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TIME 2014 Person of the Year finalists

What do Vladimir Putin and Taylor Swift have in common? They are both among the eight finalists for TIME’s 2014 Person of the Year.

TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs revealed the list of contenders on Monday’s “Today” show on NBC, and the candidates range from sports names to CEOs to general collectives, reminiscent of 2011’s “The Protester.”

The criteria for Person of the Year has often been controversial because the final selection is not necessarily based on positive contributions to society. Instead, the Person of the Year is “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year,” according to TIME’s website.

This requirement is especially apparent this year, with such a wide range of candidates representing a variety of contributions and controversies.

The announcement of the 2014 Person of the Year is expected to be made Wednesday morning, both on NBC’s “Today” show and on Twitter. At the same time, the issue will also go to press and readers will also be able to download the tablet edition.

Below is the list of eight finalists for TIME’s 2014 Person of the Year, in no particular order.