One of the great perks that comes with a Sports Illustrated subscription is getting the mid-winter classic known as 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 and Facebook didn’t give us sneak peaks of what to expect. Anyway, shrouded in even more 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 on the Wall of Morale in the Dan Patrick Show man cave.
So who are we tipping to be on the cover of the 49th edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue? Find out after the jump.
75-1 Jessica Perez
Would SI put their 2011 Model Search winner on the cover in 2012? It’s a definite possibility. It sure would be a good way to increase the popularity of the contest and increase the value of the title sponsorship of the Model Search. But Perez is a relatively unknown entity despite having recently posed for Victoria’s Secret. Being the cover girl is just as much about how well you are known and how many issues you can sell with your star power as how good you look.
50-1 Damaris Lewis
Remember the other girl from the video of Kate Upton doing The Dougie? That was Damaris. If you remembered that she was in that video, or that she has made three previous appearances in the Swimsuit Issue, you’re doing better than most men. If you read her Wikipedia profile, they mention that she accompanied Upton to the game where the video was taped. Her problem is that only three of 48 covers have had an African-American model on the cover (Beyonce and 2 Tyra Banks). History isn’t on her side.
40-1 Anne V
Being a Swimsuit Issue record holder doesn’t seem to get you as much as you would think. Anne has been in the issue seven consecutive times which I believe is a record. However, how many people who don’t regularly read the Swimsuit Issue know who Anne is? And that’s why she’s not made the cover. It’s a shame because she must be doing something right to make seven straight issues. I don’t know if she’s famous enough for an 8th appearance to be in the cards, though. Still, the recent return of her boyfriend’s band (her boyfriend is Maroon 5’s Adam Levine) might give her a late popularity boost.
30-1 Julie Henderson
Poor Julie probably should have been on the cover last year. If it wasn’t for Irina Shayk becoming an international sensation (thanks in large part to her romance with Christiano Ronaldo raising her profile), she would almost certainly have been the 2011 cover girl. Now she’ll be making her sixth appearance in the Swimsuit Issue. While I picked Anne V to make the cover last year in her 7th appearance, if Julie hasn’t made the cover in her last five appearances, I don’t she can pull it off in appearance #6.
25-1 Genevieve Morton
Gen hit her stride too early in 2011. She had the January FHM South Africa shoot and the Esquire Me In My Place shoot last April but only the SI South Africa Swimwear Issue afterward. Of course, she was on the cover of that but I don’t know if that will be enough to get her consideration on this side of the pond though it did get her noticed. She was my pick of the 2010 rookie class which, granted, wasn’t much to write home about (though Chrissy Teigen would probably disagree). But given the talent that I have ranked ahead of her, she needs to stick around and hope her star power increases. From here, 2013 and 2014’s covers are very much more reachable for Gen than 2012.
20-1 Alyssa Miller
Here’s my darkhorse for 2012. Miller is definitely one of the up-and-coming stars of the modelling world. She was a rookie last year and covers for sophomores are rare so the odds aren’t in her favour. Also going against her is the fact that she was overshadowed for the first time in her life in the 2011 rookie class by Kate Upton. But Miller has a great work portfolio of work including SI, Guess (along with Kate Upton), and Intimissimi (also with Irina Shayk). She definitely fulfills the high-profile criterion for the cover.
15-1 Cintia Dicker
It seems as though everyone that puts together lists like this have their own personal favourite. Cintia is my girl and it’s a shame that things might work out that she may never make the cover. This year would mark her 4th appearance in the Swimsuit Issue which would normally make her a frontrunner for the cover. Getting signed to model for Victoria’s Secret and Aerie doesn’t hurt either. However, this year’s crop of potential cover girls is just too strong for her to overcome. She just hasn’t built the momentum that she needs to make the cover and with Miller and Morton above her on the list, I’m not sure she’ll ever make the cover.
7-1 Chrissy Teigen
There is some serious upset potential for Tiegen in 2012. She’s a favourite of the Dan Patrick Show like 2010 cover girl Brooklyn Decker. Like 2011’s Irina Shayk and 2010’s Decker, Chrissy has star power from being one-half of a high-profile romance (in this case, she’s engaged to John Legend). If you’re a gamer, you saw her in Need For Speed: The Run (along with 2011 cover girl Irina Shayk). She’s also a prolific tweeter which means that she can drum up support on Twitter to help her make the cover and she’s definitely the one Swimsuit Issue model that’s definitely worth a follow. And failing that, she can bribe you with one of her culinary creations from her food blog.
2-1 Kate Upton
Kate made a splash in the 2011 issue and just kept making noise for the last twelve months. Whether it’s the famous Dougie video or the Beach Bunny swimwear shoots or fashion show or the Victoria’s Secret shoot, Kate’s been everywhere for the last year. She also models for Bare Necessities along with former cover girl Brooklyn Decker. When I ranked her second from the top in the preliminary rankings 11 months ago, I couldn’t have imagined what a juggernaut she would become. At only 19, it looks like she might get a couple covers under her belt before all is said and done. I’d put my money at 3 covers if I was a betting man.
Obligatory Legal-ish 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. Hell, no ones know who will be in the issue yet.