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December 23, 2013

Lawrence beats Cyrus, Netflix for top entertainer

LOS ANGELES — The battle for AP entertainer of the year came down to the Girl on Fire and the Queen of Twerk.

Jennifer Lawrence edged out Miley Cyrus by one vote in The Associated Press’ annual survey of its newspaper and broadcast members and subscribers for Entertainer of the Year.

There were 70 ballots submitted by U.S. editors and news directors. Voters were asked to consider who had the most influence on entertainment and culture in 2013.

Lawrence won 15 votes. Cyrus had 14. Netflix was a close third, earning 13 votes for altering the TV landscape with its on-demand format and hit original series.

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.

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.)

Lawrence declined comment for this story.

The 23-year-old actress “is not only talented and beautiful, but comes off as incredibly intelligent, genuine, funny and well-spoken in her public appearances and interviews,” writes Kristi Runyan of The Derrick and The News-Herald Newspapers in Oil City, Pa. “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, 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 fiance Liam Hemsworth and highly sexualized (and scrutinized) performances made her water-cooler chatter all year.

“She made the biggest splash, without comment on whether I thought it was a good thing,” said Jim Turpin of KMPH-TV in Fresno, Calif.

Women have dominated the Entertainer of the Year contest. 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.

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.”

“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,” said Sean Stangland of Paddock Publications in suburban Chicago.

The beloved, Emmy-winning series “Breaking Bad” was in fourth place with 10 votes. Justin Timberlake, whose year included a pair of albums and top-selling tours, seven Grammy nominations and two film roles, claimed fifth place.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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Projects Editor Brooke Lansdale contributed to this report.

 

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