January 19, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

The battle for Entertainer of the Year (#574/575, Dec. 22/29) took place far from the Roman Colosseum, but Russell Crowe fans turned their thumbs way up for our pick of the Gladiator hunk. ”What charisma. What presence. What a man,” gushes Wanda Pan from Katy, Tex. ”EW, we who are in awe of Crowe’s talents salute you.” Other readers thought top honors should go to musician Sting or even Crowe’s countryman Mel Gibson. ”You picked the wrong Aussie!” claims John Perez of Simi Valley, Calif. Then there were those who considered most of the selections unworthy. ”Eminem? ‘N Sync? Destiny’s Child?” questions Ambler, Pa.’s Craig Ericson. ”If these were among the entertainers of the year, then maybe the world did end with Y2K.”

As the Crowe Flies

As Bud White said in L.A. Confidential, ”That’s what the man got: justice.” Thank you, EW, for finally giving Russell Crowe what he deserves (”The Entertainers”). He is the finest actor in the last 50 years, and probably the finest actor in the next 50. I had to clean out the newsstand for this one.
Arcadia, Calif.

Russell Crowe as Entertainer of the Year? Survivor, definitely. Eminem, sure. Don’t get me wrong, Crowe’s a tremendous talent. But it’s clear you wanted his rugged yet sensitive face on your year-end cover, objectivity be damned.
Fridley, Minn.

Traffic Light

In your Entertainers of the Year selections, I saw Russell Crowe, Bruce Willis, ‘N Sync, but no Steven Soderbergh. How can you possibly find a bubblegum group like ‘N Sync, or the annoying cast of Survivor, to be ultimate entertainers, and then ignore one of the finest film directors currently working? Better luck next time, Steven. Maybe you should have directed your films naked and spearfished dinner for the cast and crew of Traffic.
Pickerington, Ohio

Burstyn With Pleasure

Bravo to EW for naming Ellen Burstyn in your year-end issue. Not only is she a fine actress, but a fine teacher to people like my daughters, who want to be actresses, and can learn on TV and on screen by watching one of the very best.
Huntington, N.Y.

Michelle, Ma Belle

I enjoyed your year-end Best of 2000 issue. However, there was one serious oversight on your part. I had no problem with the Breakouts you selected, especially Zhang Ziyi, Dido, Kate Hudson, and Heath Ledger, but you definitely forgot one: Michelle Rodriguez from Girlfight. She’s the real deal — fresh, sexy, and different.
San Francisco

To the Letterman

It’s nice to see EW giving credit to David Letterman for a great year (The Year That Was); his inspiring comeback show was only part of what has been one of Dave’s most creative and entertaining seasons. I’m surprised that you didn’t mention Dave’s interview with (then) Gov. George W. Bush. Dave succeeded at catching Bush off guard with some pretty sharp questioning, as well as follow-up questions that proved Letterman to be more thoughtful and insightful than many mainstream journalists.
Eugene, Ore.

‘Brother’ Keeper

I think you should scrap the worst-movies list (Movies) completely if you plan to continue printing the opinions of these two critics. Most movies can be picked apart, but can still be very entertaining. O Brother, Where Art Thou? was different and very enjoyable. I was appalled it was a No. 1 on the worst list. It might not have been my favorite of Year 2000, but it was certainly far from the worst.
Santa Clarita, Calif.

Ever ‘Ready’

How much do you guys rock? Imagine my surprise when my favorite band was listed No. 2 on Tom Sinclair’s best-CDs list! (Music) Marvelous 3’s ReadySexGo is one of the best CDs out there today. Thanks, EW, for showing that some magazines still have good taste!
Decatur, Ga.

98° Burn

I was appalled to read David Browne’s opinion of 98°’s latest release in your year-end issue (Music). I found the inclusion of Revelation on your worst-album list to be very harsh and ignorant. 98° are not like other boy bands; in fact they’re not a boy band at all. They’re not about their looks and sex appeal, but rather about music. I think the fact that they wrote the majority of the 13 songs on Revelation says something about them as artists and as people. When you put the guys in 98° down, they’ll just get back up 10 times stronger than before.
Overland, Mo.



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