One of the great perks that comes with a Sports Illustrated subscription is the mid-winter classic is getting the SI Swimsuit Issue. Last summer, models were secretly whisked off to tropical locales all over the world and photographed in complete secrecy… Well, at least when Twitter didn’t give us sneak peaks of what to expect. Anyway, even more shrouded in secrecy is the identity of the magazine’s cover model. Being the SI Swimsuit cover model is probably the highest honour that can be bestowed on a model. It comes with instant celebrity, international recognition, a blogosphere presence for life, and a blown-up copy of your cover in a random radio show studio in Connecticut.
So who are we tipping to be on the cover of the 48th edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue? Find out after the jump.
99-1 Random Non-Model
A few years back, Beyonce got the SI Swimsuit cover which made her the first non-model to get the cover spot. In recent years, SI has put musicians, athletes, WAGs (athletes’ wives and girlfriends), and cheerleaders in the magazine so they could end up putting one of them on the cover of the magazine. But just because it’s happened in the past doesn’t mean that it will this year.
75-1 Danica Patrick
She’s been in the Swimsuit Issue for the last two years. I have no idea if she’ll be in it again this year but her move to NASCAR should see her national exposure increase. I think her popularity has peaked but a part-time NASCAR ride would make her popular enough to warrant consideration for the cover. If a non-model is going to get the cover again, she’s likely to be the one.
55-1 Abbey Clancy
A rumour popped up in a British newspaper (which is our equivalent to a tabloid only with less credibility) that she was going to be on the cover of the Swimsuit Issue. Hell, we don’t actually know if she’ll be in the issue, let alone on the cover. But as the old saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. She’s definitely not out of place on this list when you consider that there are a few WAGs on this list. She gained WAG credentials by dating English footballer Peter Crouch and making him useless at the 2006 World Cup.
50-1 Hilary Rhoda
When I came up with the idea for this post some months ago, Rhoda was known for more than being in the 2009 Swimsuit Issue. She was dating Mark Sanchez after a GQ photoshoot and more recently has been linked to Sean Avery so she has WAG certification. There were better models in the magazine that could have made my list but I swear the cover choice is based more on celebrity than looks. Well, if she trades up this year, she’s got to be a lock for 2011.
30-1 Kim Cloutier
This is my homer pick. Cloutier is a fellow Canadian and has seen her popularity increase since appearing in the Swimsuit Issue for the first time last year. She’s not the most popular of the models so that hurts her chances but she has the look of a cover model and that can put her over the top. Did I mention she’s Canadian?
15-1 Irina Shayk
Did you know that Irina is actually Russian? Couldn’t tell by looking at her because there sure aren’t many comrades that look like that. Of course, having her on the cover would thaw any remaining Cold War tensions. She was one of the rumoured favourites to be on last year’s cover but obviously missed out. I would have pegged at third on last year’s list and I have to put here there again this year. Her biggest problem is the fact her 2009 shoot was in Naples. It’s very likely her ID was pickpocketed and she won’t be able to fly to New York for the obligatory Letterman interview.
5-1 Julie Henderson
When I first thought up this post months ago, she was a hot commodity. She was dating Aaron Rodgers and seemed to be turning up a lot on SI.com’s Hot Clicks. I figured she was the best chance to knock my favourite off the cover. The only thing is that she seems to have fallen off the face of the earth since midway through the football season. Without that hype, I’m not sure she can pull off the upset. The other thing is that we don’t know how far in advance a decision is made on the cover. If it was made last week, then Henderson likely won’t make it. If it was made back in September…
2-1 Brooklyn Decker
She was the favourite to win the cover last year but was beaten out by Bar Refaeli. I think it’s come down to now or never for Brooklyn. She’s got WAG credibility going for her and she’s been on SI’s Dan Patrick Show more times over the last 12 than seemingly any other guest. DP’s even been campaigning for her. Subtle hint that she’s the front-runner? Mind you, this will be her fifth year in the Swimsuit Issue so you have to think that a fresh face might be the direction SI wants to go.
Disclaimer: This post is for entertainment purposes only. If you gamble your money based on the ramblings of a man who’s never bet a dime in his life, it’s your own damn fault.