Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2014 cover is revealed

James Macari/SI (click for full-sized image)

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At 6:30 PT Thursday, Jimmy Kimmel Live officially unveiled the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50th anniversarycover.Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on ABC.

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James Macari/SI (click for full-sized image)

James Macari/SI (click for full-sized image)

IF THE COVER of SI Swimsuit is some of the hottest real estate a supermodel can inhabit, the 50th Anniversary Issue cover is the Tribeca triplex of American newsstands. And if the featured models Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen can be believed, they are delighted to occupy that space together.

"We really, honestly like each other," said Chrissy earlier this afternoon. "Of course you are going to hear that from anybody who does a group shot, but this time it's true. The connection was natural and the mood was fun."

An hour after getting the good news (a moment captured in the above video), Chrissy and Lily (Nina was out-of-town on a shoot) were on the 33rd floor of the Time-Life Building in a conference room whose enormous windows look out onto the Hudson—by all accounts, on top of the world. There they prepped for the two-week press tour that would likely be the most laborious of their already high-profile lives. But neither model was thinking of small annoyances, especially not Chrissy. Now 28, she has been fan favorite ever since her 2010 Rookie of the Year debut. But nothing guarantees a cover—sorry guys, the Twitter pleas don't often factor into editorial decisions—and it was safest to avoid thinking about it altogether which she managed to do, until one day in the Cook Islands, late last October.

"It's been many years that I've been doing this now and this was the first shoot where I was like, 'This may actually have cover potential. We had this perfect water, perfect time of day, perfect light, perfect look, perfect suits, perfect everything. And with James Macari shooting, I just sensed it was going to turn out right.'"

Courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel Live (click for full sized-image)

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Lily is technically a rookie but also one of the most recognizable models in the industry thanks her gig as a Victoria's Secret Angel, a credential which makes her status as the first rookie on the cover since 1998 (Heidi Klum)less surprising.

"We had been on the island for a few days by that point and had had so much fun together. That day we went to a smaller island where the light was beautiful, and we each took turns posing in the middle," said Lily.

It all sounded so joyous and idyllic. I was hungry for a little staged snark.

OK, so, which of you would you say really got the cover?


Lily: "All of us!"

Chrissy: "If I were to pick . . . I would have to say our butts won it."

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Rebecca Shore