Since the moment Kate Upton was dubbed "Kate the Great" in an inset on the cover of the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue — dwarfed by Irina Shayk, but there on the cover nonetheless — it has been all but a forgone conclusion that she would grace the cover of the 2012 edition. The past year has indeed been a whirlwind for the 19-year-old blond beauty from her runway bouncing to her doing the "Dougie" to her Victoria's Secret and Beach Bunny campaigns to her Carl's commercials. On Monday night, we expect Upton to be unveiled as the 2012 cover girl on the "Late Show with David Letterman" as a huge billboard version of the cover is revealed in Manhattan. The only remaining question is just what Kate will look like on the cover. So we've come up with a challenge: Guess the Kate Upton Swimsuit Issue cover. Consider this prop betting for the most coveted magazine cover of the year. Here's how it works:
We studied Swimsuit Issue covers for the past 25 years — from Bar Refaeli through Marisa Miller through Heidi Klum through Kathy Ireland — and arrived at seven different factors that differentiate one cover girl's appearance from another. (We excluded those covers with multiple girls because we expect Kate to be riding solo.) Bikini color is an obvious one, but perhaps less obvious is whether Kate will be holding up her bikini top or pulling down her bikini bottom. We also want to know if Kate will be smiling and if her hair will be blowing in the wind.
So the challenge is to guess just exactly what Kate Upton will look like on the cover of the 2012 Swimsuit Issue. The entrant who comes the closest on the most elements will win some type of Kate Upton memorabilia (TBD). Enter using the form below and don't forget to check back here Monday evening when we give you a sneak peek at the cover, tune in Monday evening to "Letterman" for a Swimsuit Issue girls Top 10 list and official unveiling, and pick up the actual issue on newsstands on Tuesday.
UPDATE: It's leaked. Contest over.