Robert Viglasky, © BBC

Idris Elba is the “Sexiest Man Alive,” according to People.The 46-year-old Luther actor is the 33rd Hollywood hunk to receive the title—and the first black man to do so in 22 years, after Denzel Washington booked the magazine’s 1996 cover. Other stars who made the list in this year’s issue (on newsstands Friday) include Chadwick Boseman, Noah Centineo, Bradley Cooper, Henry Golding, Prince Harry, John Krasinski, Shawn Mendes, Hasan Minhaj, Chris Pine and Thomas Rhett. So, what did Elba think when he learned he’d be replacing last year’s honoree, Blake Shelton? “I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’ Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’ To be honest, it was just a nice feeling,” he says. “It was a nice surprise—an ego boost for sure.”Elba joins an elite list of men who have been recognized in the pages of People.At 29 years old, Mel Gibson was the first actor to receive the honor in 1985. He was succeeded by Mark Harmon (1986), Harry Hamlin (1987), John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1988), Sean Connery (1989), Tom Cruise (1990), Patrick Swayze (1992) and—although it seems strange now—Nick Nolte (1992). Power couple Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford were named the “Sexiest Couple Alive” in 1993—the only time a woman was honored—before he returned solo in 1999.As Elba gets used to his new designation, take a look back at previous honorees:

David Burton/People

Idris Elba, 2018

The Luther star said the honor was “amazing” and his “mum would be very proud.”

Courtesy of People

Blake Shelton, 2017

Thanks to The Voice, the country music superstar is one of few musicians to receive the title.

People

Dwayne Johnson, 2016

Moana’s main man jokes that he’s “pretty much reached the pinnacle” of his career.

People Magazine

David Beckham, 2015

Nobody can bend it like Beckham better than the soccer player himself.

People.com

Chris Hemsworth, 2014

In addition to playing an intergalactic superhero, the Australian actor is a devoted husband and father of three. What’s sexier than that?

People

Adam Levine, 2013

The 34-year-old Maroon 5 frontman won a new legion of fans as a witty, charming, compassionate team captain on The Voice and is engaged to a Victoria’s Secret model. Sexy cred is currently off the charts.

People Magazine

Channing Tatum, 2012

Twas a banner year for the ubiquitous Magic Mike star.

People Magazine

Bradley Cooper, 2011

The silver lining in People’s playbook.

Courtesy of People

Ryan Reynolds, 2010

The exposure didn’t pay off when it came to the Green Lantern box office and he and Scarlett Johansson split up right after he made the cover… But neither bit of bad luck made him any less sexy.

Courtesy of People

Johnny Depp, 2009 & 2003

One of only three two-timers in the bunch, Captain Jack Sparrow looked as youthful as ever six years after his first title.

Courtesy of People

Hugh Jackman, 2008

He’s sexy and we know it, but the multi-talented actor is so charmingly self-deprecating, it’s almost as if he doesn’t know it.

People Magazine

Matt Damon, 2007

We didn’t even know he was “F–king Matt Damon” funny back then, but being the thinking woman’s action hero in the Bourne movies was enough.

Courtesy of People

Matthew McConaughey, 2005

During his rom-com phase, the now Oscar-buzz-generating star was just the guy we all wanted to play naked bongos with. Some things never change.

Courtesy of People

Jude Law, 2004

Perfect specimen in Gattaca? Check. The man Matt Damon wanted to be with and be in The Talented Mr. Ripley? Wouldn’t anybody?!

Courtesy of People

Ben Affleck, 2002

Before a little premature career twilight set in (it’s always darkest before the dawn, you know), the future Oscar-winning filmmaker and next Batman was smokin’ hot in action pics like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor.

Courtesy of People

Pierce Brosnan, 2001

The Irish actor’s four-film run as James Bond cemented his status as the hottest thing to come out of Ireland since…well, ever.

Courtesy of People

Richard Gere, 1999

The silver fox held down the fort solo just fine when he re-earned the title around the time Runaway Bride came out.

Courtesy of People

Harrison Ford, 1998

At 56, he was the second-oldest ever SMA crowned and was still a raging action hero, juggling the roles of Indiana Jones, Richard Kimble and Jack Ryan decades after his Han Solo days.

People Magazine

George Clooney, 1997 & 2006

When he made the cover while playing the brooding Dr. Doug Ross on ER, no one even knew what a cultural force he would be nine years later. And seven years after that…minus some perfectly placed gray, nothing has changed.

Courtesy of People

Denzel Washington, 1996

The two-time Oscar winner and probably one of the most appearling Hollywood stars ever actually remains the only African-American actor to hold the title.

Courtesy of People

Brad Pitt, 1995 & 2000

If Thelma & Louise made people take notice, Legends of the Fall made them fall out of their seats, gasping for breath and begging for more. And he still looked pretty good five years later.

Courtesy of People

Richard Gere & Cindy Crawford, 1993

The only time a couple has ever shared the title. Alas, maybe they kept fighting over the mirror, because the leading man and his real-life pretty woman divorced two years later.

Courtesy of People

Nick Nolte, 1992

Remember when he was a major stud?! Having just been nominated for an Oscar for The Prince of Tides, Nolte defined sensitive ruggedness.

People Magazine

Patrick Swayze, 1991

We’re easily reminded why we’ve watched Dirty Dancing over 1,000 times.

Courtesy of People

Tom Cruise, 1990

We’re actually surprised that he never repeated, but if they had to pick a year, a post-Cocktail, pre-Kidman Cruise, fresh off an Oscar nomination for Born on the Fourth of July, was as good as any place to land.

Courtesy of People

Sean Connery, 1989

Three words: Bond. James Bond. The Scottish actor remains the oldest man to have achieved the title (he was 59) as well as the only one lacking in the hair department. 

Courtesy of People

John F. Kennedy Jr., 1988

Then 27, the Camelot prince remains the only non-entertainer to have ever scored the SMA cover—and yet his looks and lineage had made him a huge celebrity. With the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination upon us, we hope that both father and son are resting in peace.

Courtesy of People

Harry Hamlin, 1987

Lisa Rinna’s hubby was the toast of primetime as a dashing attorney on L.A. Law.

Courtesy of People

Mark Harmon, 1986

Long before he was on NCIS, the erstwhile UCLA football stud was making for a way too handsome version of Ted Bundy in the creepy classic TV movie The Deliberate Stranger, playing an awesome teacher in Summer School and complicating Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd’s road to romance on Moonlighting.

Courtesy of People

Mel Gibson, 1985

Long before we knew what a lethal weapon he was, People’s first-ever Sexiest Man Alive was pretty much the epitome of hotness at the time, from his blue eyes to his thick, wavy hair to his charming accent. Year of living dangerously, indeed.

People didn’t select anyone to cover its 1994 issue; twenty-one years later, the magazine selected Keanu Reeves as its pick, with runners-up including Jim Carrey and Hugh Grant.

Don’t miss E! News every weeknight at 7 p.m., only on E!

Robert Viglasky, © BBC

Idris Elba is the “Sexiest Man Alive,” according to People.The 46-year-old Luther actor is the 33rd Hollywood hunk to receive the title—and the first black man to do so in 22 years, after Denzel Washington booked the magazine’s 1996 cover. Other stars who made the list in this year’s issue (on newsstands Friday) include Chadwick Boseman, Noah Centineo, Bradley Cooper, Henry Golding, Prince Harry, John Krasinski, Shawn Mendes, Hasan Minhaj, Chris Pine and Thomas Rhett. So, what did Elba think when he learned he’d be replacing last year’s honoree, Blake Shelton? “I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’ Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’ To be honest, it was just a nice feeling,” he says. “It was a nice surprise—an ego boost for sure.”Elba joins an elite list of men who have been recognized in the pages of People.At 29 years old, Mel Gibson was the first actor to receive the honor in 1985. He was succeeded by Mark Harmon (1986), Harry Hamlin (1987), John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1988), Sean Connery (1989), Tom Cruise (1990), Patrick Swayze (1992) and—although it seems strange now—Nick Nolte (1992). Power couple Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford were named the “Sexiest Couple Alive” in 1993—the only time a woman was honored—before he returned solo in 1999.As Elba gets used to his new designation, take a look back at previous honorees:

David Burton/People

Idris Elba, 2018

The Luther star said the honor was “amazing” and his “mum would be very proud.”

Courtesy of People

Blake Shelton, 2017

Thanks to The Voice, the country music superstar is one of few musicians to receive the title.

People

Dwayne Johnson, 2016

Moana’s main man jokes that he’s “pretty much reached the pinnacle” of his career.

Article continues below

People Magazine

David Beckham, 2015

Nobody can bend it like Beckham better than the soccer player himself.

People.com

Chris Hemsworth, 2014

In addition to playing an intergalactic superhero, the Australian actor is a devoted husband and father of three. What’s sexier than that?

People

Adam Levine, 2013

The 34-year-old Maroon 5 frontman won a new legion of fans as a witty, charming, compassionate team captain on The Voice and is engaged to a Victoria’s Secret model. Sexy cred is currently off the charts.

Article continues below

People Magazine

Channing Tatum, 2012

Twas a banner year for the ubiquitous Magic Mike star.

People Magazine

Bradley Cooper, 2011

The silver lining in People’s playbook.

Courtesy of People

Ryan Reynolds, 2010

The exposure didn’t pay off when it came to the Green Lantern box office and he and Scarlett Johansson split up right after he made the cover… But neither bit of bad luck made him any less sexy.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Johnny Depp, 2009 & 2003

One of only three two-timers in the bunch, Captain Jack Sparrow looked as youthful as ever six years after his first title.

Courtesy of People

Hugh Jackman, 2008

He’s sexy and we know it, but the multi-talented actor is so charmingly self-deprecating, it’s almost as if he doesn’t know it.

People Magazine

Matt Damon, 2007

We didn’t even know he was “F–king Matt Damon” funny back then, but being the thinking woman’s action hero in the Bourne movies was enough.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Matthew McConaughey, 2005

During his rom-com phase, the now Oscar-buzz-generating star was just the guy we all wanted to play naked bongos with. Some things never change.

Courtesy of People

Jude Law, 2004

Perfect specimen in Gattaca? Check. The man Matt Damon wanted to be with and be in The Talented Mr. Ripley? Wouldn’t anybody?!

Courtesy of People

Ben Affleck, 2002

Before a little premature career twilight set in (it’s always darkest before the dawn, you know), the future Oscar-winning filmmaker and next Batman was smokin’ hot in action pics like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Pierce Brosnan, 2001

The Irish actor’s four-film run as James Bond cemented his status as the hottest thing to come out of Ireland since…well, ever.

Courtesy of People

Richard Gere, 1999

The silver fox held down the fort solo just fine when he re-earned the title around the time Runaway Bride came out.

Courtesy of People

Harrison Ford, 1998

At 56, he was the second-oldest ever SMA crowned and was still a raging action hero, juggling the roles of Indiana Jones, Richard Kimble and Jack Ryan decades after his Han Solo days.

Article continues below

People Magazine

George Clooney, 1997 & 2006

When he made the cover while playing the brooding Dr. Doug Ross on ER, no one even knew what a cultural force he would be nine years later. And seven years after that…minus some perfectly placed gray, nothing has changed.

Courtesy of People

Denzel Washington, 1996

The two-time Oscar winner and probably one of the most appearling Hollywood stars ever actually remains the only African-American actor to hold the title.

Courtesy of People

Brad Pitt, 1995 & 2000

If Thelma & Louise made people take notice, Legends of the Fall made them fall out of their seats, gasping for breath and begging for more. And he still looked pretty good five years later.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Richard Gere & Cindy Crawford, 1993

The only time a couple has ever shared the title. Alas, maybe they kept fighting over the mirror, because the leading man and his real-life pretty woman divorced two years later.

Courtesy of People

Nick Nolte, 1992

Remember when he was a major stud?! Having just been nominated for an Oscar for The Prince of Tides, Nolte defined sensitive ruggedness.

People Magazine

Patrick Swayze, 1991

We’re easily reminded why we’ve watched Dirty Dancing over 1,000 times.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Tom Cruise, 1990

We’re actually surprised that he never repeated, but if they had to pick a year, a post-Cocktail, pre-Kidman Cruise, fresh off an Oscar nomination for Born on the Fourth of July, was as good as any place to land.

Courtesy of People

Sean Connery, 1989

Three words: Bond. James Bond. The Scottish actor remains the oldest man to have achieved the title (he was 59) as well as the only one lacking in the hair department. 

Courtesy of People

John F. Kennedy Jr., 1988

Then 27, the Camelot prince remains the only non-entertainer to have ever scored the SMA cover—and yet his looks and lineage had made him a huge celebrity. With the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination upon us, we hope that both father and son are resting in peace.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Harry Hamlin, 1987

Lisa Rinna’s hubby was the toast of primetime as a dashing attorney on L.A. Law.

Courtesy of People

Mark Harmon, 1986

Long before he was on NCIS, the erstwhile UCLA football stud was making for a way too handsome version of Ted Bundy in the creepy classic TV movie The Deliberate Stranger, playing an awesome teacher in Summer School and complicating Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd’s road to romance on Moonlighting.

Courtesy of People

Mel Gibson, 1985

Long before we knew what a lethal weapon he was, People’s first-ever Sexiest Man Alive was pretty much the epitome of hotness at the time, from his blue eyes to his thick, wavy hair to his charming accent. Year of living dangerously, indeed.

Article continues below

People didn’t select anyone to cover its 1994 issue; twenty-one years later, the magazine selected Keanu Reeves as its pick, with runners-up including Jim Carrey and Hugh Grant.

Don’t miss E! News every weeknight at 7 p.m., only on E!

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Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Baby Boy Crew Makes the Cutest Morning Show Debut

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Custody Battle Will Go to Trial

Why Richard Madden Is Known as “Little Dick” at Home

Ariana Grande Feels “Empowered” After Releasing “Thank U, Next”

5 Reasons Idris Elba Totally Deserves to Be People’s 2018 Sexiest Man Alive

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Impressum

Robert Viglasky, © BBC

Idris Elba is the “Sexiest Man Alive,” according to People.The 46-year-old Luther actor is the 33rd Hollywood hunk to receive the title—and the first black man to do so in 22 years, after Denzel Washington booked the magazine’s 1996 cover. Other stars who made the list in this year’s issue (on newsstands Friday) include Chadwick Boseman, Noah Centineo, Bradley Cooper, Henry Golding, Prince Harry, John Krasinski, Shawn Mendes, Hasan Minhaj, Chris Pine and Thomas Rhett. So, what did Elba think when he learned he’d be replacing last year’s honoree, Blake Shelton? “I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’ Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’ To be honest, it was just a nice feeling,” he says. “It was a nice surprise—an ego boost for sure.”Elba joins an elite list of men who have been recognized in the pages of People.At 29 years old, Mel Gibson was the first actor to receive the honor in 1985. He was succeeded by Mark Harmon (1986), Harry Hamlin (1987), John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1988), Sean Connery (1989), Tom Cruise (1990), Patrick Swayze (1992) and—although it seems strange now—Nick Nolte (1992). Power couple Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford were named the “Sexiest Couple Alive” in 1993—the only time a woman was honored—before he returned solo in 1999.As Elba gets used to his new designation, take a look back at previous honorees:

David Burton/People

Idris Elba, 2018

The Luther star said the honor was “amazing” and his “mum would be very proud.”

Courtesy of People

Blake Shelton, 2017

Thanks to The Voice, the country music superstar is one of few musicians to receive the title.

People

Dwayne Johnson, 2016

Moana’s main man jokes that he’s “pretty much reached the pinnacle” of his career.

Article continues below

People Magazine

David Beckham, 2015

Nobody can bend it like Beckham better than the soccer player himself.

People.com

Chris Hemsworth, 2014

In addition to playing an intergalactic superhero, the Australian actor is a devoted husband and father of three. What’s sexier than that?

People

Adam Levine, 2013

The 34-year-old Maroon 5 frontman won a new legion of fans as a witty, charming, compassionate team captain on The Voice and is engaged to a Victoria’s Secret model. Sexy cred is currently off the charts.

Article continues below

People Magazine

Channing Tatum, 2012

Twas a banner year for the ubiquitous Magic Mike star.

People Magazine

Bradley Cooper, 2011

The silver lining in People’s playbook.

Courtesy of People

Ryan Reynolds, 2010

The exposure didn’t pay off when it came to the Green Lantern box office and he and Scarlett Johansson split up right after he made the cover… But neither bit of bad luck made him any less sexy.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Johnny Depp, 2009 & 2003

One of only three two-timers in the bunch, Captain Jack Sparrow looked as youthful as ever six years after his first title.

Courtesy of People

Hugh Jackman, 2008

He’s sexy and we know it, but the multi-talented actor is so charmingly self-deprecating, it’s almost as if he doesn’t know it.

People Magazine

Matt Damon, 2007

We didn’t even know he was “F–king Matt Damon” funny back then, but being the thinking woman’s action hero in the Bourne movies was enough.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Matthew McConaughey, 2005

During his rom-com phase, the now Oscar-buzz-generating star was just the guy we all wanted to play naked bongos with. Some things never change.

Courtesy of People

Jude Law, 2004

Perfect specimen in Gattaca? Check. The man Matt Damon wanted to be with and be in The Talented Mr. Ripley? Wouldn’t anybody?!

Courtesy of People

Ben Affleck, 2002

Before a little premature career twilight set in (it’s always darkest before the dawn, you know), the future Oscar-winning filmmaker and next Batman was smokin’ hot in action pics like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Pierce Brosnan, 2001

The Irish actor’s four-film run as James Bond cemented his status as the hottest thing to come out of Ireland since…well, ever.

Courtesy of People

Richard Gere, 1999

The silver fox held down the fort solo just fine when he re-earned the title around the time Runaway Bride came out.

Courtesy of People

Harrison Ford, 1998

At 56, he was the second-oldest ever SMA crowned and was still a raging action hero, juggling the roles of Indiana Jones, Richard Kimble and Jack Ryan decades after his Han Solo days.

Article continues below

People Magazine

George Clooney, 1997 & 2006

When he made the cover while playing the brooding Dr. Doug Ross on ER, no one even knew what a cultural force he would be nine years later. And seven years after that…minus some perfectly placed gray, nothing has changed.

Courtesy of People

Denzel Washington, 1996

The two-time Oscar winner and probably one of the most appearling Hollywood stars ever actually remains the only African-American actor to hold the title.

Courtesy of People

Brad Pitt, 1995 & 2000

If Thelma & Louise made people take notice, Legends of the Fall made them fall out of their seats, gasping for breath and begging for more. And he still looked pretty good five years later.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Richard Gere & Cindy Crawford, 1993

The only time a couple has ever shared the title. Alas, maybe they kept fighting over the mirror, because the leading man and his real-life pretty woman divorced two years later.

Courtesy of People

Nick Nolte, 1992

Remember when he was a major stud?! Having just been nominated for an Oscar for The Prince of Tides, Nolte defined sensitive ruggedness.

People Magazine

Patrick Swayze, 1991

We’re easily reminded why we’ve watched Dirty Dancing over 1,000 times.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Tom Cruise, 1990

We’re actually surprised that he never repeated, but if they had to pick a year, a post-Cocktail, pre-Kidman Cruise, fresh off an Oscar nomination for Born on the Fourth of July, was as good as any place to land.

Courtesy of People

Sean Connery, 1989

Three words: Bond. James Bond. The Scottish actor remains the oldest man to have achieved the title (he was 59) as well as the only one lacking in the hair department. 

Courtesy of People

John F. Kennedy Jr., 1988

Then 27, the Camelot prince remains the only non-entertainer to have ever scored the SMA cover—and yet his looks and lineage had made him a huge celebrity. With the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination upon us, we hope that both father and son are resting in peace.

Article continues below

Courtesy of People

Harry Hamlin, 1987

Lisa Rinna’s hubby was the toast of primetime as a dashing attorney on L.A. Law.

Courtesy of People

Mark Harmon, 1986

Long before he was on NCIS, the erstwhile UCLA football stud was making for a way too handsome version of Ted Bundy in the creepy classic TV movie The Deliberate Stranger, playing an awesome teacher in Summer School and complicating Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd’s road to romance on Moonlighting.

Courtesy of People

Mel Gibson, 1985

Long before we knew what a lethal weapon he was, People’s first-ever Sexiest Man Alive was pretty much the epitome of hotness at the time, from his blue eyes to his thick, wavy hair to his charming accent. Year of living dangerously, indeed.

Article continues below

People didn’t select anyone to cover its 1994 issue; twenty-one years later, the magazine selected Keanu Reeves as its pick, with runners-up including Jim Carrey and Hugh Grant.

Don’t miss E! News every weeknight at 7 p.m., only on E!

Share

Tweet

Share

Email

TAGS/

Idris Elba

,

Mel Gibson

,

Magazines

,

Sexy

,

Celebrities

,

Top Stories

,

Apple News

,

VG

Show Comments

Latest News

The Big Picture: Today’s Hot Photos

Zayn Malik Hasn’t Made a Single Friend Since Quitting One Direction

Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Baby Boy Crew Makes the Cutest Morning Show Debut

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Custody Battle Will Go to Trial

Why Richard Madden Is Known as “Little Dick” at Home

Ariana Grande Feels “Empowered” After Releasing “Thank U, Next”

5 Reasons Idris Elba Totally Deserves to Be People’s 2018 Sexiest Man Alive

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New Privacy Policy |
Terms of Service

|

Independent Programming Report |

© 2018 E! Entertainment Television, LLC. A
Division of NBCUniversal.
All rights reserved.

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.

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E! Is Everywhere
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E! ist überall
Dieser Inhalt ist für internationale Besucher verfügbar. Möchtest du ihn in der deutschen Version anschauen?

E! Is Everywhere
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E! est partout
Une version adaptée de ce contenu est disponible pour notre public international. Souhaitez-vous voir ça dans notre édition française ?

E! Is Everywhere
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our French edition?

E! está en todos lados
Nuestro contenido está disponible y personalizado para nuestra audiencia internacional. ¿Te gustaría verlo en la edición en español?

E! está en todos lados
Nuestro contenido está disponible y personalizado para nuestra audiencia internacional. ¿Te gustaría verlo en la edición en español?

E! está en todos lados
Nuestro contenido está disponible y personalizado para nuestra audiencia internacional. ¿Te gustaría verlo en la edición en español?

E! está en todos lados
Nuestro contenido está disponible y personalizado para nuestra audiencia internacional. ¿Te gustaría verlo en la edición en español?

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Ja !
Nein, danke.

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Oui!
Non, merci.

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Sim
Não

Yes!
No, Thanks.

¡Si!
No, gracias.

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Si
No

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Si
No

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Si
No

Yes!
No, Thanks.

Si
No

Yes!
No, Thanks.

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