Oh my goodness where do I even start?! Two hour finale . . . this is about to be an "epicly" long blog.
Guilty of Felony Happiness
Let's start off with my positive attitude, that drastically turned into a crime. If you were on an international TV show chillin with Nigel Barker and Tyra Banks in a beautiful country, living in a multi million dollar loft, and fulfilling your dream, I'm sure you would be nothing but a pessimist, irritated, and angry person. Right?
But then again, maybe Krista and Alexandra were right. I am happy, and that just isn't an okay emotion to have these days. I mean, what kind of an example was I setting for the youth of this world? I am such a terrible role model ;) I should probably consider going to Happy-rehab and turn into a sour, meany-headed, evil hater of life. Keep me away from your children, small animals, and even blossoming plants until then, for I may cause them happiness (shiver). This topic is getting too scary and I'm sure happiness is considered taboo in many countries, so I better stop talking about it before something happy happens to me.
Runway on the Runway
Before my adventures on Top Model, I used to LOVE airplane rides. I mean LOVE. But taking a plane from Minnesota to LA to Minnesota to NYC to LA to New Zealand to the South Island of New Zealand within two months was definitely AIR TRAVEL OVERLOAD TO THE MAX FACTOR.
Next Challenge: Struttin' your stuff down an airplane aisle during turbulence and a severe incline while showing off your personality. Regardless of how fun it was, I did my best making sure to flirt-ify my way down the aisle while flipping my hair and blowing a kiss here and there. Unfortunately Miss Jay told me I looked like a linebacker (I didn't know they blew kisses and flipped their hair...what football games have I been watching my whole life?)
I actually decided to go online and look up a picture of a linebacker. To my great astonishment, shock, and surprise, a linebacker is most usually an 6'2” male that weighs a little over 300 lbs and wears a helmet.
It wasn't until I looked at a picture of myself, a 128 lb, 5'10.5" vampire-skinned female that is wearing nothing but a sparkly barrette on her head; that I then realized that Ms. Jay's comment was entirely incorrect.
Please, someone explain to me what this means for I still do not understand. I tried to embody a Queen Victoria type of figure. The makeup I was sporting was quite extreme, and the clothes were "out of this era" . . . literally. Seeing myself in both the makeup and clothes really helped me to step into that character better.
However, I must ask you, did you see what they did to my eyebrows? Now, I know these giant caterpillars take up the majority of my face, but to color them black and put spiky lines on them really brought them to a whole new level of gargantuan massiveness.
I had a corset on that limited my breathing capacity to 40%, and was wearing about 20 lbs of clothes. How the heck did these girls do it back then, I’ll never know. To all of you ladies who ever went through this, I give you my utmost respect.
The photographer told me what he wanted and I did exactly as he asked. It was nice to know that Jay noticed it and complimented me on it. I really enjoyed where I was and what I was wearing. It was a rainy day on a stunning island where Queens used to live. I loved it all.
Jay did tell me that I wasn’t being ugly enough though. I tried to take my mind into a darker, uglier place that would evoke some kind of a dreary emotion. I was very pleased with my photo because it looked exactly how I felt. Andre even commented that he loved it and that it gave him an emotion as if something not so nice happened to me. As a model, sometimes it isn’t about being pretty, but evoking emotions and thoughts from someone. I was very glad that I did that. Nigel was also very fond of my image and said he liked the fact that he saw real talent emerging from me. The only judge who didn’t like it was Jay. You have to remember, that you can’t always please everyone, and that’s okay.
This was incredibly nerve-racking. Of course Krista got called first. She had won every challenge and got best picture in every photo shoot since the week before we left for New Zealand. Her getting called first was no surprise to me at all.
Standing next to Angelea and Alexandra I was petrified. Here I am, standing in front of Tyra Banks and all I want to do is hear my name. I want nothing more than to walk in an Anna Sui runway show, and I’ve been wanting to do a Covergirl photo shoot and commercial since I was 12.
In my head, I heard Tyra saying Alexandra’s name, but I also heard her saying my name. I was prepared to go home, but was also prepared to stay. “Raina”, Tyra calls my name and every particle of my being froze. I was happier and more shocked than getting the Charzard card in Pokemon, or the Princess Diana Beanie Baby in 4th grade. I was more ecstatic than Charlie was when he inherited the chocolate factory (and that’s gotta be pretty darn exciting).
Yes, I did tear up. I am not the kind of girl to cry or get emotional, but hearing my name being called definitely got me. I still get all teary eyed when I watch it. Shhh.
I remember back to the first day I auditioned for America’s Next Top Model. I never thought in a million years that I would have even made it to the second round of auditions . . . heck I wasn’t even going to go to the first audition. When I got that phone call that I made the show, I jumped up and down on my bed and screamed for 5 minutes before calling anyone. I can remember every detail. And now, I am a finalist "still on my way to becoming America’s Next Top Model", to quote a phrase.
I am that girl that gets to stomp it to the death in front of Tyra, Andre, Nigel, the Jays, and many more very prestigious figures in the fashion industry in an Anna Sui runway show. I am that girl that gets to do a Covergirl commercial, Covergirl photo shoot, and Seventeen Magazine picture with Nigel. I am on top of the world and no one can take me down.
I remember watching ANTM as a little girl and pretending I was one of those last two girls on the show and being all fierce in front of the mirror and doing my best catwalk down the grocery store aisle.
That dream had just become real!
Stay tuned for the second half of my blog, Finale Part II.