Scarlett, not Christina, won ‘best-looking’ poll

Jun 7, 2010
Rachel Helyer-Donaldson

Esquire plumped for Mad Men star after Johansson pulled out of cover shoot

The US magazine industry is in a tizzy following the revelation that Esquire's 'best-looking woman in America' survey was apparently rigged. The magazine's editor-in-chief has let slip that actress Scarlett Johansson should have been on its May cover as the poll winner but was dropped after she pulled out of the shoot.

As a result, Mad Men star Christina Hendricks was called up and asked to pose for the cover (above right). For her troubles, she was also given the title of 'best-looking woman in America'.

Speaking at a magazine conference in Toronto last Thursday, Esquire's David Granger revealed that Johansson was his first choice for the magazine's 'Women We Love' May cover. But that was until Johansson (pictured left), as Granger put it, "completely screwed us".

The news has cast doubt over the authenticity of Esquire's regular readers' polls. For its 'best-looking woman' survey, the men's magazine, rather novelly, had supposedly questioned 10,000 women. As The First Post reported, Hendricks - who has become Mad Men's standout star as much for her hour-glass figure as for her feistiness - won with a decisive 30 per cent of the votes. Trailing behind her in second-place was Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima (17 per cent) and, in third place, actress Megan Fox (14 per cent). There was no mention of Johansson.

An Esquire source told the New York Daily News that Johansson was "indeed" the first person to be approached by the magazine to feature on its cover and was "committed" to the shoot. It is thought that the actress had to pull out because of her commitments to the Broadway production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge as well as her latest film Iron Man 2.

Granger, who was recently voted the best editor in America by the trade industry magazine AdWeek, has refused to comment on the story, first reported by Canada's National Post.

However, he is known to be "fiercely competitive", according to the Esquire insider. "He would have been pissed off if the cover fell through".

Perhaps this is why Granger also told the Toronto magazine conference that all editors are driven by "desperation, despair and disillusionment."

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