Move over, Barbie.
Happy 50th anniversary, indeed!
The tanned, toned beauties, all of whom are wearing the cheekiest of bikini bottoms—Nina in Beach Bunny, Lily in Basta Surf and Chrissy in Bettinis—will be heating up newsstands, mailboxes and mobile devices all over the world on Feb. 18.
Not to mention the Internet in 3...2...1...
"The 2014 cover embodies the essence of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit," said issue editor MJ Day. "It is presented from a unique perspective, with a lighthearted spirit and breathtaking setting that lets the imagination run wild. This is what Swimsuit does best and we're thrilled to see it captured in such a memorable image."
Meanwhile, it wasn't just Kate Upton's two-covers-running streak that was interrupted. Though SI went ahead and released the cover before show time, the big reveal was given to Jimmy Kimmel Live, meaning the Late Show With David Letterman didn't do the whole side-of-a-building-unveiling for the first time in six years. (Perhaps too many people were getting glimpses of the cover ahead of time?)
Kimmel, in turn, will welcome Agdal, Teigen and Aldridge as guests on Feb. 17, the night before the issue goes on sale.
"I am so incredibly honored to be part of this issue," Aldridge said. "As my first time ever shooting with Sports Illustrated I never imagined I would be on the cover.
"I'm speechless," said Agdal. "This has been my goal. I couldn't be happier to be on this year's cover. It's absolutely amazing!"
Added Teigen: "I am so thrilled and honored to not only be on the cover but to be on the 50th Anniversary cover."
While 2006 was an all-star cover featuring eight models in the main image, and a number of duos have decorated the cover, SI has only employed a trio of hotties as the main eye candy for its famed issue once before, in 1994, when Kathy Ireland, Elle Macpherson and Rachel Hunter made for a fierce three.
Over the last week, SI had been rolling out one "rookie" a day as a way of welcoming each hottie to the illustrious skin-baring family on the occasion of her first-ever appearance in the famed issue. Aldridge, Lauren Mellor, and "Blurred Lines" babe Emily Ratajkowski were among the newbies.
So, you ask, what was the deal with the so-called cover featuring another all-American girl—blond, blue-eyed Barbie, of Mattel fame, clad in an updated version of the black-and-white-striped swimsuit she was born with—released by SI this week?
Can someone say "genius marketing ploy"?