Best of 2009
The first African-American U.S. president, an economic collapse, a balloon boy and an octomom—2009 was a year that made headline history. In the world of entertainment, there was plenty to talk about. Check out your picks for best movie, book, TV show and more.
Photo: Summit Entertainment
Best Movie: The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Teenage girls aren't the only ones keeping the Twilight franchise alive—Oprah.com users voted New Moon the best film of the year. Watching Stephenie Meyer's tale of a vampire-werewolf-human love triangle come to life onscreen was deeply satisfying—from Jacob's breathtaking CGI transition to Edward's sparkling skin in the Italian sunlight. Now, the question we're all asking: Will there be a fifth book in the series?
Best TV Comedy: Glee
In a TV world inhabited largely by reality TV and crime dramas, it's hard to find a series that brings us unadulterated joy. At least, it was hard until Glee came along. The first 13 episodes of the series introduced inspired renditions of old favorites like Somebody to Love, Maybe This Time, Proud Mary and Don't Rain on My Parade that have found regular circulation on our iPods. Television that makes us happy and introduces Broadway hits to an entirely new audience? That's something worth setting the DVR for. Our only complaint is the impending hiatus, even if it is to make way for another little singing show.
Best TV Drama: House
The Fox drama has got it's groove back, that's for sure. After some slow seasons, the twisted hospital series won back your attention with the return of original cast members and provocative storylines—including Kutner's shocking suicide so actor Kal Penn take a job in the Obama administration. Of course, the adorable Hugh Laurie as cranky Dr. House helps matters too.
Best Reality Show: The Amazing Race
Seasons 14 and 15 of the Emmy's undefeated Outstanding Reality Competition Program (it's won the honor all seven years the category's been in existence) both played out in 2009. We watched contestants globe-trot from the United States to Japan, from South East Asia to Dubai, from Russia to India. Armchair travelers got to see the world while watching a pair of Harlem Globetrotters dance their way to fourth place. Now that's entertainment.
Best Novel: The Lost Symbol
The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown's fifth book sold more than 2 million copies in its first week on sale, "the biggest one-week sale in Random House history for a single title," according to the publisher. In the latest Robert Langdon thriller, the Harvard symbologist is back cracking codes but this time in Washington, D.C. And, of course, there is a new love interest, setting the wheels in motion for another Tom Hanks–led blockbuster.
Best Nonfiction Book: Have a Little Faith
Mitch Albom's first foray into nonfiction since Tuesdays with Morrie traces the lives of two religious leaders: an elderly rabbi in a well-to-do suburb and a pastor in an urban dilapidated church. Nearing death, the rabbi asks Albom to write his eulogy. The last request inspires the author's quest to understand life's purpose and uncover the common spark that fueled both men's spiritual journeys.
Best YouTube Video: Susan Boyle
She was the unexpected songstress that took the world by storm. Thanks to YouTube, this Britain's Got Talent contestant's vocals weren't limited to the UK. Even judge Simon Cowell admits he didn't take her seriously when she showed up for her audition. But as soon as they heard the first note of "I Dreamed a Dream," the judges were raptured. So were we. Since the legendary audition, the video got more than 1 million hits and Susan Boyle—who didn't win the season—released an album that hit number one before it even hit stores. No audition required.
Best Fashion Trend: One-Shouldered Dresses
They've become a red carpet staple. In 2009 alone we saw them on red carpet stars young and old, including Laura Linney, Viola Davis, Christina Applegate and Kate Winslet. And let's not forget Michelle Obama's breathtaking Inaugural Ball entrance in a white Jason Wu stunner. Fashion experts say it's a do for almost every body type, and—even better!—it's available at every price point.
Best Song: I Gotta Feeling
This was the year for the Black Eyed Peas. They spent more than six months at top of the Billboard charts, first for "Boom Boom Pow" and then for the hit single "I Gotta Feeling." The latter song even edged out Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" for the longest number one stay of the decade. The party anthem even inspired a certain set of show producers to concoct...
The Best Oprah Show Surprise: Flash Mob Dance
A citywide flash mob is a tough feat. Keeping 21,000 dancers along Michigan Avenue a secret from Oprah is even tougher. But choreographer Michael Gracey and the Oprah Show producers pulled out all the stops for the massive surprise that kicked of Oprah's 24th season. Oprah says the dance, set to an "Oprah Feelin'" mix of the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," was one of the best surprises of her career. Watch how we made it happen, then learn the dance for yourself.
Best Oprah Show Interview: Whitney Houston
The two-part Season 24 premiere edged out Oprah's interview with Michael J. Fox by only 3 percent. The music icon opened up for her first interview in seven years, and it was definitely a talk worth waiting for. Whether she was talking about her stormy marriage, her mother's love or performing her new single, Whitney had us riveted.
Most Inspirational Oprah Show Guest: Stephanie Nielson
In August 2008, mommy blogger Stephanie Nielson was in plane crash that left her with severe burns on more than 80 percent of her body. After fighting for her life and making what she called the "easy choice" to hang in there for her husband and kids, Stephanie appeared on The Oprah Show and inspired women around the world to cherish the simple joys of motherhood.
Best Oprah Show Recipe: Curtis Stone's Grilled Flank Steak
When celebrity chefs Cat Cora, Curtis Stone and Tyler Florence moved in with viewer families to help them save both money and time when creating home-cooked meals, Oprah.com users made out with an arsenal of new recipes. Curtis Stone's takeout intervention was all about cooking better, faster and cheaper dinners. His Grilled Flank Steak with Chipotle Chili Paprika Rub and Chimichurri was the fan favorite.
Best Oprah Show Musical Performance - Charice
A whopping 70 percent of you voted for the 17-year-old singing sensation's performance of her first single, "Note to God." The Black Eyed Peas kickoff party performance came in second with only 9 percent of the vote. Charice had a big year in 2009, recording her first album, performing on tour with David Foster & Friends and appearing in her first film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.