By Annie Barrett
Updated April 26, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT
Advertisement posted an “Are They Worthy?” list of 200 folks — politicians, entertainers, authors, Paris Hilton, etc., all thrown in together — who could potentially make their cut for the magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the Year issue. You can vote for your picks on the site. (Perhaps someone should remind them it’s April?)

I’m happy about who’s at No. 1 so far, Stephen Colbert — he’s somehow beatingsecond-place Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto by more than twiceMiyamoto’s votes — and am pleased to see worthy candidates like TV science teacher Steve Spangler and Bill O’Reilly foil Keith Olbermann. So people really like irony, videogames, test tubes, and opinions. Whatelse? Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling, No. 3), pretty white electronics (Steve Jobs, No. 6), and American Idol. Yes, folks, Sanjaya Malakar’s clocking in as the seventh most influential person in the country right now. I understand (and even pseudo-supported) the Sanjaya phenomenon, but it’s very scary that the young lad we initially conceived as an ironic fetish might now exemplify a credible, if not influential personality. America also admires John Mayer, celebrity couples who adopt babies, and f—ing Dane Cook (pictured).

After recognizing 7 of the top 10 as entertainment-related, I thought for the first time in months, maybe I don’t live inside a tiny little pop culture-focused bubble because of my job. (It’s gotten to the point where I don’t acknowledge cultural references offered to me unless they include a complimentary shot of YouTube.) Maybe the real world and the entertainment bubble are becoming one and the same. Maybe I am a valuable citizen after all! Maybe Keifer Sutherland (No. 13) is Jack Bauer and is saving all of us RIGHT NOW.

OR maybe too many people like me are voting for Sanjaya.

What do you make of Time‘s preliminary list?