The dictator, the president, the runner, the particle or the robot? It may well be none of the above.
Time magazine's Person (non-people have triumphed twice) of the Year can be hard to call and this year's 40-strong long-list offers no indisputable candidate. The final cover star should be the person or idea that for better or worse, has most influenced events in the preceding year.
So this year we have Barack Obama alongside Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, as well as the Higgs Boson particle, the Mars rover, British athlete Mo Farah and undocumented immigrants.
Time's editors will pick a winner in mid-December, but anyone can influence them on their website.
At time of writing, Egypt's power-grabbing new President, Mohammed Morsi, topped both columns, while Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani activist who survived a Taleban assassination attempt, was one of the most popular choices, with more than 70 per cent of votes for her in the definitely column.
- IndependentBy Simon Usborne