Finally! I have been waiting for this day since ANTM first started airing which was my sophomore year in high school . . . not 6th grade (whoopsies).
The concept of the photo shoot was: Two girls, lounging around by the pool who then decide it’s time to go and get ready for their hot date that evening. This was SO FUN.
First of all, I must say that taking a helicopter to an island about 20 minutes outside of Aucklund was INSANE. I have never been on a helicopter ride before. It was simply breathtaking. At first, my feathers were a little ruffled, but after approx. 5 min, all I wanted to do was go super fast and flip upside down (which to my dismay, helicopters cannot do).
Anyway, we land, and a handsome young chap greets us with strawberries and champagne. However, Miss J greets us too (of course) and we are given one more lesson on our runway walks. After this random/questionable activity, Miss J gives us our scripts . . . COVERGIRL SCRIPTS! OH MY LANTA! Sorry, I just got really excited (hence the caps).
Well, I headed straight to my bedroom (extremely luxurious) to study. Oh, and by the way . . . I cannot tell you how amazing it was to have my own room again. I spent TWO WHOLE MONTHS sharing my room with some of the "angels”. Well folks, I would love to tell you that I’ve never slept as good as I did that night, but knowing that I would have to wake up and do a Covergirl photo shoot AND a Covergirl commercial kept me up most of the night. The couple of hours I did manage to “catch a Z (ha ha)” I fell asleep clutching my script to my chest (seriously).
I woke up before anyone, including Krista, and walked down to the water. I sat by myself and took it all in. This island only had two other houses (mansions) on it, so it was more than quiet. I rehearsed my lines even more and then just enjoyed the beauty around me.
As I was hanging out by my lonesome (FOR ONCE) I found a gargantuanely giant tooth/fang. I got SO EXCITED. I NEVER find cool stuff. It was my brother who found an amethyst stone in my backyard at age 5. I was jealous of him. It was my best friend who found a baby bunny in the woods that she ended up getting to keep. I was more than jealous. And it was my cousin who found a tree frog that she also ended up keeping and feeding random bugs. I was green with envy (really, you have no idea).
Anyway, back on topic, I was SO EXCITED to find this fang. I immediately ran back up to the house where I found the crew eating breakfast. I barged in screaming, “Look what I found!!!” I totally thought I had discovered a mammoth tooth or some kind of dinosaur’s baby fang. My imagination is quite imaginative, but I bet you already know this. Anyway, the “handsome young chap” who greeted us with champagne was still there, and he so kindly let me know that the tooth I was holding was once in the head of a wild boar. You should have seen the look on my face. My thoughts: “ . . . ”. Well, I later found out that wild boars were the first animals that were brought to New Zealand by Europeans. I also found out that they are one of the most ferocious animals in the world. That makes my findings more cool….right? Well regardless, I have my prize!
All of a sudden, the rest of the crew members (approx 200+) arrived in a massive barge down at the water. “. . . t’was time” (Dun DUN DUNNNNN!) So, I went back to my room to prepare myself a bit more for the insane day that was just about to greet me.
I really thought I nailed it! I heard nothing but positive remarks from the photographer. I gave him “smiley – no teeth”; “smiley – lot’s of teeth”; “seduction, purrr”; and “I’m an innocent little girl”. So, therefore, by giving him many options meant giving Tyra many options, which she always likes. The photo shoot was the easiest one out of them all, especially seeing as there weren’t any prowlers watching viciously in the backgrounds. Angelea? No, of course I didn’t mean her!
ALRIGHT, well . . . um . . . $@#%**. *@^$%!! (Yes, those are pretty much my thoughts when I got started shooting).
You have to remember that I had my lines DOWN, I mean D-O-W-N. I got infront of the camera with the entire New Zealand Sun blaring directly into my retinas, with over 200 crew members in the background watching silently, and 5 video cameras on me, and my brain went , “NEeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrr BOOM!” Yes, that is how it went.
I finally became comfortable (or as comfortable as I could with over 200 sets of eyes lazer-beaming me) around take 8 or 9. That’s kind of a lot dontchya think? It was tough but I managed to pull through. I have never done a commercial or any kind of acting before this moment. I really didn’t know what to expect. Despite the nerves, I did have fun.
The theme of the overall commercial was “two girlfriends lounging around by the pool who get up to go get ready for their helicopter ride with their fine lads that take them to their destination of question-marked-ness". We were racing the sun as we filmed the last pieces of the helicopter ride. It was so funny! We did a couple takes where we ran into the helicopter with the boys and it took off. My “date” was absolutely horrified! I’ve never seen someone so scared before . . . well besides that one time when that poor girl found out she would have to get naked in front of national television and try to model a ring . . . that’s beside the point. Anyway, it was fun to film a commercial. I hope to do many more in the future!! We shall see where my "acting" skills take me.
Anna Sui! ALRIGHT! I am all about walking around and being flirty and fun. I couldn’t wait to rock that runway. I was SO EXCITED.
It was also really good to see Jessica again! Before the show Angelea came up to me, and I said, “Hey girl! How are you?” Her response, “Don’t you talk to me.” Whooopsies! Note to self: questions such as, “how are you” are prohibited when speaking to Angelea.
Backstage was pretty much a dance party for me. All I did was groove. The music was rocker meets circus hangin’ with STELLAR. I walked out and saw nothing but lights, cameras, and people. I blew a kiss to Tyra, winked to a couple strangers (do not try this at home…especially in a dark alley) and had fun with it all.
It was nothing but a giant adrenaline rush. I would love to do that every day if possible! Even though walking with Krista was competition, it was fun. I like competition . . . A LOT. The show seemed like it took less than 5 minutes, but it was probably around forty five. It was a whirlwind! I was in heaven.
I walk in to my New Zealand palace of expensiveness (my quaint and little apartment back home does not compare) with Krista and found Tyra in our living room setting up a studio, She informs us that we are about to do a family portrait. I was all excited because I knew that we would be getting to take a picture with Tyra! I had NO IDEA who was about to pop out! DAD!!!!!!!!
I couldn’t believe it! I was so shocked! I hadn’t talked to him in what felt like AGES! Now all of a sudden, he is half way around the world in my home away from home! I was so sad my mom couldn’t be there too . . . but to be honest, she was even sadder. My mom had surgery two days earlier and was in no condition to get on a plane for an entire day. When she got the phone call from the CW, she was told that in two days, both she and my dad would be on a plane to New Zealand. She called my dad and informed him of the supertastical news. Knowing my mom, she was probably packed in ten minutes.
I am sure if she had gotten the call earlier, she would have put off the surgery for a later date. She was more than upset when she couldn’t go, but I am very grateful that my dad was able to make it and that my mom was able to take care of herself. She is now doing much better and is almost completely healed! YAY MOM!
I am so glad my dad got to come. It was definitely the biggest shock of the entire show. He is definitely my hero. I would be nowhere near to where I am without him. Plus, I owe him for these big hairy monsters that live above my eyeballs . . . which Tyra just tweeted on twitter, “I just LOVE Raina’s eyebrows!” THANKS DAD.
I LOVED what I was wearing. It was so chic and totally (one of) my styles (I love to rock the bohemian style, and don't mind sporting the girly flirty trends, and a few others too). Krista also looked beautiful with her slicked back hair.
It was good to hear so much critique from the judges. Tyra loved my runway walk, Miss J thought it was too much of a “Clydesdale”. Thanks? Andre thought I wouldn’t be an international model. However immediately after elimination, he told me that I would be great for the London market.
Breaking news: Last week I just finished shooting an international campaign in Dubai for a multi brand boutique “Symphony” and a 4-6 page spread in Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. The Asian market has also recently expressed interest in me. I am more than appreciative of Andres critique, but when I am told that I cannot do something , I usually always find a way to do it.
Nigel as always, was very sweet and positive with his remarks for me. I really liked my Covergirl picture, but thought the commercial did need work. Even though it was my first time, it is no excuse for not doing better. I thought Krista’s Covergirl picture didn’t have any feeling or power behind it, and even though she looked great on the commercial, she did need to break up her lines for separate takes. Miss J loved her runway walk but thought it was too cheesy. Overall, I thought we were pretty much neck and neck.
I thought final deliberation with the judges panel would be the most nerve racking moment in my life, but it wasn’t. I was so exhausted and emotionally, mentally, and physically drained that I almost fell asleep. Whoopsies!
I remember walking up in front of Tyra and expecting a long wait to find out who the winner was. But no. All of a sudden I hear the words, “America’s Next Top Model is . . . ” And I was thinking, “Wait, already? Aren’t we suppose to wait longer or have more suspense filled awkward moments?” The room was so quiet and Tyra didn’t have any photos in her hands. It was so incredibly different than any other elimination. I was filled with so much suspense!
“. . . KRISTA”. Yes, I was sad…how could I not be? But then again, the girl standing next to me (despite her hurtful comments) just had her dream come true. How could I not be happy for her? Her life had just begun! I had nothing to say but “Congratulations, and Good Luck”. I was truly happy for her.
But then it hit me, “My life has just begun as well!” I wasn’t anything but happy. I really felt like I was supposed to be crying or angry or something of a negative/pessimistic quality, but my “happy disease” hadn’t yet been cured and I was still a Positive Polly.
I was so excited to get my career rolling and go back home to my amazing family, friends, and wonderful boyfriend.
The airplane ride back was longer than before. I got to sit next to one of the camera men. It was funny hearing stories from behind the lens. My favorite quote from him was, “When I first met you, I thought you were fake, because of how happy and energetic you were. But then I found out along the way that it was really you.” If my face would have allowed it, I would have smiled the entire way back to MN.
THE END (but not really, because I have the bloopers episode, my trip to Dubai and the international campaign for Symphony & a 6 page spread in Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, a photo shoot for the cover of Metro Mag, the photo shoot with the baby lamb you all drooled over, AND a photo shoot I finished yesterday that I still have to blog about) SO STAY TUNED!
XOXO <3 Raina
p.s. sorry again for taking a bagillion and half years to give you the second part of the finale! I have been UBER busy.