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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422 Comments
  1. Caro says:

    Damon beat Spike???!!! WTF? I guess it’s because the voters are mainly teenage girls…

    • JanaP says:

      I quess Spike fans never were teenagers when they started watching BTVS- I know I was. Now I am 28 and still love him and also Damon. I know MANY Damon fans that are NOT teenagers at all…

  2. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I watch neither show but I voted for Neal out of spite since Damon beat out Raylan. And just so you know, the best bad boy in the history of television was never even in this contest. Al Swearengen from Deadwood. Saloon keeper, pimp, sometimes a villain, sometimes a hero, controller of all that happened in town, he knew how to take a beating as well as give a beating, could kill a man with a knife (and often did), knew how to manage the hot-headed sheriff in town, controlled the first set of elections in town, knew how to bribe when he needed to, killed an innocent woman to protect the prostitute he loved, and he could rock a soliloquy in only the way a Shakespearian actor could. Swedgen forever!

    • jlen24 says:

      I LOVE that you posted this! Al Swearengen was the BEST! Every time I watch a Western now I think, ‘They are not saying the F-word as much as they should.’ “Deadwood” was FANTASTIC!!

  3. JanaP says:

    STOP telling that Damon fans likes him only because of his looks! NOT true at all. I am inveloved with the fandom and read all the comments, and can say that looks are the last thing they love about him. I love both Damon and Spike- not because of their looks. BTW there are also people who claim that Spike fans love him just because he is hot. Every single fans make comments like: he is hot, beautiful or what ever, doesn´t mean that is the reason they are loved so much. Noone cared about Ian Somerhalder on Lost, Damons character is what made him popular, not his looks!

    • Ana says:

      Um. *raises hand* I liked him on Lost. And I knew him from various things before TVD came along.

      • Hasmik says:

        I also liked him on Lost, and the Tournament, and the Fireball and many other movies. But JanaP has got a point: many people learned about him after he starred as Damon on TVD. Sadly, ’cause he’s a damn good actor! <3

    • bob says:

      i liked him on lost, idiot…

    • Fanya says:

      You just put your foot in your mouth with this comment. Lost was not a show for teenagers. TVD is. That is why there were not so much fangirls going mad for him as they are now.
      And talking of Spike and the fans that supposedly love him just because he is hot (and he IS hot! :) ), it could be true at the time but it surely is not so today. With all the hot actors that have been in TV in all this years, one has to be stupid to think that Spike fans only care for his looks. If we keep loving him and praising him, instead of going after the newest hot guy such as Damon, it is because Spike is obviously so much more.

    • And do you really think Damon will be as popular as Spike STILL is almost a decade after TVD is off the air? *arching eyebrow* The fact that Spike made it as far as he did speaks FAR more than Damon winning last year and making it to the finals this year.

      • Kendra says:

        Well we won’t know until another 10 years now, will we? So what’s the point in bringing that up. You can’t predict the future and you have no idea what kind of staying power Damon Salvatore will have in the TV history. Just like Spike has his fans, Damon has his fans too.

  4. Jj says:

    Ok, I happen to be a fan of both Damon and Spike. I know, I know, I must be crazy, right? Not really. I grew up with Buffy, so I remember what a bad boy Spike really was…. until about Season 5 or so….. but I still loved him. He was sarcastic, and funny, and showed real emotion.

    Buffy is the whole reason I got into Vampire-lore, and without it, I might never have watched TVD. But I love Damon for far more than his looks. I love him because of the nature of his character; he is irredeemable. He tried to be what he’s not, but he is truly a bad guy. And I love his sense of humor. And I love that he is reckless, and he acts rashly, without thinking. He may be bad, but he also shows regret, and remorse (on occasion), which, despite his vampire status, makes him more real.

    I vote for Damon for all those reasons!

  5. Teri says:

    Wow people calm down! It is just a poll between 2 TV characters. Such tempers…but I vote Salvatore! He can be such an A-HOLE!

  6. kewi94 says:

    As much as I enjoy Damon, Neal is so damn smooth and suave. He is the ultimate bad boy in EVERY sense of the word (where Damon is the slightly more obvious, stereotypical one, although I do love him)

    Definitely Neal Caffrey.

  7. Renee says:

    It’s come down to the pretty boys like usual.

  8. AnnClau says:

    Spike should have won this whole thing! I like Damon but come on, it’s a similar character but way less badass.
    At least now I can vote for Neal instead of against him.

  9. bob says:

    i just dont want damon to win. I don’t watch white collar but spike should have won, so now it’s all on Neal! go Neal! yayyy!! voted for neal. damon shouldnt win tbh

  10. dude says:

    So hard. Love them both. Had to vote for Neal.

  11. Jenn says:

    Ian wakes up every day wishing he had Matt’s talent, looks, inteligence, and career! Neal Caffrey of course!

    • Judy says:

      LOL Bomer fans are quite delusional.

      • Cami says:

        Uh, Matt is making movies with big time directors, two in the past 6 months and two more to be filmed this fall. Ian’s movie career flopped a few years ago. He is a CW lifer.

        • Chloe says:

          Bomer sure doesn’t seem to be making much of a splash in said movies. He is so bland and recieved the least positive reviews in Magic Mike. He was so stiff, and not in a good way. lol

          Ian’s career is just fine. He’s on a popular tv show and has fans all over the world. He is also an incredible person who gives back and tries to make a difference through his philanthropy and foundation.

      • ggny says:

        Ah Bomer movie Career is starting to take off where Ian died in the early 2000s

    • cas ryan says:

      true dat true dat ian cant act for crap lol

  12. Hyde says:

    they really should let fans nominate characters and the top 64 make it to the bracket so people will stop with the “why isn’t _____” on the bracket crap. Also, people are taking this way too seriously, its all in fun and people are getting angry and resorting to name calling. This isn’t “The Lottery”, they aren’t going to be stoned for being chosen (or not in this case). Another complaint, voting for “whose hotter” or “the more famous actor”, read the reason for the poll. This was “Ultimate Bad Boy” not, “Which actor has been in better movies” or anything about the actor at all really. Its about the character portrayed. I understand being a fan, but where does the line lie where fan stops and fanatic begins?

    • Nita says:

      Hyde, thank you for speaking some sense! I agree with you 100%, and obviously, there are a lot of fanatics on this board. I, too, am tired of all the anger and hatred being thrown all around here.

  13. skiki says:

    I can’t believe there’s any question. No one compares to Somerhalder. That stuff he can do with his eyes? !

  14. Aria says:

    Neal Caffrey! Vampires are hella annoying. Plus look at Matt Bomer’s eyes.

  15. Pitting Damon Salvatore against Neal Caffrey is like comparing apples to oranges. Neal is a charming thief. He’s only “bad” if you consider that he broke the law in the past, and sometimes stretches it in the present. Damon Salvatore is a vampire. Even though he has toned his behavior down a couple of notches to please Elena Gilbert because he’s in love with her, he is a ticking time bomb who sometimes snaps and goes psychotic. He has stated outright that he likes killing people because it’s in his nature to do so because he’s a predator, by virtue of his being a vampire. Now that to me is a “bad boy”.

  16. MissyBoo says:

    A huge Damon fan here. But on any given day, NEAL CAFFREY would always have my vote!

  17. Kasey says:

    CAFFREY. I just want to see someone new win instead of Damon all the freaking time. Besides Neal is an amazing character and when it comes between the two he deserves it more (just my opinion). I have no doubt in my mind that Damon will win because the TVD fanbase can be crazy with kind of stuff but I’m so glad Matt/Neal made it to the final.

  18. Neal Caffrey FTW! (for those who don’t know, that means, ‘for the win’) :)

  19. Mara says:

    Damon beat Spike?! This is a crime D: D:
    These kids voting for Damon need to start watching some Spike episodes. Spike outclasses Damon on so many levels: sarcasm, bad-boyness, charm, style, originality.

  20. Patti says:

    So am I the only one who saw the preview for Vampire Diaries and thought way to jump on the Twilight and True Blood band wagon? I get enough vampires watching them but thanks anyway. Neal from White Collar is a different kind of bad boy. He could charm your panties right off. :=))

  21. Judy says:

    No contest, Damon all the way! And I left my teen years behind long ago…as have most of Damon’s fans contrary to small minded belief. ;)

  22. GetALIfe says:

    Seriously if you aren’t fan of Neal or Damon why are u even here? Some people just don’t have a life.*eyeroll*

  23. A) Voted for Neal, and that’s because I actually watch White Collar and love that there’s a bad boy who doesn’t prove his badness by killing other people. Murder isn’t the only type of ‘bad’ out there, people.

    B) I feel a stronger final lineup would have been Neal vs Spike.

    C) I’m completely losing my faith in humanity and the future of Americans based on the horrible grammar and spelling errors I see here.

  24. carlita says:

    damon salvatore is the most overated character in any tv fandom.

  25. Katarina says:

    GO DAMON :D
    Damon will win ;D ♥
    Damon the best ♥

  26. Katarina says:

    TEAM DAMON FOREVER ♥

  27. Andy says:

    As much as I love damon, Matt Bomer is sexier so NEAL!!!

  28. Damon = Vampire
    Other Guy = Human
    Nuff said

  29. Addie says:

    Overrated vs. Underrated. Going to go with the underdog, GO NEAL.

  30. Carson says:

    White Collar requires thinking which is lost on the CW fan girl crowd

  31. I love Neal Caffrey! Matt definitely gets my vote.

  32. Aria says:

    I love that the results are so close to each other, to be honest I thought since TVD has a massive teen girl fanbase Neal would really struggle against Damon despite having gotten this far. Great to see all the support for Neal! I hope he wins.

  33. JJ says:

    MATT BOMER!!!! HAS TO WIN!

  34. jenselicious says:

    Dean Winchester was up against Neal Caffrey. Neal won. I freggin love both of them so much! And I didn’t vote, but now! My baby better win! VOTE FOR NEAL CAFFREY. HE DESERVES IT MORE THAN DAMON.. MORE THAN ANYONE.

  35. Frank says:

    Not all fans of Vampire Diaries are girls..Who cares who wins, whoever wins wins.

  36. Dayanne says:

    I’m a fan of the daily diaries of a vampire, already seen the first, second and third season more than once, and of course Damon Salvatore and a bad boy, he and sarcastic and evil, beautiful sexy, you achievement with a unique look!
    Team of Damon fans will vote s2

  37. Rosalice says:

    Neal! Come on, you’re the best!!

  38. neeta says:

    Oh come on, vote meanz pick the one u want to pick so whatever…………. I choose neal anyday of the week, any occasion n for every reason possible..^^

  39. ggny says:

    Is Neal Caffrey really a bad boy?

  40. Pauley says:

    Matt plays a bad guy to perfection. Somerhalder is just flat, one-dimensional. So – Neal all the way!

  41. badwolflil says:

    What Damon did to Caroline is reprehensible. What he did to Jeremy is reprehensible. What he did to Lexi is reprehensible. But…um…it’s a VAMPIRE show. Vampires are not good guys. Not only that, Damon has actually grown over three seasons. I doubt he’d do the things I’ve mentioned now. And as much as I like Matt I don’t love White Collar and I DO love TVD. So my vote is a no brainer. And yes some segments of TVD fandom are annoying. I’ve never met ANY fandom of ANYTHING that doesn’t have its annoying segment. Seems a silly reason not to vote for an actor but hey your mileage may vary.

  42. Ria Mincks says:

    It’s sad that nay sayers of damon seem to have only judged him on season 1 and his actions then & have completely over looked season 2 and 3 where damon shows his truly good and genuine side… also the reasons for his behavior in season 1 have clearly been ignored…He’s a bad ass vampire in my opinion because 1 (ian) is a brilliant actor and 2 he gets the job done and makes the hard decisions where other can’t or won.t!

  43. Dacey. says:

    Neal Caffrey deserves this one. Most loveable bad boy for me. Damon winning things is so boring + old and he isn’t even that great a character his show just unfortunately has a bigger fanbase.

  44. amanda says:

    eeu escoolhii oo maaaais llindooo ‘ DAMOON SALVATORE…’ e escolhoo mil vezes se precisaar….. poorq amuuh ele dii paixaao….

  45. Crissi says:

    I love it that two gay actors are in the final!

  46. kareemah says:

    Whoa,someone would think that these people we are arguing about cares about these arguments.u wanna vote for someone,just Vote & get it over with.what biz of urs is it who votes for who & d reason for d vote?tot we are all grown ups…its depressing

  47. Keren says:

    50:50!! so exciting!!

  48. cas ryan says:

    NEAL CAFFREY ALL THE WAY DAMON AND HIS ONE EXPRESSION FACCE SUCKS ASS PLUS MATT IS WAY MORE ATTRACTIVE THEN IAN ALSO IS THAT TRUE THAT DAMON RAPED CAROLINE?? I SAW SOMEONE SAY IT IN A COMMENT IF IT IS TRUE WHAT A DICK

  49. Erika says:

    Ugh very hard choice…I love both of them so much! I was not expecting Damon to beat spike but I am not complaining…
    though I do kind of want him to win just because of all the bashing in these comments…bashing mainy brought on because Damon beat spike…not because of him vs. Neal..have to say its kind of ridiculous
    Anyway I wish them both luck!

  50. Ria Mincks says:

    i think everyone should think about the fact that the actors do occasionally read comments on sights like this and how do you think they’d feel about some of the things written about them, their shows, characters etc (not necessary)

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