Models Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen have landed the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition’s 50th anniversary cover.
The annual cover, shot by photographer James Macari, was revealed Thursday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” with a splashy display outside Kimmel’s studio on Hollywood Boulevard and features the three models topless with their bikini bottom-clad backsides to the camera. They’re also knee deep in aqua-blue water in the Cook Islands, but who cares about that, right? (Still, it’s no Antarctica.)
Though it’s been touted as the first time the swimsuit edition features three models on the cover, People notes, models Kathy Ireland, Elle MacPherson and Rachel Hunter appeared together on the cover in 1994.
The girls took turns posing in the middle for the shoot, but apparently their derrieres are the real cover stars.
“If I were to pick ... I would have to say our butts won it,” Teigen, 28, who married singer John Legend in September, told SI.
Tiegen and Aldridge, who’s also a Victoria’s Secret Angel, called their husbands when they first found out they landed out front.
“Before I left, John [Legend] said, ‘Don’t trick me. Don’t say, babe, I didn’t get it and [then say] I got it! Just be happy and just say it!’ So I just called him, and through tears, [said] ‘I got it.’ And that was it,” Teigen told People.
“My husband [rocker Caleb Followill] is very proud,” Aldridge, 28, told the mag. “He’s very excited. I don’t think there is a man in the world that wouldn’t be super-stoked their wife ends up as th Sports Illustrated cover model.”
The two models were also notified they were this year’s stars during a sitdown interview with Sports Illustrated, thinking they were there to talk about the shoot for the magazine’s interior. Agdal, 21, wasn’t in the studio but was video chatted in for the interview. Later, the full cover was unveiled on “Kimmel.”
“I started crying,” Teigen said. “But it was a weird shaking, trembling because … I didn’t believe it. Maybe because it’s airing on Kimmel and he likes to prank people. I was like, ‘This is the meanest prank of all time.’”
“I felt so lucky that I got the best shoot,” Aldridge said. “It was the perfect introduction to Sports Illustrated. And then to get the cover! It’s so crazy and such an honor.”
Teigen and Agdal have appeared in the annual edition of the magazine and were named rookies of their respective years. It’s the first time Aldridge has posed for the magazine and it’s the first time a “rookie” has landed the coveted cover since Heidi Klum in 1998.
Model Kate Upton, 21, landed back-to-back covers for the past two years, and while her body wasn’t showcased on the glossy this year, her name still made it on the front page to notify readers of something about “Kate Upton in space” inside the mag. (Barbie, the doll, is also featured inside the issue.)
“OMG! So happy for @LilyAldridge @chrissyteigen and @NinaAgdal!!” she tweeted. “What a gorgeous cover!! Loving the booty for vday!”
The swimsuit issue goes on sale Tuesday. This year’s cover models will appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Monday.
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