Allow this piece of nostalgia to offer a quarantine reprieve: Chrissy Teigen’s Deal or No Deal throwback photo is so 2000s. The Chrissy’s Court host reposted an Instagram photo from the account @2000sfashionista on May 23 from her days as a briefcase model on the reality game show and reflected on being “gently replaced.” In the slightly blurry picture, Teigen holds open a briefcase with “$750,000” fashioned on the case and sports an expressive facial reaction.
“This feels like an alternate universe,” Teigen captioned the post. She then followed up in the comments section and wrote, “I never understood when I was supposed to make the sad face. I think that’s why I was gently replaced.” Teigen’s followers reacted to the throwback with humorous observations: “The thin eyebrows,” one Instagram user wrote. “Brings back so many memories.” Another wrote, “Chrissy walked so Meghan Markle could run.”
Teigen appeared as a briefcase model for eight episodes of Deal or No Deal between 2007 and 2008. While on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2018, Teigen reflected on her shared experience with Markle as a briefcase model prior to the duchess’ marriage to Prince Harry. “I think she came in the second season or so,” she told Cohen. “I did it from the pilot season to first, but then I got demoted because I couldn’t walk down the stairs.”
She continued, “I literally was fired; well, not fired, but I couldn’t be a ‘briefcase girl,’ so they made me a ‘banker girl.’ It was a blurry time.” Teigen joked about Markle’s royal nuptials to Prince Harry, “I keep telling [husband] John [Legend], ‘That could’ve been me.’” When Legend quipped ‘You won’ from the audience, Teigen then replied, “Did I, though?”
Like Teigen, Markle’s briefcase model days seemed less than idealistic, too. In an interview with Esquire in 2013, the duchess revealed that she went on the game show in order to pay the bills during the start of her career. “I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet. I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal,” Markle said. “It's run the gamut. Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing."
Several years on, Teigen and Markle's briefcase model days are far behind them. But the priceless photos live on.