with this fall’s Moana. He’s made art cool again, and he accepts awards by reading a sonnet and crying on national television (“…and love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love…”), because Miranda seemingly doesn’t know how to be anything else but raw nerve exposed. He doesn’t merely show us his joy and sorrow, he unflinchingly invites us into it. Hamilton put him on the mainstream radar and, look, I get it. Sometimes it feels like it’s nothing but Hamilton this and Hamilton that, ad nauseam forever. But both Miranda and his show are those exceedingly rare things that not only deserve every bit of hype, but exceed the hype. There are celebrities we desire, and others we ravenously covet. But Miranda is something else altogether. He exhilarates and inspires. Every time I hear him or read something he writes, I want to do more, be more. I hope we can all, one day, be half the people Miranda would have us all be. And in the meantime, as he moves on from the musical theater juggernaut he’s unleashed upon the world, we ask of him as his favorite fictional president was so fond of asking, “What’s next?” — Seth Freilich


6. Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson has been a part of my life for over two decades. From nights spent watching The X-Files with my mother after she surrendered the battle of my bedtime, to watching The Fall and Hannibal in my own studio apartment as a (mostly) responsible adult, she’s been there. Beautiful, smart, and possessed of a wit so dry it could cure the jamon iberico her recent TV husband was so fond of, Gillian Anderson has aged like the finest of wines. She took the thankless task of playing perpetual straight man and dream-killer to the handsome and charismatic David Duchovny in her early 20s and created Dr. Dana Scully, the idol and fantasy of millions, even in horrendously boxy suits and sky high bangs. By the time she ended up on Hannibal, her outfits were almost as gorgeous as she was. And on The Fall she devoured egos for breakfast and had Archie Panjabi’s heterosexuality for lunch. Her droll delivery is a delight no matter which of her several delightful accents she’s using, and her eyebrow work rivals The Rock’s. She is a woman who can reduce you to mush with a twitch of her forehead, a purse of her lips, and an offhand quip before turning on one gorgeously shod heel and walking away. But what delightful mush it would be. — Genevieve Burgess


5. Rahul Kohli


I will admit that I’ve never watched iZombie and I hadn’t heard of Rahul Kohli until Kristy’s “For Your Consideration” post, where she described him as a bigot-shaming, Trump-hating handsome sidekick with alluring eyebrows and a biteable beard. Kohli is definitely cute with his 6’4” frame, beard, and the mischievous look in his eyes. I followed him on Twitter, where he is witty, eloquent, and entertaining while sprinkling political commentary where necessary. Then something I’ve never seen happen during The Pajiba 10 occurred: Kohli read his “FYC” post and thanked Kristy on Twitter. He even expressed real excitement and gratitude for the chance at being included on our beloved list of freebies. So now, the crush is 100 percent complete. Rahul Kohli might will take someone’s place on my laminated list, because there’s nothing sexier than humor, talent, and honest-to-God appreciation for success — even if it’s landing number 5 on the Pajiba 10. — Jodi Clager


4. Eva Green


Here’s the thing: There are times when Eva Green terrifies me. She’s got this hypnotic gaze that typically hovers somewhere between “smolderingly sexy” and “thinking about your death,” and the weird thing is? I’m fine with that. This 36 year-old French actress is, with little argument, spectacularly beautiful. Gorgeous, flawlessly built, with a face that weakens the knees a bit. But it’s the eyes that we keep coming back to, because they light up when she smiles, they darken when she rages, and they positively ignite when she’s feeling a bit more… intense. More importantly though, she’s a terrific actress — perhaps best known for her role as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale and more recently for more over-the-top performances in Penny Dreadful and Dark Shadows. And while she first took my breath away in Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, it was in 2011’s Cracks (one of my favorites of that year) that I became fully captivated by a performance that was all at once sensuous, devious, vulnerable, and powerful. At times, in recent performances, it’s the dark and mysterious side that’s used a bit too much, to almost satirical effect. But never forget that there’s so much more to Ms. Green, and we’ll always love her for it. — TK


3. John Cho


When you’re describing to your friends what separates the Pajiba 10 from every other Hottest of Hot list on the internet, John Cho is pretty much the perfect example of every box we like checked. He’s (perhaps unwittingly) political, having become the icon of the world’s refusal to take that desexualized Asian male crap even one second longer. He’s also about to take on the role of the first openly gay Star Trek character, and he’s damn proud of that fact. On top of that, he’s under-appreciated, as we saw from the incredible but tragically named (and classically adapted!) Selfie. That, in itself, is tragic, but you do know how we love keeping our loves to ourselves. So yes, there’s a lot to love about John Cho that makes him ultimate Pajiba 10 material. But politics and original claimed stakes aside, there’s one VERY obvious reason to love John Cho: He is hot as hell. And as intellectual as we may fancy ourselves to be, he makes his more superficial aspects really damn hard to ignore. — Vivian Kane


2. Hayley Atwell


Oh Hayley, 2nd year in a row, 2nd time you were almost at the top of the list. This might seem like an “Always a bridesmaid” type situation, but it’s worth acknowledging that Ms. Atwell is not currently appearing in any active projects for us to enjoy, with Agent Carter likely shelved and her new series Conviction still waiting to premiere. We’ve also no longer got her delightful social media presence to keep us warm at night. She’s made it this far on the strength of the pure brute force of her sexiness, which has kept her forever in our hearts and minds. Atwell manages to look like she could step right into a world as vintage as the one Peggy Carter inhabits, while simultaneously flashing the modern smile of a badass lady who is having none of your patriarchal bullshit. As if that wasn’t enough, she has a sense of whimsy and glee that escalates her into goddess status, turning heads and inspiring women to wear flashy red hats to Comic-Con. While we miss her now deactivated Twitter and Instagram accounts, we’ll always remember moments like her live tweeting Captain America while it played in an airport lounge, or when she set the internet ablaze by casually telling a fan that she’d like to be the Doctor on Doctor Who, and all the wonderful peeks behind the curtain of production. Hayley may be behind a man again in this list, but we know that’s never held Peggy Carter back before. — Riley Silverman


1. Oscar Isaac


There can only be one. And no one should be surprised that the champion of this year’s Pajiba 10 is the smoldering perfection known as Oscar Isaac. Whether buzzed down, locksed out, bearded, scruffy, or clean shaven, this man is smoking hot. Last year, this lion’s riling Latino scored the #7 spot, thanks in no small part to his disco dance moves in the Overlord-adored Ex Machina. But what bumped him all the way to the top on the Pajiba 10’s 10th anniversary? It’s been a long time coming, what with him eye-fucking us for years in various secretly sexy roles. Maybe it’s the way he made us swoon with his playful improv’ed songs. Maybe it’s the way he indulges in Cheetos with chopsticks. Maybe it’s the flirtatious energy and panty-igniting swagger he brought to The Force Awakens’ Poe Dameron, or the encouragement of the many slash fics he launched by refusing to play down the gay subtext of Poe <3 Finn. Maybe it was the way he made our ovaries swell by being too cute with the adorable antics with Star Wars-loving Jacob Tremblay. Or maybe it was how he posed with his puppy on Rolling Stone’s cover then seduced the WHOLE DAMN INTERNET with his dark bedroom eyes and sang a song that contained the lyric, “Anything worth doing is worth doing in bed.” — Kristy Puchko

Or maybe because of this above sends one big, bold message:


Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.