Today is Michelle Lombardo's 28th birthday.She won the Sports Illustrated "Fresh Face" contest, landing her in the 2005 issue (and a lot of scuba gear).Of course, another contest winner made her debut in 2005, this one as the result of a reality show, "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search." That girl was Alicia Hall.
(Though I was heartily rooting for the runner-up, Shannon Hughes.)Both Michelle and Alicia ended up as one-hit wonders, never to appear in the magazine's pages again. Is there a swimsuit issue contest curse?
If, a year and a half from now, Jessica Perez fails to appear in the 2013 issue, we'll know something supernatural is afoot.