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October 22, 2017

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2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit models tackle work and play on The Strip


Sports Illustrated

Kate Upton.

2012 S.I. Swimsuit Models: Pure Red Carpet

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend arrive at Pure in Caesars Palace on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. Launch slideshow »

2012 S.I. Swimsuit Models: The Bank in the Bellagio

Jessica Gomes, Ariel Meredith, Genevieve Morton and Michelle Vawer arrive at the Sports Illustrated Overtime after-party at the Bank in the Bellagio on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Katherine Webb.

Click to enlarge photo

Katherine Webb.

Curvaceous cover girl Kate Upton will not be posing in this bikini or body paint on “The Late Show With David Letterman” tonight and Tuesday on CBS or when she arrives on The Strip early Wednesday morning. It’s too cold in his TV studio and here in the desert.

Photographer Walter Iooss Jr.’s image of Kate in Joanne Gair’s body artwork that kicks off today’s red-carpet week in New York and Las Vegas is too racy to run on our family-friendly websites. It celebrates the magazine’s biggest issue ever with 220-plus pages, plus, the Las Vegas showgirl advertorial and a bonus pullout section with fashion secrets and beauty trends from the models.

It also is Sports Illustrated’s most ambitious promotional week. I learned this morning that one of the most spectacular live presentations ever attempted will feature a model-packed 45-minute show at Caesars Palace.

In advance of their Strip arrival, Sports Illustrated also released this morning its first video of the 17 models photographers shot on all seven continents -- and from Easter Island to China to Antarctica. Love the music of Train’s “Mermaid” -- “Beauty in the water, angel on the beach.”

The excitement started today at 9 a.m. on S.I.’s new website with the release of an exclusive 30-photo gallery of Brent Musburger’s TV sports sensation Katherine Webb, which guarantees her a long modeling career. It’s Katherine’s first return to Las Vegas since she represented Alabama in Donald Trump’s Miss USA Pageant at Planet Hollywood last summer.

Select newsstands today will have the giant edition with the official release set for Tuesday. Tonight, Kate and 10 of the models will read David’s Top 10 list. Kate returns for an interview with the talk-show host Tuesday night.

By 3 p.m. today, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit app for cell phones, tablets and handheld computers is launched with 75 videos, more than 150 high-resolution photographs from the 2013 shoots and the body-painting scenes shown in 360 degrees.

At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Las Vegas gets its first look at the 2013 swimsuit rookies with host Chris Mannix at Nobu in Caesars Palace as they discuss their favorite shoot locations and memorable stories. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, the glamour girls move poolside for’s biggest live event ever.

Model beauty Chrissy Teigen -- John Legend’s fiance; the couple were together at Sunday’s Grammy Awards -- and Sports’s managing editor will host and feature preview scenes from Sunday’s behind-the-scenes Travel Channel special, plus, more model interviews.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, the models meet at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign for official photos. Then Kate and Katherine will be single girls for Valentine’s Day and at 5 p.m. join swimsuit-edition senior editors M.J. Day and Darcie Baum for a Google Hangout before checking in at 1OAK in The Mirage.

It’s a jet-set party whirl for the models starting with Tuesday night’s party at Crimson in New York City. They fly here Wednesday and hit Nobu at Caesars before heading to Marquee for a second red-carpet welcome. On Thursday, the partying continues at 1OAK for the third red carpet and finally Friday at The Bank in Bellagio, as some of the models are staying on for the weekend.

Follow and my Twitter @Robin_Leach for continuing coverage of the Las Vegas visit.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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