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Was Ryan Gosling robbed of 'Sexiest' title?

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Ryan Gosling

Tuesday night, we were busily preparing for Wednesday morning's announcement of PEOPLE magazine's annual choice for Sexiest Man Alive.

We were preparing for it to be Ryan Gosling. And judging by most of the chatter on the Interwebs today, so were a lot of other people. Except maybe Steve Martin.

No knock on Bradley Cooper -- he is a damn fine looking man who is in no danger of being kicked out of bed for eating crackers. He's also an accomplished actor. He was great in "The Hangover" and "Limitless." My personal favorite was his turn as Sack in "Wedding Crashers." And while his bilingual skills are quite impressive, it didn't melt everyone's heart, and this year that just shouldn't add up to Sexiest Man Alive.

Gosling, on the other hand, has enjoyed a breakout year. He played a troubled man falling in, then losing, love in "Blue Valentine"; the charming cad (my personal weakness) in "Crazy Stupid Love"; and he went head-to-head with perennial Sexiest Man Alive candidate George Clooney in "Ides of March." Oh, and he's, well, gorgeous.

In this share-all digital era, feelings are running high on his "slight." There is currently a petition online asking PEOPLE to admit its mistake. Buzzfeed.com is offering 63 reasons why Cooper is not the right choice. The site is also examining Sexiest's checkered past. #SexiestManAlive has been a trending topic on Twitter all day, but seriously folks, Justin Bieber -- ah, no.

But hey, it's all subjective. One person's sexy is another person's "what-the-frack!?" There are very few stars whose sex appeal alone will get this writer to the theater. Two to be exact -- last year's winner Ryan Reynolds and fellow actor Gerard Butler. Otherwise, I only go to the movies for the stories. And to laugh (hmmm, still Ryan Reynolds). And nobody has yet to match my all-time favorite cinematic hunk -- Ray Stevenson as Titus Pullo in the HBO series, "Rome."

Which begs the question -- which sexy star quickens your pulse enough to plunk down $10 at the box office? Is it Cooper? Gosling? Someone else? Share you choice in the comments below.

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TODAY's Ann Curry talks with senior writer for People magazine, Julie Jordan, who reveals the magazine's sexy man pick for 2011.