Celine, Obama, The Queen: Who would YOU want to sit next to on a plane??
Oprah over Obama. Celine over Suzuki. And Kate over the Queen.
FlightNetwork.com recently asked some 780 Canadians who they’d most like to sit next to on a plane. They gave 10 choices for three categories; Canadian celebrity, U.S. celebrity and international celebrity, and came away with some surprises.
In the Canadian category, the runaway winner was Celine Dion, with 23.7 per cent of respondents naming her as their favourite seatmate. It makes sense: since she weighs approximately 48 pounds, it’d be like having an empty seat next to you the whole trip. And if she, God forbid, started to sing, you could always pretend you were watching the map channel onthe TV monitor.
“Oh, look, we’re over Bismarck, North Dakota.”
Second for Canuck celebs was David Suzuki at 19.5 per cent. This speaks well for our social conscience, but what is Suzuki doing on airplane that’s sucking carbon from the earth at supersonic speed?
Third in the Canadian content category was comedian Russell Peters, while Wayne Gretzky came a respectable fourth at 14.1 per cent. (How they didn't substitute Sidney Crosby for Gretzky I don't know. I suspect the pollsters were born in 1946 and are the kind of guys who get excited about re-mixes of Anne Murray Christmas tunes.)
Lower down were such luminaries as Steve Nash (6.5 per cent) and Pamela Anderson (supply your own jokes about protection during a crash landing) at 4.4 per cent. Poor Justin Bieber collected only 3.2 per cent of the votes, but at least he was ahead of Conrad Black, who notched just 1.7 per cent in a poll in which only 48 respondents were Florida prison inmates.
On the U. S. side of the ledger, it’s probably no surprise that the omnipresent Oprah Winfrey garnered 38.3 per cent of the votes. She trashed American president Barack Obama, who received only 19.5 per cent of votes and immediately put out a press release blaming Republicans in Congress. Third was Tina Fey at 10.5 per cent, followed by, wait for it, Charlie Sheen at 8.7 per cent and Anderson Cooper of CNN at 8.3 per cent. BEHIND Charlie Sheen? Anderson, your star is slipping.
Youth trumped age in the international category, as sensation Kate Middleton came in at 22.6 per cent. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was second at 16.2 per cent, nudging out The Queen herself at 15.9 per cent. Who probably IS quite amused, being a good sport and all from what I’ve seen.
The FlightNetwork polling folksdidn’t even ask about sitting next to Prince William or Prince Charles (remember him?) or even Prince Philip, who no doubt was too busy being entranced about the idea of a map of North Dakota.
Somehow the worldwide supernova phrase "Lady Gaga" appears to have passed by the FlightNetwork polling group. Instead they used the international category to ask about British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay (13.5 per cent) and Virgin executive Richard Branson (11.8 per cent). It's interesting that Ramsay and Jaime Oliver combined for nearly 30 per cent. I mean, 20 years ago, who would've thought the words "British" and "celebrity chef" would ever meet in the same sentence?
And what's with the heavy duty British influence? British chefs, British royalty. I would think folks who represent something called FlightNetwork would realize that some planes go beyond Britain and visit places in such exotic places as France and Belgium. I mean, nobody ever gives Belgian celebrities a fair shake anymore.
Finally in the international category, we have TV guy and former newspaper hack Piers Morgan at 7.8 per cent and hockey star Alexander Ovechkin at 6.7 per cent. We wanted to get Morgan’s thoughts on his placement but couldn’t get him to come to the phone.