Kate Upton has been unraveled as the cover girl of 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. The 19-year-old beauty has been touted as a favorite for the coveted spot since she was named Rookie of the Year in 2011, and in the latest issue, she graces the cover in a barely-there red and brown string bikini.
The cover was originally scheduled to be revealed on Monday, February 13 night on "Late Show With David Letterman", but Boston sports blog Barstool Sports leaked it early. After it became a buzz, founder David Portnoy tweeted, "Wait did we just leak the Kate Upton SI cover? We're so good we leak s--t and don't even know."
Upton herself has talked about the cover shot, revealing in an interview with PEOPLE that it was among the first taken during the photo shoot in Sydney, Australia. The Victoria's Secret model further gushed about gracing the cover, "This means so much for me personally. This has always been my dream."
Of the photo shoot itself, the Florida-bred model said, "In the beginning you're pretty relaxed, you're not thinking of new poses and it just feels really natural at that point." She added, "At Sports Illustrated everyone's so nice and it's like a family, you don't really think too much into it. I just have a lot of fun and be myself. It just comes so naturally."