Among the final nominees for the 2014 TIME ‘Person of the Year’ announced Monday morning are the good (Ebola caregivers), the bad (Russian president and 2007 winner Vladimir Putin) and the beautiful (pop star Taylor Swift). But one candidate sure to raise eyebrows is the Ferguson protesters.
The initial list of nominees was released on Nov. 19 for readers to vote on. On Nov. 24, the protests took a shockingly violent turn after a Ferguson grand jury decline to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
TIME editor Nancy Gibbs explained the nomination on NBC’s “Today” show, saying the protesters “launched a whole new conversation about race relations and the administration of justice in this country.”
It’s worth noting that ‘Person of the Year’ is given to the most newsworthy person of the year, not necessarily the most praiseworthy. Previous winners include Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Ted Turner.
Other nominees include Apple CEO Tim Cook, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and Alibaba owner Jack Man and Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani. Surprisingly, the winner of TIME’s reader poll, Indian leader Narendra Modi, wasn’t even in the top eight.