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. guest says:

    not sure why Neil Caffrey is listed as “bad boy”. completely different class, isn’t it? (apart from that, the advantage would be that I could vote for both)

  2. Sim says:

    You’d guys lets all get along here let’s just make it a tie it would be sad to see either one if them lose they are both equally bad each in an equally hot way!!

  3. Hathor Sakhmet says:

    Why people are voting for Neal is sick! It’s okay if you actually think he is a better actor/character than Damon because you love the show but to see some of these comments, which seem to be coming from a bunch of 5 year old children is interesting. Even if Neal wins because of hate votes, Damon Salvatore will always be a winner in my book and he’ll always be loved by fans that are true to him!

  4. AS says:

    I hope Neal wins this. He is a criminal. Has been a fugitive, and he escapes from a maximum security federal prison. He even try to kill the person he thought killed Kate. That is a bad boy. And its more real than a vampire. Criminals like Neal are real. I also vote for Matt because he is a great actor and NO one else can play Neal the way he does.

  5. Last comment on this poll: If Neal wins, then he will be the true loser because it’s clear from all the post concerning Damon winning over Spike that people aren’t voting for Neal because he’s the better choice but because they hate that Spike lost. Damon will be the true winner because of his loyal fans no matter what the poll results are! ~Loving Damon Salvatore 4life~

  6. badwolflil says:

    All this vitriol over a fan poll that ultimately proves very little? Wow. BTW, whoever said it’s nice that two gay actors are in the final. Pretty sure Ian’s not gay.

  7. saxyroro (@saxyroro) says:

    Easy. Damon.

  8. Regina says:

    Damon Salvatore is LAME… This poll is character based, not actor based. So there’s no offence to Ian whatsoever! Damon is mean and can be a crude killer but he’s a vampire, he’s suppose to be! Neal Caffrey is a criminal, intelligent and sophisticated…which is refreshing. It’s about time that a upper class, intellectual type criminal gets votes. TV needs to evolve and have more characters like Neal Caffrey instead of characters like a mindless, blood drinking, mythical creature…that’s plain stupid TV. I’d pick a smart Bad Boy anytime…at least you could have a decent conversation with him.. TEAM CAFFREY …

  9. Andrea says:

    It’s all about those eyes and that fedora…Neal, Neal, Neal!

  10. Christy Guerrero says:

    Damon is my pick,100% bad boy:-P

  11. Olivia says:

    Aaaaggghhh 50-50! NEAL CAFFREY has to win!

  12. Delena31 says:


  13. Mary says:

    I am so torn because I adore both men and hate to choose between them. I ultimately voted for Damon just because I feel that in the bad boy department he excels. Neal always walks the line between the criminal world and the law. Whereas Damon just doesn’t care, he makes up his own rules, and that’s what a bad boy is.

  14. Emgee says:

    Will there be a bad girls competition next?

  15. kel says:

    Judging by the juvelile comments here by Neal/Bomer fans it’s obvious he is the on ewith the deluge of teenage fans. I’ve noticed a trend lately that the only way Bomers fans feel they can elevate him is by tearing down other actors. Doesn’t say much for what they think of him. Pretty pathetic. Grow up people.

    • Michele says:

      I’m 21 years old and I’m a Neal/Bomer fan and I am in no way pathetic, thank you very much. I’ve seen rude comments from both sides, so please be quiet. Okay? Thanks.

      • cas ryan says:

        well said people think that because a couple of fans are bitchy it means all of them are and thats just not true

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks for assuming that I’m a teenager…as someone who’s in her early 40s, it makes me feel young. Not every Neal fan has made comments. Some of us are just voting just like you are. I don’t even know the other actor because I’m not a fan of anything that involves vampires. Not my thing.

    • Holly says:

      You know, i voted for Damon [though it was a tough choice since these 2 are right together in my ‘favorite male characters’ list] but i don’t appreciate ANY of the bashing that continues to go on. There are obviously immature, rabid fans on BOTH sides. Let’s stop tearing each other down simply because of tv characters.

  16. Patti says:

    Okay so question….check out the brackets for the entire contest. Ian (Damon) was going against Cole Turner (Julian) and Ian won. But the looking at the brackets Ian had 54.81% and Julian had 66.7%? Something isn’t right. Percentages don’t add up to 100% and Ian got less and still won?

    • HC says:

      Common mistake. The percentages are the percentages they had from the previous round. IE Ian’s 54.81% is from when he beat Eric Northman and Julian’s 66.7% is when he beat Daniel Grayson. So they’re not supposed to add up to 100%. Ian beat Julian by getting 64.2% of the votes in that round. Hope this clears things up! :)

  17. Patti says:

    LOL I would assume that most of Neal/Matt fans are not teenagers or tweens since the show is so not for that age group. Just because a few fans tore down Ian doesn’t mean the rest of us are like that. And tearing someone down is exclusive to teenagers or tweens. I have seen some adults be so worse. And I am far from pathetic. I assume most of us think most of Ian fans are teenagers or tweens due to Vampire Diaries being geared toward that age group. And I can’t believe Ian is Boone from Lost. He looks totally different.

  18. Syd says:

    You know what they say about assumptions…

    I’m 31 years old and I can tell you that most of Ian’s fans are well over age 21… and the teen fans he does have show more maturity than many of the so called adults who are Bomer fans. Like someone wrote above why can’t his fans support him without bringing others down. There are more vitrol comments here by his fans from what I see. So he loses to Ian in very poll, not the end of the world. ;)

    • Dani says:

      Totally agree! We Support Ian…and you Matt Fans should do the same WITHOUT bringing Ian down!! That just make you look stupid :(

      And btw, i’m 25 years old ;) just saying!

    • Patti says:

      Yes I know what they say about assumptions. Do you? LOL and just because a few Bomer fans said said some not so nice things about Ian doesn’t mean we are all like that. Besides I have seen some name calling and not so nice things said about Matt by Ian fans as well. And age doesn’t necessary mean maturity. And again not all Matt’s fans support him by bringing other down. Trust me we hear all sort so nasty remarks since the man is gay. Things like him being a waste, nasty comments about him having children, etc. Well here is just one place and those vitrol comments are only being made by a small percentage of those who adore him. So if Ian loses to Matt in the poll, not the end of the world. ;)

    • Amanda says:

      You are totes correct, this poll is for fun and matters squat. No one should tear anyone down, fans that do that are just too enthusiastic. Matt has no worries, he has the bigger better career, stuff like this poll and comments are silly.

  19. Kevo C.E. says:

    After my vote for Ceal Naffrey, the results are 49.98 vs 50.02 :))

    Can I vote twice? :D

  20. Kalley says:

    I really don’t understand why so many people assume that anyone that watches TVD or likes\loves Damon has to be young. I’m 24 and love Damon and Neal and watch both shows all the time. Enjoying these characters and the shows has nothing to do w/ age. I’m sure there are younger and older watchers of both. I know a bunch of fans in the show of each show and there’s a definite age range in both TV shows. And trust me when I say that people don’t just like Damon (or Neal) for their good looks. Yes, they are good looking but they both have many personality traits that appeal to their fans. If either one of these amazing characters win, I’ll be happy and remember guys this is just an online poll. Let’s have some fun!

    • Patti says:

      I guess I assume a lot of TVD watchers are teens due to the show being geared towards that age bracket. Doesn’t mean I think all the watchers are teens. Just like White Collar is geared more towards an older age bracket doesn’t mean all the watchers are older.

  21. Jen says:

    This is the hardest poll to vote for! I LOVE both White Collar and Vampire Diaries. I also LOVE both Neal and Damon. Each has their own bad boy charm to them, each has a strong and charismatic personality with a bit of a tortured past and romantic tragedy. Sure, you can either hate or love them but you can not argue they have a lot more in common then being attractive. I honestly don’t know who to cheer for or who to vote for, because I feel in voting for one I betray the other. Maybe it will be a tie! That is what I hope for.

  22. Beth Ann says:

    Go, Damon, go! GET IT!

  23. AngelTwilly says:


  24. Lola says:

    I hate it when people think you have to kill to be a badass… Pathetic. Vampire Diaries is overrated.
    Neal is the perfect bad boy.

    • Stamanah says:

      You don’t have to kill to be a bad boy; you have to have an aura of danger around you, at least in some sense. Neal is freaking fantastic, but I want to cuddle with him, not shrug away from him in fear.

  25. vicky says:

    matt bomer is unbelievably sexy but i pictured christian as ian. i watch both shows and ians character shows he can scowl and get angry and be super aggressive in a very sexy way, kinda like mr grey. matts character on white collar doesn’t show him being angry or aggressive in that manner. in the book christian will be pick up ana and press up against the wall etc etc and i see ian pulling that off perfectly. anyways i voted twice for ian and once for matt bc he’s sexy and i felt bad. :)

  26. shaikha says:

    I voat for damon beause he is hoter then any guy in the work i really love him and i alwas watch the vampire diares

    • Stamanah says:

      I voted for Damon as well, but PLEASE tell me you’re under the age of 13 because your grammar is a horrible representation of teenagers everywhere. Some of us know how to write like humans.

  27. saidj says:

    damooooonnn it s sur…. <3 <3 <3 he is so hot and sexy… i love this actor….he is amazing <3

  28. meah says:

    Still voting for neal..I also watch TVD,its writing this last season was so damon didn’t impress me this season.WC is very consistent(although I dislike alex)and matt is a total badass.
    80 percent of ians fans are teens and they always try to reduce other actors in TVD.they say he is the heart of th show!!the sad thing is Ian’s a nice guy…

  29. sasha says:

    Oh please Damon WAS a bad boy/badass no more now!!! Neal is a good bad boy
    & Damon won against Spike is just laughable even if Spile wasn’t either a bad boy in the last seasons of Buffy!

    & LOL to people who said Damons is a good actor LMAO Ian ok (& it’s not the best actor ever) but stop Damon is a charater so no he’s not a good actor!

    i like Ian but so agree with the 4th comments, most of the people vote for him (or are fan of him) because he’s sexy, handsome blabla. If he was ugly don’t think he will win anything! sorry but not sorry

  30. Roxi says:

    there is no character as good as Neal and no actor can compare to Matt

  31. Dani says:

    I’m voting for Damon Salvatore! And he’s winning….Go Damon <3

  32. jessica says:

    To the people who are voting for Neal bc Damon beat Spike, grow up, obviously Damon is the better bad boy and will always be the better bad boy, although I thought Joseph Morgan should have beeen up here Klaus is the better badass. Anyways just grow up, if your fans of Neal than I understand that but if your just trying to keep Damon from winning your acting like children

  33. shay says:

    LOL to razy damons/ian fans who think we vote because spike is out! for me soike was the best bad boy, at first yes not now, same for damon & neal is a good bad boy, yes Klaus is a better choice, more badass & bad boy than Damon

    At least Neal fans doesn’t vote because he’s hot! and I think this poll is lame because why put humans with vampires

  34. Kim says:

    i keep voting for Matt but the results aren’t moving. is the poll over

  35. Cordelia Gray says:

    Neal is such a complex, interesting, bad boy I can’t understand why the poll is so close.

    • Sarah says:

      Because the fact is many people see Damon the same way you see Neal. Complex, interesting, bad boy is how I’d describe Damon. And the poll was always going to be close since it’s the finals.

  36. Anna says:

    I love both shows and both characters, but I had to vote for Damon. In the first season he was actually the villain for a good chunk of it and has always kept his bad boy image even has more evil villains have surfaced. Neal is just a con-man, a great con-man, but he has never been a bad guy. Just my opinion, but I would be happy with either winner!

  37. Reward says:

    Dont worry girls: Ian Somerholder won’t see u. XD
    Forever alone.

  38. tiki says:

    I watch and love white collar. Starting to watch vampire diaries, but guys I don’t think you should go around hating on shows and characters you dont watch. The writers and actors work really hard to create a personality that people will react with. Nice work on both sides.

  39. . says:

    team neal.

  40. Anj says:

    Why couldn’t Channing tatum do it?!!!

  41. Patti says:

    I did some voting for Matt but his percentage kept going down. I then clicked on see results and it said “we have detected suspicious activity on this poll. Please try again later. ” Anyone know what is going on?

    • Dee says:

      The same thing happened to me too. “We have detected suspicious activity on this poll. Please try again later”. It also seemed that the votes kept going down and really fast around that time. I also got a message at one point “the pole did not load properly”. Something went wrong with this pole at some point, it was too bizarre!

  42. Hannah says:

    It is not about the character they have portrayed in those chosen movies, it’s about the ACTOR and his ability to play a tortured man – personally from the moment I started reading I saw Ian Somerhalder.

  43. Mirady says:

    O ian é muito gato ele merec ganhar alem dixo o damon tm exe jeitinho cinico q n tah nm ai p/ nada ixo é tao fofo

  44. JENMOLKO says:


  45. Christy Guerrero says:

    Blah,blah,blah,blah….Damon 100%:-)

  46. diana says:

    Cause Damon is the ultimate bad boy !

  47. Terez says:

    Matt will just be satisfied knowing he has the bigger career than Ian and being much hotter. Polls do not matter.

    • Syd says:

      I don’t consider Matt’s career bigger… He certainly isn’t as popular as Ian. Proof is in the pudding…or polls as it is. ;)

      • leighton says:

        you would be wrong, check imdb ranking and Matts movie career – has two more to film this fall, ian is popular with young girls who spend days voting in polls. lol

        • Jen says:

          Funny, outside of White Collar, I never hear much about Matt’s ”movie career.” He got very little attention for Magic Mike. He just doesn’t stand out much.

          As in this poll you can only vote once on many of the internet polls. So not sure how someone could spend all day voting on one since it wouldn’t Oh, and thanks for calling me a young girl, I’m a thiry something as a lot of Ian’s fans are. Well, 20’s, 30’s. 40’s. 50’s… The man appeals to women of all ages, period.

          • Stamanah says:

            And to men! My dad is fifty-seven and thinks Damon is the coolest thing on TV. Ironic, huh?

          • Hasmik says:

            My Dad’s 48 from Armenia (yes, that’s a country), and he also can’t wait to watch season 4 of TVD. He thinks that Damon’s elegant and yet cocky charisma and charm are the 35% of the show’s success. The 30% are the lines he delivers (BTW, he is sure that the Russian dubbing sucks and makes me translate all the catch phrases so the meaning and emotional coloring of the phrases won’t be missing), 20% is Klaus together with the other originals, 5% is the storyline and 10% is the directors’ great work (he should know, he’s also a director and an actor! :D ). So, TVD is liked by different people (maybe half of them are teenagers, could be) of different ages, different genders and different lifestyles. That’s why I, 24 by age, voted for Damon.

          • leighton says:

            funny they put Matt front and center in marketing for magic mike not sure how you missed it. looking forward to his next two movies he films this year, he will be amazing in the lead roles . I like Ian hopefully he can revive his movie career some time soon

  48. rudysomer says:

    ian somerhalder!!!!!!!

  49. Martina Otto says:

    <3 Damon <3

  50. Hyde says:

    I’m a TVD fan but gave White Collar a chance this week just to see the hype… I get it now. I originally voted for Damon, but now if you had to ask… I think I’d actually lose sleep trying to make that decision. I get it now Bomer fans. He’s a bad boy of a different breed but still a bad boy… 3 days in and already halfway through season 2… my gym membership is severely lacking because I can’t leave my favorite chair but i’m using the crap out of my Netflix membership, LOL!!!