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TIME's Person of the Year 2016: Donald Trump, Mark Zuckerberg, Simone Biles on shortlist

This may be the only time President-elect Donald Trump ever finds himself having something in common with gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, the Indian prime minister, and a crew of genetic scientists.
TIME Magazine announced the Flint, Michigan whistleblowers; President-elect Donald Trump; Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles; and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg were finalists for the 2016 Person of the Year

NEW YORK (TODAY) - This may be the only time President-elect Donald Trump ever finds himself having something in common with gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, the Indian prime minister, and a crew of genetic scientists.

The group is among the shortlist of finalists for TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.

The magazine makes a selection each year of the person — or idea — who has most influenced the news and the world in the past year, for good or ill.

TIME has made the designation every year since 1927. Last year’s recipient was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The year before that, 2014, the Person of the Year were the Ebola fighters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won TIME's Person of the Year for 2015. The Ebola Fighters won in 2014. In 2013, the title went to Pope Francis I. (photos courtesy TIME Magazine)

TIME editors narrowed down their list of potential Person of the Year to 11 finalists, who were revealed Monday on TODAY.

The candidates are, in no significant order, as follows:

Mark Zuckerberg: The Facebook chief executive runs what continues to be a force in media and advertising, particularly in 2016. Zuckerberg also took additional steps toward his lifetime goal of donating nearly all of his company stake to philanthropy.

Donald Trump: His victory in the presidential election continues to stun detractors and excite supporters a month after Election Night. Controversy also courts the president-elect during the period of transition as he prepares to take over the Oval Office in January. Trump was declared TIME's Person of the Year runner-up in 2015.


Beyoncé: The musician who gave a different taste to “Lemonade” set a new record for awards won at the MTV Video Music Awards. She won eight this year, surpassing Madonna’s record of 20 and upping her overall total to 24. With a Super Bowl half time performance, a world tour, and a clothing line, it's clear Queen Bey continues to reign, in the world of entertainment.

Hillary Clinton: The first woman to become a presidential nominee for a major political party, Clinton came up short against Trump after losing the electoral vote. Despite losing the election, Clinton won the popular vote by about 2.5 million votes. The glass ceiling wasn't shattered, but Clinton clearly made her mark.


Vladimir Putin: The Russian president continued to make news in 2016 for his nation’s involvement in the war in Syria, as well as alleged attempts by Russia to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.

Whistleblowers of Flint, Michigan: They alerted the nation about the elevated levels of lead in the blood of Flint children, and linked it back to a water crisis that stemmed from the city's decision to switch the water supply source as a cost-saving measure. Their work led to criminal charges against two water companies involved in the scandal.

Nigel Farage: The former U.K Independence Party Leader, and current member of the European Parliament, Farage helped pushed the Brexit referendum to victory.

Simone Biles: The 19-year-old American gymnast won four gold medals at the Rio Olympics, but it was her reaction to meeting longtime crash Zac Efron that cemented her into the hearts of fans.

Simone Biles celebrating after finding out she'd won the gold medal on vault at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games (NBC Olympics photo)

Narendra Modi: The prime minister of India is pushing a demonetization drive that he says while fight large-scale corruption. He ordered the withdrawal of high-denomination 500 and 1,000 rupee bills, which he also says will crack down on counterfeit currency. It was announced Monday that Modi has won the 2016 online reader's poll for TIME Person of the Year.

The CRISPR Scientists: They are the researchers who study a genome-editing strategy known as CRISPR (or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats). The technology allows scientists to modify specific genes in living cells, specifically allowing them to replace faulty genes with working ones.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: The Turkish president tightened control over his country after surviving a failed military coup and terrorist attacks against his nation.

The Time Person of the Year will be revealed Wednesday, live on TODAY.