Heading to the Other Side of the World
The 22 hour trip to New Zealand was fun (if you like sitting in a cramped cabin of a 747 having legs, with the genetic make-up of an Amazon tribe, up to your chin). I sat next to a gentleman from England. He told me all about New Zealand and how beautiful the country was, which definitely got me all excited.
I’ve never been on a plane for more than six hours, so this was new to me. Airplane food isn’t too shabby! Unfortunately I missed both dinner and breakfast because I put a blanket over my head for my “sleeping tent”. I’m sure Krista and Angelea up in first class got all the goodies like champagne and what not.
The airport in New Zealand was SO CLEAN. I couldn’t find a garbage can anywhere (except they call them rubbish bins). There were actually a lot of words that were different, and found my self saying, “wait….what’s that?” multiple times. The people of New Zealand call themselves “Kiwi’s”. Their national bird is the Kiwi bird. Look it up, every time I see one, it cracks me up! They have uber long legs, and can’t fly! Kind of like me! The country fruit is also the Kiwi fruit (which you can eat with the skin on it, and it still tastes good!)
So, we get off the plane and RIGHT AWAY are greeted with a traditional Maori dance. I was expecting a greeting along the lines of, “Here is a necklace made of really pretty flowers and a handful of Kiwi’s (kiss on each cheek) have fun!” But what we got was actually a bit scary for me! It consisted of the protrusion and bulging of the tongue and eyeballs which meant either a "welcome" for friends, or a sign of “get out” to enemies depending on how it was done.
When the dance started, I think I jumped about a foot off the ground and landed a foot behind everyone else.
We find out that we have 4.5 hours to make it to six designers. I just got off a 22 hours plane ride. I smell bad, look bad, don’t have any heels with me, and feel like something that just crawled out of a hole. “SERIOUSLY?” I remember getting off the plane and my only thoughts were, “shower, food, sleep, NOW”. "Go Sees" wasn’t exactly what my little ears wanted to hear, but regardless of what I wanted, I was determined to come in first.
I try to be a good kid, but I’m also extremely competitive. The second I got to my first designer, I saw Alexandra strolling on in and put on my “zoom zoom helmet” and went into “hardcore race mode”.
I only made it to five out of six designers and thought it’d be good to go back to the agency right after the fifth one. By then, it had started to POUR rain. Not only was it raining cats, dogs, (and sheep) it was freezing cold! My driver was slower than a snail stuck on a road filled with peanut butter, and traffic was absolutely redonkulous. NYC + LA + Rush hour + ughhh = New Zealand traffic.
Since I was pretty darn close to the agency, I asked my snail driver if it would be faster if I walked. He said, “Probably! It’s on the other side of this block” Well, what would you have done? I willingly hopped out of that car. Note to self: NEVER TRUST YOUR DRIVER. I ended up walking over eight blocks in the rain thus causing the words and everything else on my map, to melt off.
So now, I’m standing in the middle of downtown NZ with a map that contains nothing on it. I remember stopping once on a street corner, feeling so very defeated, and had a "movie moment". You know, “that” girl in “that” movie that is in pure defeat and you see the shot of her standing alone with the world spinning around her? AWESOME. I immediately started to run away! I so did not want to be in that movie!
I asked a bunch of locals if they could help me. Every answer I got was, “Where? Sorry”
Me = FRUSTRATED.
Well, I finally found the place but was 15 minutes late. I walked in so sopping wet that I had to take off my boots to ring them out. How embarrassing? Now, if you’re my friend or one of my family members, you’re thinking, “What’s new?” But I really had faith in myself that I would make it on time, seeing as this is a BIG DEAL. But no, I failed.
Getting immediately disqualified sucked, but I wasn’t going to let anything get me down. I was super bummed that I didn’t get to find out how many designer booked me at the go-sees. But if I had to guess, I would say 3 out of 5 would have.
The penthouse we stayed in was absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. The kitchen appliances themselves probably cost more than my apartment and car combined! The only problem was that the smallest room in the whole place was our bedroom. Six beds in one room, AND sharing one bathroom? Hmmm…not my ideal living situation. However, I was just happy to be there. I never once complained.
Quotes of the Day
Jessica: “I thought New Zealand was right above Canada. I had no idea.”
Jessica: “Wait, you’re tellin’ me that I can still model high fashion?”
The Photo Shoot
Hair and makeup was in a barn that was previously occupied by sheep. You can only imagine how it smelled like roses and sunshine. That pair of heels definitely got the heave-ho right after I got home.
Anyway, the photo shoot was AMAZING.
First of all, Nigel is such a gentleman. What you see on TV, is what he really is. I really wanted to work my set and give Tyra many options. I layed down, kneeled, jumped, and stood all over my set trying to deliver some versatile looks. Nigel was really impressed with me and gave me some really motivating comments. I really enjoyed working with a complicated gown. Anything challenging is really enjoyable for me. Prince (the sheep) went back to his buddies and bragged about his long day of fame.
I was very confident going into panel seeing as Nigel was one of the judges. I knew he was impressed with me, and I couldn’t have been more ecstatic about that. But FCO was not to be.
You may be asking, “Why did Angelea do the ‘I’m walking into a club’ strut in front of panel like that?”
My answer for you, “I have no answer for you”.
Jessica and Alasia fell into the bottom two and Alasia ended up going home. I must admit even though that girl scares me, she can take a great picture. And Jessica was criticized once again for being just “a pretty girl”.
I went back home and opened up my journal which I am looking at right now. There are four whole pages that consist of, “FINAL FIVE OF AMERICAS NEXT TOP MODEL CYCLE 14! OMGOMG!!!!!!!”
Next week is going to be shocking.
See you soon. - Your Fellow New Zealand Dweller, Raina.