By Eric V | on 08/25/16

Celebrity square-off: what Americans think about the romances, bromances, and feuds

We all know it’s bad to compare ourselves to celebrities. After all, These people become “figures” by carefully grooming their images, brands, and appearances—to varying degrees of success.

No, it’s probably not healthy to compare ourselves to them, but why not compare them to one another? That’s inbounds, right?

As part of SurveyMonkey Measures: Celebrity—a comprehensive list analyzing the qualities that contribute to celebrity success—we did just that.

We re-ranked the top earners on Forbes’ highest paid celebrities list by asking 2,500 people across the U.S. their impressions and feelings of the top 20 celebrities on the list.

Then we pitted some select pairs against each other in the grand colosseum of public opinion. Who fought? Who won? Find out.

Round 1: Calvin Harris v. Taylor Swift

For people who pay attention to this sort of thing, the breakup of pop icon Taylor Swift and producer/DJ Calvin Harris was a big deal. The nasty, painfully public fallout that came afterward was bigger still.

Whose side did our survey respondents take? Well, we didn’t ask them specifically, but it’s certainly clear who they like better.

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Round 2: Matt Damon v. Ben Affleck

Not all celebrity friendships are nasty, brutish, and short.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are probably the best example anyone can think of. They’re the greatest bromance ever told. The BBFs have formed a bromance for the ages. They’re better bros than Super Mario, and that’s saying something.

That’s sweet and all, but who does America like better? The answer is, pretty convincingly, Matt Damon.

Apparently, the guys just can’t live down their roles in Good Will Hunting. Among the 14 actors we studied, Matt Damon was the No. 1 ranked for highest IQ, while Ben only got 5th.

But it goes beyond that. Damon took the No.1 spot for actor people respect the most and the No. 2 spot for most talented.

Affleck, on the other hand, took 9th in both categories. What’d he place highly in? He was the No. 2 most overpaid (Damon was 14th out of 14) and the No. 2 least respected (Damon once again took 14th place, tying Jackie Chan).

How do you like ‘dem apples, Chuckie!?

Round 3: Vin Diesel v. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Would you rather be on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s bad side or Vin Diesel’s bad side? What if they’re mad at each other? The tiff between the two hairless, musclebound tough guys from Fast and Furious appeared to exist only on social media and was over basically as soon as it began.

First, Instagram shade was thrown, then even shadier videos were posted, then apparently everyone was friends again. Who won the squabble in the end? We may never know, so let’s settle it the old-fashioned way.

No, not with a fist fight. Let’s see who everyday Americans like better overall.

There’s not much of a contest here.

Among actors, Johnson scores 1st for business savvy and best overall brand, while Diesel scores 12th and 11th for those attributes. Johnson was the 2nd most respected and 4th most attractive, Diesel was 9th and 10th in those categories.

One area where our respondents didn’t sing Johnson’s praises was in their rating for his IQ. They said he had only the 9th highest, but he still beat Diesel who made 11th place.

In the end, what’s it matter that one celebrity’s popularity is higher than another or that one makes it out of a scrape better than the other? Let’s be honest, probably not that much.

But it does show how far brandpower has carried some of the biggest celebrities in their careers—and in their personal lives.

See how your favorite celebrity fares in SurveyMonkey Measures: Celebrity, a comprehensive list analyzing the qualities—both positive and negative—that contribute to celebrity success.