Every year Time magazine compiles a list of “the leaders, artists, innovators and icons” who represent the 100 most influential people in the world. This year fans can go to www.time.com and place their votes, ultimately whittling down an initial list of 200 to the illustrious final 100. Each entrant is judged on a ranking from zero to 100. This, calculated with the number of votes, result in the personalities final position on the list.
The group is a who’s who of politicians, TV personalities, athletes, and businessmen but the current standings might surprise you. As of this moment, Lady Gaga holds the number one position with an 86 average rating but 170,546 votes.
The politicians are all over the map from President Barack Obama (currently ranked at #14), to Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (holding at #174). There are some athletes who are surprisingly high up on the list including Olympic gold medal figure skater Kim Yu-Na who’s in the number two position and Indian cricketer (yup, cricketer) Sachin Tendulkar who is currently ranked number six - that’s eight slots ABOVE President Obama for those of you who don’t feel like doing the math.
But from a pop culture perspective, it’s the battle of the talk show hosts that interests us the most. Former Tonight Show star Conan O’Brien ranks number four on the list – with a 92 average rating and 96,927 votes. Meanwhile, Jay Leno is currently in the 95th position with a surprisingly low average rating of 10 and only 8,242 votes. There’s only one person with a lower average rating than Jay – Jeff Zucker, the NBC Entertainment executive who made such a mess of the whole Jay-Conan debacle last year. Some good news for Zucker and Leno, despite their low stats, they’re still higher in the rankings than Al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki (despite the fact that his average rating is 27).
As for daytime talkers, Ellen DeGeneres is currently beating out the so-called Queen of Daytime Oprah Winfrey. Ell has an average ranking of 77 with 4,956 votes but Lady O is only averaging a 64 with 4,376 votes.
As for fake news hosts, it’s a much tighter race between Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Colbert is currently at #21 to Stewart’s #23. They both have an average rating of 87, but Colbert’s followers have out voted Stewart’s 8,025 to 7,756.