TV's Ultimate Bad Boy? It's Either White Collar's Neal Caffrey or Vampire Diaries' Damon Salvatore!

Two men enter, one man leaves. That’s the brutal reality of the final round in TV’s Ultimate Bad Boy Bracket Tournament, where Damon Salvatore of The Vampire Diaries will fight for supremacy against Neal Caffrey of White Collar.

It wasn’t an easy road to the Bad Boys finale for either of these characters. To make it to the end of the tourney, Neal had to vanquish Patrick Jane of The Mentalist, Harvey Specter of Suits, Logan Echolls of Veronica Mars, and in an intensely close Quarterfinal bout, Supernatural‘s Dean Winchster. Finally, he edged past Gossip Girl‘s Chuck Bass by winning 52.1% of the Semifinal vote.

RELATED | Who Is TV’s Ultimate Mean Girl? Let the Nominating Process Begin!

On the other side of the bracket, Damon swept to early round wins over Russel Edgington and Eric Northman of True Blood, as well as Cole Turner of Charmed. After that, he took out Raylan Givens of Justified, and then Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Spike, snagging 52.4% of the vote.

Despite their noble journeys over the past month, only one of these fellas can reign victorious in our single-elimination tourney. So make sure the right choice is made by heading down to our poll to vote for your favorite (Finals voting will be open for 72 hours), and then hit the comments to justify your picks.

If you’re wondering what criteria we used to pick our players, we cast our net rather wide — including fellas who are dark and a little bit dangerous, truly good guys with naughty, maybe even promiscuous streaks, and actual evildoers who are nevertheless tough to root against.

And if you’re interested in the match-ups that preceded our Finals, CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE 64-PLAYER BRACKET (then click again for a zoomed-in view) — and sign up to follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV. Now ready, set, vote!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. KC says:

    No Spike!!!

    I don’t really like either. Neal’s left? Seriously?!, I guess if bad boy qualities are based purely on selfishness he wins. The Caffrey charm failed me a long time ago; I loved Matt Bomer on Chuck but no, the more White Collar goes on and Neal takes and takes from all those that care for him the more he becomes unattractive to me. He isn’t a bad boy more like a spoiled brat with no conscience.

    I’ll pick Damon…

    • Emily says:

      What is this? Are you even watching the same show? Neal has a great deal of conscience, which is why he’s constantly struggling to do the right thing though his initial reaction is probably the opposite. That’s why Peter still has faith in him and all the other people love him. He hardly “takes and takes.” He’s risked his own life/happiness tons of times over for someone or for the right thing. Neal is a walking dichotomy. He’s a brilliant con-artist and extremely charismatic, but then he sort of just wants to be loved and remain loyal to the ones he loves. Your post is complete BS.

    • Neal may have started out as a bad boy, but his character is developing into a warm, caring person. The more he is given, the more he gives back. It’s part of being a family. Like everyone, he’ll have his moments, but in the end, his better side will overcome.

  2. JanaP says:

    I still can´t believe that people who claim to be so much more mature then TVD/Damon fans now vote against him just because Spike lost to him… Ahamed of my BTVS fandom right now..

  3. Tasha says:

    I agree that Spike is probably more bad boy than Damon. But Spike belongs to a different era if u will. Buffy has been off air for almost 10 years now, Vampire Diaries is more up to date. And to be fair it’s hard to compare Spike and Damon, their only real commonality is the face they are vampires. Sadly I will not be voting in this final as White Collar and Vampire Diaries are two of my gave shows so I can’t pick one and I will be happy with whoever wins.

  4. giorgia says:

    argh i love both but i love Damon a bit more. I can’t believe people fight over a POLL, JUST A STUPID POLL!”oh no Damon i hate him… why Spike’s not here” it’s a matter of opinion grow up!

    • Elyse says:

      thank you!!! people are taking it too serious. i voted for Damon just because of all of the pointless hate people are directing at him.

  5. Ice says:

    Damon!! Ian Somerhalder is the best!

  6. Tanner says:

    Didnt’ Damon win last year?

  7. Spyder says:

    Every comment if for Neal and still he’s losing…

    • Damonfan says:

      Damon has a very big fanbase and not every comment is for neal! Get your eyes checked! Haha i’m so laughing at some people’s comments on here!

      Spike Fans calling us immature but voting against Damon now because he won…what is that called huh??? So stupid Omg :(

      Go Damon!

  8. Elyse says:

    i love both Damon and Neal but all of this Damon hate is making me want to vote for him!

  9. Becky says:

    Go Caffrey!!

  10. Ashley says:

    Neal, definitely. I’d love to see him win this!

  11. Hasmik says:

    Holly cow! I can’t take 72 hours of this hate messages! Do you people think we could be nice to each other? Please? Let’s not insult each other, Damon or Neal, can we?

  12. DeeKayTee says:

    I am really bothered by the assumption that the only reason Damon has gotten this far is because a bunch of “teenagers” are voting for him. I am far from a teen and if I had to venture a guess most of tvline’s followers are NOT teenagers. I also HIGHLY doubt that anyone is sitting in front of their computers for hours at a time trying to rig a totally fun yet ultimately pointless poll! Stop the ridiculousness! Damon has won thus far because the show has fans teenage and non-teenage. However, it seems to me that the only people ACTING like a bunch of babies are the people who for whatever reason don’t want to see anyone from a CW show win. Express your opinion, fine but do not do it by trying to demean fans of other shows.
    I am a TV fan and that includes ABC, NBC, CBS and yes the CW!

    • shelby says:

      Could not have said it better myself

    • Stop Stooping to the "babies" level says:

      Obviously, you’ve never met anyone from a major fandom – because, believe me, there are MANY people would sit and vote for hours at a time, just so their show wins everything, regardless of how “pointless” it is.

      Also. CW shows usually win these things. So, I don’t see why people would be “ACTING like a bunch of babies” about it, with your implication that everyone is out to stop the CW. Pretty obvious that’s impossible.

  13. Richard Katze says:

    The main problem with this poll is that current TV characters have an advantage.

    A better test would have been to exclude everyone whose show has not been off for 5 years. And for those who do not currently qualify, eventually they will and we will have the test of time to see if they really are enduring characters or just the latest mob favorite.

  14. Danny says:

    I know why People are hating on Damon! It’s because he is the one who wins these polls most of the time! He’s incredible popular and you guys are just jealous!

    DAMON SALVATORE is one of the best characters on Television and IAN SOMERHALDER is without a doubt one of the best actors out there!

    If you wanted Spike to win…well then you should have voted more! < another Proof that Damon/Ian simply has better Fans! Sorry :/ ( we are passionate and want our favorite character to win but we don't go around hating on other characters or writing rude comments)

    • Except, no offense, but you kind of just insulted other character fans out there, like Spike fans. Yes, Damon did win by a small margin (and I admit, it’s impressive) but saying that Damon has better fans is incorrect. I thank you for saying that Damon is ONE of the best characters. Even if mileage varies, I appreciate that you didn’t say he was THE best.

      But you know what? I may not be a huge Damon fan (I absolutely loathe Delena so whenever he’s with her, I cringe) but I do like Damon enough that I wouldn’t be furious if he wins. I would just prefer Neal to win because I think he does have certain bad boy qualities that appeal to me more than Damon’s bad boy qualities.

    • Lol says:

      Ian isn’t even the best actor on TVD, let alone one of the best actors on tv. Don’t make me laugh.

    • LOL! says:

      DAMON SALVATORE is one of the best characters on Television and IAN SOMERHALDER is without a doubt one of the best actors out there!
      OMG! This is just HILARIOUS :)

    • smarter than u says:

      lol spike is better than damon and u, are obv a dumb teenager with no good taste so STFU, spike has better fans, honey. because we actually have good taste :)

  15. Eli says:

    I actually love Damon alot, but I’m taking Spike’s loss really hard. Going with Neal.

  16. MGL says:

    Love them both. Voted for Neal. He is just more charming! However, I see a Christian Grey duel here!

    • Aria says:

      Hahaha, I know right? Funny that these two made it to the final two when they are also fan favorites for the CG character.

  17. Susie says:

    Neal Caffrey – a great character -so fun to watch!!

  18. Rowena says:

    are you al kidding me, DAMON is the best bad boy do you all even watch the vampire diaries

    • Well, do you watch White Collar? If not, then you probably shouldn’t judge so critically. Damon is just one bad boy out of many out there.

      • Eli says:

        Seriously, its okay to love more than one bad boy and to choose one over the other when you have to. I love Neal. I love Damon. I chose Neal and that has nothing to do with my love of Damon.

    • Mikaylah says:

      I don’t think acting out and killing people when you don’t get your way or someone is mean to you should make you a “bad boy”.

    • You are totally wrong says:

      You are delusional, kiddo. And maybe we have never watched the vampire diaries… but I think it’s the only show YOU have ever watched.
      There is a whole word out there, you know…

    • They don’t apparently but chose to vote against Damon because Spike lost to Damon…hummmm!!!! How ignorant is that. Oh well, kids will be kids!!!

  19. Pickles says:

    As much as I like Damon, Spike is seriously more badass than him.
    Also go Neal!

  20. angelstorm says:

    Voting for Neal all the way (and I watch Vampire Diaries!) but Neal is just a different kind of bad-ass ! He’s suave with an old school cool about him ! :)

  21. Louise Marie says:

    I just knew it was going to end up being between Matt Bomer and Ian Somerhalder. My vote goes to Ian, because: a) Sorry, but he’s slightly hotter than Matt, b) Matt doesn’t really play a bad boy, it’s more circumstantial and c) the Damon-character of the original books by L.J. Smith is so amazing!
    Plus, looking at chances of being with them in real life: Matt Bomer is gay in real life, and Ian Somerhalder is dating co-star Nina Dobrev (who plays Elena) and everybody knows that couples like that don’t last! ^^ (so there’s more hope with Ian)

    • tiki says:

      I don’t think that you should put the gay stuff in saying that Ian and his girl r gonna last. That’s great if they do, but Matt is happy and all his fans should be happy for him.

    • Wow says:

      You’re seriously picking sides based on who you get with in real life? Oh, please.

    • Um…what does Matt being gay and Ian being straight have ANYTHING to do with this?

      And personally, I find Matt Bomer hotter than Ian Somerhalder. And Matt does play a bad boy, it’s just a different type of bad boy. And Book Damon has nothing to do with TV Show Damon, so that’s kind of invalid as well.

    • Alexandra says:

      You thought Damon was hotter the second you found out Matt is gay in real life. Sadly, u got NO hope with either.

    • Jacie says:

      Matt is the hottest man on earth and one of the best actors.

    • Aria says:

      Yea, couples don’t last and obviously after Ian is done with Nina he WILL come looking for you Louise! LMAO! Get real woman.

      Plus even if Matt Bomer was into rabbits instead of men in real life I still don’t see how that would change the fact that he is just better on WC than Ian is on TVD.

    • Britney says:

      You think Ian is straight, LOL!

  22. samrenee2010 says:

    Oh God, I love both Neal and Damon. They’re both my babies. But NEAL FTW! <3

  23. LaurieG says:

    Not sure how I can even choose! They are two of my favorites on TV!!

  24. Phoebe says:


  25. jlen24 says:

    That was a great finale! I love both of these shows and these guys! I went with Damon over Neal in the end because Neal is more sympathetic and I see him as an anti-hero where as Damon IS a baddie no matter what he does to try and change.

  26. tiki says:

    I love how people are saying Damon is a bad boy as If neal isn’t. neal caffrey is a con man last time I checked it was pretty bad. Love both but neal is too amazing and Matt is the best actor in my world

  27. DamonFTW says:

    I voted for Damon.

  28. MaryAnn says:

    For me, the decision between Spike and Damon was a tossup, so either of them winning would have been fine. (Of course that is after my favorite, Raylen Givens of Justified had already been voted off.) I don’t care for Matt Bomer and I only voted for him in early rounds — but I did vote for him when I preferred him to his competition.

    What is NOT fine is Matt Bomer winning through a backlash. I can’t believe the comments that indicate some people are voting for Bomer because they are upset that Spike did not end up in the finals, so they are going to vote for whoever is running against Damon.

    This is a very very close race, folks. I am fine with the popular choice winning. What I am NOT fine with is the Spike fans voting for Bomer just to keep Damon from winning. Shame on you! If even a few people vote against Damon because they don’t want him to win, as opposed to voting for their honest choice between the two finalists, it negates the purpose of the whole contest and the validity of the win. I just hope that doesn’t happen and we can trust the final results.

    • MaryAnn says:

      And if I mixed up the actor’s name and the character’s name, I apologize. I have only seen Bomer’s show once, so the names did not really stick.

    • Ann says:

      You can NEVER trust the final results of these things.

      As for your comment about mixing the names – A, it’s in the title of the page and B, if you’ve only watched the show maybe once…how can you really judge? Which just goes back to not trusting the results.

      • MaryAnn says:

        I only watched the show once because I did not find Bomer and his show interesting enough to watch a second time.

    • I agree and I just posted something similar to this. People are crazy and childish. Five years olds are more mature than some of these folks…LOL!!! Damon will always be #1 in my world!

  29. Jared says:

    Oh you’ve got to be kidding me!!!!! How the hell do you choose this?!?!?!?!?

  30. DamonTheBadass says:


  31. nanette says:

    Neal is not a Bad Boy. He is a smooth operator very suave when it comes to get things done and he is so handsome
    The character (Neal Caffrey) suits him.The way he smile and kiss the ladies

  32. i absolutely love Damon and Ian but i’ve been watching White Collar time before TVD and i fell instantly 4 Neal and Matt so Neal 4 all times :)

    • Thank you Awlfeel Good for your honest and sincere comment! Although I’m a Damon & TVD lover, I appreciate your realness when it comes to your loyalty to White Collar and Neal. I’ve never seen the show but might check it out after all this….LOL!!!!

  33. nanette says:

    Neal is not a Bad Boy. He is a smooth operator very suave when it comes to get things done and he is so handsome
    The character (Neal Caffrey) suits him.The way he smile and kiss the ladies

  34. nanette says:

    Neal is not a Bad Boy. He is a smooth operator very suave when it comes to get things done and he is so handsome
    The character (Neal Caffrey) suits him.

  35. nanette says:

    Neal is not a Bad Boy. He is a smooth operator very suave .

  36. chantelle says:

    I voted for Damon (Ian Somerhalder) because I stand up for what he believes in. Ian is part of many organisations to help the.environment, and the protection of animals. He is a very good actor and plays the bad boy part well. He is a genuine guy and is pretty damn hot. And also I have never seen the other show so I cannot comment on his acting skills… Go Damon :-)

  37. Megan says:


  38. chantelle says:


  39. sarah says:

    While I am happy my top 2 guys made it to the finals itis hard to pick. But alas I chose Neal Caffrey. Sorry Ian I think you are hot but Matt is a notch above in my books, but just slightly!

  40. Maddi says:

    Ok! Relax it’s a tv show, people can vote how ever they want to! I voted for Damon both times. He IS a bad boy, Spike was too! But, Damon turned off his emotions, which is like not having a soul. So the soul argument it bogus. And I love Neal!!!! But he is a con man. Not evil or a bad Boy.

  41. Jas says:

    Lol! no fightin ppl, if you look closely, they even look similar!

  42. Ariadne says:

    This is just so stupid!

    If you wanted your favorite to win then you should vote harder!You favorite lost so now there is no need for you to come and hate to they guy that won him!
    You call the TVD fans teens but guess who is immature!
    “I’m here to avenge spike”…well i’m here to avenge maturity so i want to slap some login in you!

    Anyway,i watch both shows but i went with Damon because he is real bad-boy and come on…how Neal even was considered bad?
    Both charcters are awesome and bad-ass but Damon earns my vote because he is actually bad.There is darkness and you can actually see the good vs evil fight inside of him!

    As for the spike fans who are here to hate on Damon because he won…get a grip people!

  43. Red Jane says:

    Come on Damon is way much more badass… And his snarky comments are much funnier…

    Having said that Spike is the ultimate bad boy….

  44. Fatima says:

    I’m a 17 year old girl, who loves TVD but WC’s Neal Caffrey deserves this. Matt Bomer killed Season 3 and Season 4 began freaking fantastic!
    Bomer’s role playing Neal is simply fascinating and a whole new adventure each and every episode, while Somerhalder’s role is very predictable yet still very great. I love them both so much. But ever since Damon has admitted his love for Elena has been too mushy -not exactly the bad boy from Season 1. Neal’s relationships weren’t like that. Even with Kate he was pretty vague with his love for her and us viewers still saw the great true love he had for her without the extra corny stunts. Keep in mind these shows are literally two different worlds so what Ian pulls off as a vampire is amazing but I have to give my vote to Matt.
    Just [my] opinion.

    Btw I read and watched the twilight saga series. I enjoyed it. and I don’t just go for the looks. Although both of these men are incredibly beautiful….I mean it was pretty close. Dark hair-the eye color. But go Neal! :)

  45. hellycopterrr says:

    Lol…the two people in the final are the two most talked about for playing the role of Christian in 50 Shades of Grey. I love Neal Caffrey but in my opinion Damon is the ultimate bad boy and he has definitely earned it!

  46. meah says:

    Damon is not badass as season 1 his fans annoy me.they hype him too much.he’s not even the best actor on TVD..julie plec has basically ruined one of ma fave tv many fans left the show this last season,pls julie give us season 1 damon.thanks

    • Kyla says:

      Ian is a brilliant actor, he proofs it every week…he was phenomenal in Season 1, 2 and 3…the difference was, the Storyline for Damon in Season 3 was kinda lame! That’s not Ian’s fault….but I agree on 1 thing… I hope we’ll see Season 1 Damon back soon! Even Ian is tired of Damon pining over Elena! The Girl doesn’t deserve him at all!

  47. Анастасия says:

    It’s a very difficult choice….i like them both!!

  48. I Heart Chuck Bass (and Damon Salvatore) says:

    Come on, Damon! First, Sexy Beast now Bad Boy! You can do it! Be a Two-Time Champ!

  49. Lena says:

    I can’t believe how close this is. I can’t wait to see the results. Go Neal Caffrey!!!!