Barbara Walters, who listed seven of her annual "10 Most Fascinating People" last month, added one more to the roster she'll reveal in full on her Dec. 12 ABC special: Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson.

"A lot of people will say, 'For heaven's sake, this is ridiculous, this is a child at 5 or 6 years old entering beauty contests,' " Walters, 83, told Us Weekly Tuesday. "But the relationship between Alana and her mother -- that's the story, the two of them. It's very touching."

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Child beauty-pageant contestant Thompson, now 7, stars in the TLC reality series "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," shot mostly in her hometown of McIntyre, Ga. The show, a spinoff of "Toddlers & Tiaras," has become a ratings success by basic-cable terms while drawing criticism for what some consider putting a rural family up to ridicule.

"Honey Boo Boo is not an obnoxious little girl," Walters countered. "She's sweet and loving with her mother and loving with her sisters [Jessica, Lauryn and Anna]. And now Anna has a new baby, and the baby has [three] thumbs -- but so what? It'll make you smile."