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It was a sweet inevitability, the race this entire tournament was gearing up for. Yes, there were obstacles and potential spoilers in the way — Alan Rickman loomed as a possible repeat victor, David Tennant nearly knocked out one of our finalists in the quarters — but the two most dynamic and beloved players in our five-round battle have risen to the top.

In one corner, we have Tom Hiddleston, who like Rickman before him, has achieved fame through playing a tortured villain, Loki in Thor and the recent blockbuster The Avengers. Also like Mr. Rickman, Hiddleston has real chops. His louche RAF pilot in The Deep Blue Sea is vastly different from his turn as F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris, which is diametrically opposed to his Captain Nicholls in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. And he comes off as such a nice bloke (with brilliant musical taste!) on his official Twitter account. It’s no wonder that this fascinating 31-year-old has inspired such devotion from fans, who refer to themselves as “Hiddlestoners” and members of a “Hiddles Army.”

On the other corner, Benedict Cumberbatch. The man is blessed with one of the most interesting faces on screen or stage: he can look, by turns, model-handsome, menacing, or alien based on your vantage point. He has logged accomplished portrayals of everyone from Stephen Hawking to both parts in Frankenstein. Yet it’s his penetratingly intelligent, Emmy-worthy performance as Holmes in Steven Moffat‘s updated version of Sherlock that has earned him a massive following. The “Cumberbitches” — as some of his legions call themselves — have carried him through this tournament.

Who will be named Man of 2012, and which of their semifinal victims — Colin Morgan and Martin Freeman — will find a spot on the podium for third place? (There’s no shame in bronze!) Vote in the FINAL round of the Anglo Fan Favorites tournament. (UPDATED: Finals voting EXTENDED to Thursday, July 12 at 11 am ET.)

VOTE: Tom Hiddleston vs. Benedict Cumberbatch

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By staff