White it isn’t quite the cultural phenomenon it was in the pre-internet era, Sports Illustrated has managed to keep fans coming back by making the counterintuitive move of continually reducing the actual number of swimsuits in each issue. This year will be no different after seeing Kate Upton’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover for 2017.
Upton was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night to make the announcement that she will be this year’s cover girl. It’s the model’s third time on the cover, second only to Elle MacPherson, who has appeared the cover a total of five times. Upton actually got three different covers this year, none of which feature a swimsuit top (which related to why Upton got the cover in the first place). One features a swimsuit that by Kate Upton’s admission is “basically a rope.”
Apparently the swimsuit models are kept in the dark about who is on the cover until the day before the announcement, and Upton didn’t even get to see which photos were chosen for the three covers until they were shown to the world live. That’s a lot of pressure.
Watch the reveal below, as well as a behind-the-scenes video of Upton’s shots. Look out for SI’s Swimsuit Issue on newsstands near you.