This week, reigning cover girl Kate Upton and the other Sports Illustrated swimsuit models have been making their media rounds to promote the magazine’s annual bikini-clad issue, with Upton reciting talking points about what it was like to pose in nothing but a scarf and boots in the middle of Antarctica.
"The worst part of the trip was actually changing -- I would stand there and [the crew] would just be holding blankets because there’s nothing there around me,” she told David Letterman on his talk show Tuesday night. "I’d be frozen because I’m naked and trying to change. I literally couldn’t move my legs, so the editors would have to pick up my legs and put them into my next outfit."
Upton’s photos took six days to shoot, she said, but she and the crew lived on a boat for 10 days of 20-degree weather. Though there was a strong wind chill and “penguin poop everywhere,” the model swore she didn’t have any “diva moments” – not until she got home, at least.
“When I came back, I was, like, losing hearing and eyesight – my body shut down because it was working so hard to keep me warm,” she said on TODAY earlier this week. Upton took to Twitter to update fans on the frostbite back in December.
Despite the dangerous health scare, she noted to Letterman that the continent was incredibly beautiful and she would love to return.
“Yes, with clothes on though! I really want to experience what everyone else experiences, with my clothes on and my base layers – I have it all, I bought it, I didn’t ever wear it, so I feel like they should get some use.”
The 20-year-old model also told the late night host about how she learned she had been awarded the cover for the second year in a row (a rare occurrence only preceded by Christie Brinkley, Elle MacPherson, Paulina Porizkova and Tyra Banks). The reveal is usually made the night before it hits newsstands on the Late Show with David Letterman, which has an exclusive contract with the magazine. Instead, the cover was leaked online over the weekend.
“I found out from Twitter -- and it wasn’t me, so at least I didn’t get in trouble there,” she told Letterman. “I was actually excited it got leaked because I was calm; I knew I had it; the stress was off.”
Upton and nine of the issue’s featured models stopped by Late Show to deliver the Top Ten before the official cover reveal Monday night. Chrissy Tiegen, Alyssa Miller and others shared some hilarious questions on the application to become a swimsuit model: “How naked do you see yourself in five years? Have you dated Charlie Sheen? Are you willing to kiss a tubby guy for a Super Bowl commercial? Are you willing to visit the elderly at his late night talk show?” Clearly, the answer to that last one is yes.
Watch Letterman scold Upton about the issue's misleading title below: