Kate Upton stood topless atop a giant rock, looking like Botticelli's Venus rising from the ocean, until a wave sends her tumbling to the ground.
Swept Off Her Feet
In a newly released video clip, Upton and a large team headed to Aruba for the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue of the magazine. The cove the crew settled at was a spectacular setting for the photo shoot with turquoise waters and clear skies overhead.
The model, who was clad in just a golden tulle skirt, was positioned perfectly for what she describes as a "hero shot" that brings to mind visions of the Little Mermaid. It was going well until a bigger-than-usual wave came barreling from the open sea.
One of the staff spotted the wave and rushed over to help, but Upton lost her footing quickly and tumbled off the jagged rock, much to everyone's dismay.
"It didn't look that large from my point of view," Upton recounts the experience in the Sports Illustrated video. "But it must have hit the rock just right and caught on. And the skirt whenever it's wet — with all the tulle — is very heavy and dragged me down."
Members of the crew rushed to help Upton on her feet, and Swimsuit edition editor MJ Day was especially scared, according to the blonde Sports Illustrated staple. Fortunately, the good-natured model took it all in stride and laughed off the accident.
"I was able to push off on the side, fell into the water below and literally sat there for a moment and just laughed," she says. "Because my adrenaline was going, I survived and I felt like I was laughing in the face of death."
2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
Upton already rocked a cover of her own, and this year, the cover girl of the magazine's most-anticipated Swimsuit issue is Danielle Harrington.
The two-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model was surprised by supermodel Tyra Banks with the news. Harrington is only the third African-American model to grace the issue's cover, while Banks is another.
Inside the pages of the issue is a photo shoot that's dedicated to the increasingly widespread #MeToo movement: "In Her Own Words." Shot by photographer Taylor Ballantyne and an all-female team, the project features models Sailor Brinkley Cook, Paulina Porizkova, and Robyn Lawley stripped down with their own words painted on them.
The 2018 Swimsuit issue also features the first ever Paralympian to appear in the pages: Brenna Huckaby.
The magazine is now available on newsstands.