The host will name the Most Fascinating Person, and the weight-loss show awards its prize

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated November 29, 2005 08:00 AM

Tuesday is shaping up to be a big TV night, as NBC presents its finale for The Biggest Loser at 8 p.m. and Barbara Walters unveils The Number One Most Fascinating Person of 2005 on ABC at 10 p.m.

“We’ve tried to choose people of high achievement for whom this past year has been special, indeed,” says Walters, whose special includes previously announced interviews with Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Teri Hatcher, Kanye West, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, child actress Dakota Fanning, attorney Thomas Mesereau, Lance Armstrong (with fiancee Sheryl Crow) and Beth Holloway Twitty, mother of missing teenager Natalee Holloway.

Speaking to Walters from the set of Mission: Impossible 3, Cruise insists of his oversized behavior as he discussed his love for fiancee Katie Holmes this past year: “I think all men should celebrate their women. … I will forever be jumping on couches.”

Meanwhile, set to sit lighter on their couches are the three Biggest Loser finalists, out of which one will walk away from the program with the top prize of $250,000. Also, one of the 11 previously eliminated players will get $100,000 for having lost the largest percentage of weight since leaving the show.

And those finalists are Seth Word, 24, who lost 87 lbs. in 100 days and now intends to become a personal trainer; Suzy Preston, 29, who lost 66 lbs. in 100 days, who supplemented her new look by having Lasik surgery so she no longer wears eyeglasses; and favored to win: Matt Hoover, 28: who shed 109 lbs. in 100 days.

As for the 12 lbs. he put on in the ninth week, he says: “It was all water. I just didn’t work out, and I drank as much as I could handle. I used to wrestle. I can gain 20 lbs. in one day if I want.”