Episode Seven

Posted in antm insider

New York Draggin'

Whitney Port and Pat Clevelend slide by to prepare us for a dragalicious evening. We all get to wear one of Whitney’s designs and get all fabulously stylish.  I do believe it felt as if there were tarantulas chillin’ on my eyelids… did you see those fake eyelashes?! They almost got into a fight with my eyebrows!

Anyway, we got all perty-fied and went out to the drag club.  To be honest with you all, I have NEVER in my life been to a place like this. Overall, twas quite entertaining. But let me tell ya, drag queens can STRUT a runway! So, we have a lil’ competition to see who can show off their personality best on the runway.

What is my personality? Random, silly, goofy, spontaneous. How the heck am I supposed to “display” that on a runway? I figured that I might as well let my spontanaeity take over and figure it out once I got up there. So, I started out smiling a big cheesy grin (HEY I WAS EXCITED!) and then it turned into a couple twirls and ended with a curtsey. (haha…I’m laughing right now).

Anyway, Krista ended up winning the challenge.

My favorite part of this segment was the measure of fierceness, or shall I say, the "Fierce-O-Meter". Ya gotta love ANTM. Anslee’s walk definitely intimidated me, but not in a “I’m the best runway walker here, and you are all my competition” kind of intimidation, but more of a “I will hunt you down” kind of an intimidation. Her face is just too gorgeous not to smile!

The crowd was fun! I definitely included them by making eye contact with them. I love applause, whether it’s for me, or Bob next door, they’re just so fun!


LATE AGAIN. (That’s all)

A Hairy Situation

Alright, on to the photoshoot.

Question of the Day (or which I prefer to call "QOTD"): "Was that hair human hair?" Well my friends, I am sorry to disturb you but yes, some of it was. Fortunately, mine wasn’t - along with most pieces of the “Weaven Steven” team. But the opposing side had real hair. YIKES!

However, I don’t care if you dress me up in "already been practiced in" football gear, I am going to make it look FIERCE! But that does sound nasty. So, like always, I put away all of my distractions and put 100% effort, energy, and fierceness forward.  I can’t believe I got to wear an Alexander McQueen inspired jacket. It was probably around 15 lbs, but I didn’t care. It was so outstandingly radical!

Since I have been a volleyball player all of my life, up until a year and a half ago, I am quite used to coaches and fans screaming (not always the most pleasant of words) at me, as well as other players on the court. Being an athlete, you learn to block them out in a way that it doesn’t bother you or affect you at all.

I was SO LUCKY that Krista, and Angelea were on my side. Could you imagine what they would have said? Actually, since we are on this topic, to be honest I 100% completely do not understand why Angelea and Krista don’t like me! I’ll never know. Just like I’ll never know why the phrase, “I’m just being real” is so cool. REGARDLESS, I am happy with the photo I got.  This photo was definitely one of my favorites. The first one was the “rain/wind/disappearing purple perfume/wolf/awwwO0oO0o” one.

I love the use of movement in photographs and this photo shoot was ALL about movement. Want to know the worst part of this shoot? Good, cuz I’m about to tell you. Well, a gentleman from Paris was flown in to do my hair for this photo shoot. He back-combed it, (or ratted it out) for almost 45 minutes, where it was then formulated into awesome spherical shapes on my noggin. He then sprayed it with some auburn/red paint to match my “hairy coat”. Don’t get me wrong now, I looooooved the hair-doo. But when it came to taking it out, I was 46% on the way to a fit of tears. To give an overall estimate of the time I spent taking it out, would have to be somewhere in the ballpark of an hour or so. I almost whipped out the scissors in honor of Brenda.

The Sleeping Panel

I’m sure you read it all over our faces, “ummmm… WHAT IS GOING ON”  Nap time?! Probably the most awkward moment I’ve experienced yet. Thank goodness the ruggedly rugged shepherd man came along to save the day. Last but not least, the sheep come in. Oh my lanta!!! They were pretty darn cute!

So Andre, Nigel, and Whitney LITERALLY catch a “Z”.  Now folks, these aren’t just any ordinary Z’s. They were green and sparkly. K? Anyway, I am still standing there as lost and confused as the look you saw on my face. Tyra stands up and pulls down her Z. Along with it came a poster that read, “NEW ZEALAND”. I just about pee’d my pants. Not really, but it sounded funny.


Alright, I’ll calm down (but not really). SO, I jumped up and down for a good long while, as I screamed like a little girl who got a neon, hot, pink, tricycle. Yes, I did.

When panel was over Anslee ended up going home. But I really liked her photo! Is it me or do some of you also think that her photo, along with some other eliminee’s weren’t elimination-worthy? To be truthful, I thought Angelea’s photo was utterly horrid. Alasia’s was beautiful, and Krista’s made a statement.

So, the two (insert word of choice here) girls get to ride first class to New Zealand. From NYC, it’s a 22 hour journey. YES, TWENTY TWO. I’ve never been out of the country before! This is about to be epic.

Dear New Zealand,

Are you ready for me?
I’m about to take you by storm!

Love, Raina

Episode Six

Posted in antm insider

Well wasn’t this just the best episode yet!  If I had to "knight" this episode with two words, I would have to go with, “unnecessary drama”. Eeek!

Alasia and Angelea

Let’s start off with Alasia, shall we? Yes, she really did listen to my confessional. I was told that those were “private” and our “alone time” and a way to talk about the day and recap on everything. Well, apparently “alone time” turned into “Alasia not following the rules (once again) and being …well…Alasia” time.  There really isn’t much more to say.

Was I surprised? Well yeah! Was I hurt, angry, or sad? No! What I said in my confessional wasn’t mean, it was simply an opinion. I feel as if it was quite rude and inconsiderate of her, but really…are you surprised? I walked out of the confessional and was shocked to see her standing right there with her ear against the wall (considering we were told that those were 100% private) and my reaction was, “OH, hi..?!...” and I continued to walk down the stairs, across the loft, and into my room….where I (and everyone else in the loft) could hear her yelling in the confessional room.

So, Jessica and I decided: Since she got to listen, so can we! So, we went up there and heard her saying things like, “I’M GOING TO PUNCH HER FACE … SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT’S COMIN’ FOR HER” (with a whole bucket of cuss words sloshed around in there). These aren’t the most wonderful and calming statements to hear right before bed. Light Bulb! Jessica and I had a GREAT idea. We went to the kitchen where we pretended to be Easter bunnies, except we weren’t hiding eggs: we hid all of the sharp objects. Yes, I’m serious. You would’ve done it too!!!

Lessons learned: When you get a new roommate, prepare yourself. i.e. karate lessons?

And then there's Angelea. Isn’t she just a bright, cheery, bed of roses? I mean, who wouldn’t want to live with this kind, considerate, and happy individual? Oooo! PICK ME!


Challenge with Tinsley Mortimer

I NEEDED this.  I remember getting there and introducing myself to almost everyone in the room. I struck up so many different conversations with so many different people from so many different places about so many different things.  I’m can be a social butterfly….let me loose and I’ll go NUTS!

It was a grand ol’ time.  I met some great designers from Europe and felt like a “star” for the evening. Her handbag collection is real fun, very girly, with a splash of punk thrown in.Tinsley told me that I had a very bubbly, and personable personality and she was impressed that I was the first girl who came up and talked to her, but the baby yellow clutch I was carrying was just not working with my outfit. DANG! That’s never good to hear from a designer!   Oh well, she loved my dress. That counts right? Gold star for me? Maybe?

Anyway, Jessica won the challenge and chose Brenda and I to be in the Seventeen Magazine (May issue) photo shoot. We are all good friends, and we had a great time at the shoot. Check it out! It’s in stores now! I do believe I am on page 50, rockin' a bohemian outfit with bright green socks! So fun!!!

Photoshoot on the Subway

(which by the way, wrapped at about 4am…ZzzZzz). This was my first time in the NYC Subway system!!!! (For those of you in NYC, I’m sure you are thinking…why the heck did she just use four exclamation points?) WELL, I actually liked it! It was fun! But then again, I was doing a photo shoot.

COVERGIRL?! YES, my time has come! I was so excited to meet Nicole (who by the way is such a unique and friendly lady). We had some great conversations about the fashion industry, ANTM, and above all, SHOES!

The photo shoot itself wasn’t too difficult. I was a rockabilly. To be honest, I had no idea what that was until one of the designers was like, “you’re so not from here are you.” Oopsies! Thank goodness he explained it to me, so I could better embrace my character.

It was actually really fun working with the photographer. He has a lot of energy and gave me some great positive feedback. He told me that I got the “shot” within the first five frames. The rest of the frames I spent doing unique/different poses that weren’t very Covergirl, but definitely pushed the envelope. I was very happy with that experience.

On another note, I had no idea that Alasia did so poorly! “I don’t even have a picture to show Tyra” - Mr. Jay. However, I really liked her photo!

I really liked Alexandra’s photo (even though it’s very similar to the rest of them) and I thought Anslee’s was cute. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jessica’s photo, just because I know she’s got a lot more in her.

To be honest, I was absolutely shocked when Brenda went home. I thought her photo was very “fresh face” and thought she finally embraced the short hair. So now, my best friend of the house just went home…very sad.

Dealing with Drama

A lot of you have asked me, “How do you deal with those mean girls?” My answer: Staying who I am, staying true to myself, and winning this competition is most important to me right now. I know who I am and I have a lot of drive, motivation, and inner strength that will get me there. It was difficult, but I wasn’t about to let all of that drama get me down. Also, when someone is mean or hurtful, it’s usually the result of something that has happened to them or something difficult that’s going on in their lives that is causing them to be that way. You kind of have to look at them as a person who needs a friend, and needs some love. I try but it’s hard to do sometimes! I want to be a LOVER not a FIGHTER!

Next week: Are you ready? I certainly am! Stay tuned. xoxo,

Episode Five

Posted in antm insider

Make Your Co-worker/Male Model Feel Comfortable


When Miss Jay told us that we would have to make a male model feel comfortable, I wasn’t worried. I’m not afraid to talk to someone! I’m usually that girl on the bus or plane, who starts asking people what their favorite color is for the heck of it! I mean, it’s just a question! It’s not like I’m ripping off your clothes or something!

Anyway, I wasn’t too worried because I’m not one to fear an awkward moment (heck that’s what life is made up of!) However, there was a spin to it all. Miss Jay told us that this particular male model is part of a very successful television show and is well known throughout the fashion world. Not in 1 million years, on a different planet, with a smarter brain would I have EVER thought it would be NIGEL!!!!

But, now that I think about it...yes he was a very well known model (look at him, DUH) and yes he is a part of a very successful television show (ANTM, DUHHH). Wow, I really wish I would have prepared myself for that. I stepped on the tram thinking it would be some hot guy from Vogue or something. But no, it was much more drastic than that. Good ol’ Nigel turns around with his little grin and British accent, “oh, hello!”

My reaction: “HI IM RAINA! WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?!” …..wow, did I really just do that? Yes, I was that nervous. Well wouldn’t YOU be?! First of all, he’s my JUDGE, second of all, he’s my PHOTOGRAPHER, and third of all, HE’S NIGEL BARKER. So yes, I did sweat and turn red and ask many random questions like, “So, what store do you like to buy your socks at?” But come to think of it, I probably would have asked the same questions to anybody else! I’m not the ordinary person. I like to spice things up.

I know I wasn’t shown a lot in this episode, but I can still tell you all about it. Even without a lot of airtime. Aren’t you glad I have a blog?

In Lingerie with a Comedian….Hmmm, Not Funny.

Anyway, on to the challenge with Nigel AGAIN. We are thrown into lingerie, which by the way isn’t my favorite attire to be wearing on national television. Oh well, I think I still managed to rock it.

Ross Matthews is HILARIOUS. He made me laugh so many times, and it really was a “challenge” not letting him crack me up. And what was that line he threw at me? Oh yeah, “You’re riding me like a bull!” Sorry?

Anyway, it was really difficult having Nigel photograph us from far away. Getting critique and advice during a photo shoot really helps. Since I’ve been a volleyball player my whole life, I’ve had coaches yelling in my face all the time to tell me what I need to change or do something different to become better. Usually on photo shoots, Jay is there (similar to a coach, just not as mean) to help us become the best we can be. Therefore, not being able to communicate to Nigel really made things difficult.

I think I had some great photos (I wish they would’ve showed them!). Jessica ended up winning because she jumped on him and straddled the poor guy. It was quite a bold move which made everyone in the room silent, and quite uncomfortable. However, she did end up winning those ear sparkles!

I really wish I would have seen her and Nigel on the tram in person. Watching Nigel’s uncomfortable and extremely awkward reaction on TV just wasn’t as good as in person. You have NO IDEA how bad I wish I would have been there! (I am currently laughing very hard).

Fake: . . . feathers, contacts, nails, hair, clothes, shoes, tans, etc.  Eeek!

This photo shoot was definitely an extreme. If you look closely at any of the pictures, you will notice that I have no eyebrows. Yes, I mean that. The makeup artists spent over an hour and a half taking off my eyebrows. They put seven layers of plaster over those caterpillars on my face, thus making my forehead feel very lonely. Then they put false eyelashes right underneath where my eyebrows would have been and then another set on top of my upper cheek bone.

Looking at myself up close in a mirror definitely terrified me A LOT. I felt like Lady GaGa gone terribly wrong. I looked like a completely different person, but that’s what this photo shoot was all about, right?

I remember Tyra telling me I need to work on my posing because I have a very “boxy” frame. I know I lack in the curves department, and am pretty much a “straight up and down” type of body-frame, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing. All it means is that I need to create an illusion of having the curves, when necessary. So, I did just that.

I thought I rocked this photo shoot, but being in the bottom three really doesn’t help me to believe that I did. The only negative feedback I’ve received so far, is from this photo shoot; I was told that I needed, “to be sure of what I was doing”.

I really liked Brenda and Tatianna’s outfit. I thought they looked amazing. And to be honest, Tatianna’s picture was my favorite picture out of the bunch. It was so haute couture in such a “fake” way. Unfortunately, the judges weren’t a fan of it and she was sent home.

I like Tatianna. She’s a goofy character; never afraid to burp or fart multiple times in someone’s face. I think she has beautiful skin and some great opportunities in her future. I am curious to see if she pursues modeling or “dead-body-examining” more. I guess time will tell! I support whatever she chooses!

Did You Catch the Preview for Next Episode?


Raina: (wanted to say) - “How did it feel not making it in the house on cycle 12?” 

Raina: (actually said)nothing 

However, next week’s photo shoot is quite moving, and the tension continues to build between the girls who love to fight.

See ya next week! 

xoxo, Raina

Episode Four

Posted in antm insider

Alright so, Episode number 4.


I’ve definitely never ever done anything like this before, so I must admit that it was a little nerve-racking to be in front of a bagillion people while acting a fool.

This is how it went: The Upright Citizens Brigade (whom by the way are super awesome-tastic) picked an action, and the audience picked an emotion or feeling. You may look back and say, “Hey Raina! They didn’t show you at all! What did you do?” Well, it’s quite embarrassing actually.

{pgslideshow id=20|width=200|height=200|delay=2000|image=O}

First off, the improvers told me that my action was to “set up a camp site”. I’m thinking, “I can totally do this no problem!” Then the audience yells out, “LUSTFULLY!” My jaw just about hit the floor. My thoughts now are, “Ummm…this is about to get real awkward real fast.” Yes, I was all over that stage being “lustful” and whipping out body language similar to a cross between Pam Anderson and Michael Jackson. It ended up turning quite provocative (don’t worry my clothes stayed on), but the audience couldn’t stop laughing. I will say that it was quite hilarious, but possibly a tad bit inappropriate (well I wasn’t about to “play it safe,” I wanted to be the best one out there!!!)

After I finished, I received a huge round of applause and sat back in my seat where I began to turn tomato red and sweat uncontrollably. But that’s what life is about right; embarrassing yourself over and over and hopefully getting a laugh or two…or something like that. Anyway, it was hysterical watching the girls act out their scenes. It was without doubt a pleasant change of pace. I’m glad I went for it 100% and got some good laughs (that’s what improv is all about!).

The Infamous Covergirl Commercial

I have dreamt of doing a Covergirl commercial since that one day in 6th grade when I first started watching America’s Next Top Model and deciding I wanted to become a supermodel. So, today was that day. But, ummm IT’S LIVE?!?! How terrifying?! I looked out the window from where I was sitting and could see the jumbotron which was insanely massive. Then I proceeded to look even further down and got a great glimpse of New York City waiting for the commercials to start.

I feel like I would have been outrageously nervous, but then I remembered that I just got done acting like a complete idiot on stage in front of way too many people, so I knew I was going to rock this commercial. But wait…..NO WORDS?! Okay, so not only are we about to be LIVE on massively gargantuan jumbotron in the middle of Times Square, we don’t get to talk at all? We have one shot, and one shot only. I wasn’t about to fall flat.

I did my absolute best and worked that camera. At first I thought it would be difficult to not talk during a commercial, I realized I was completely right! It was VERY difficult not being able to talk during a commercial! But, I think compared to most of the other girls, I did really well. I just had fun with it and did my best to just be myself because I truly feel like personality shines through in everything you do, i.e. photoshoots runway shows, commercials, job interviews, etc etc.

Tatianna ended up winning this challenge because she tossed her hair around and gave some spirit fingers to the camera. She did do well, but I was surprised she won. Jessica ended up rolling her eyes at the end of her commercial because she thought it was over….but it wasn’t! Oops! I thought it was funny, but I’m not too sure Times Square did.

Overall, it was a great challenge because we only had one shot to make it look right. It was definitely a lot of pressure, but it was exhilarating at the same time.

The Vampire Shoot

So, if you have been wondering, this was another one of the most difficult things I ever had to do.

It wasn’t so much being in a pool of blood as it was being entirely blind as a bat. I sat blind in that makeup chair for almost 30 minutes waiting for the girl in front of me to finish up her shoot. I felt very claustrophobic and a wee bit terrified. Everyone who bumped into me or walked by me scared the shnikies out of me. Finally, Jay came to save my day. He told me to grab his arm and stay close to him while he led me out of the makeup room and onto set. He gave me a lot of positive remarks and advice which gave me even more confidence.

The photo shoot was challenging because I couldn’t see where my light was. Being a model, it is vitally important to know where your light is. Also, I didn’t know where the photographer was; I mean, I could hear her voice, but I didn’t know exactly where she was. And on top of everything, the tub that I was sitting in was full of super sticky, mega gooey, absolutely freezing cold blood. Yes, blood. I’m kidding! It was corn syrup mixed with food dye. Gotchya! But that was absolutely no excuse to do less than excellent.

Once again, I was determined to have the best photoshoot. I didn’t really care that I didn’t know where my light was or that I didn’t know where the photographer was, or that I was covered in sticky, slimy, uber-gooey, freezing cold blood. But what I did care about was getting not only one, but many great shots.

My thoughts for this particular photoshoot were quite different l of the other girls. The other girls were “in love with” or “in a romance with” the male vampire model. But let’s think about that for a second. I mean theoretically, this guy “just bit me and drained me of all my blood” so, why the heck should I then fall in love with him!? So, I decided that I was angry, and “wanted revenge for draining me of my blood” and it did end up working for me!!!

Tyra, Nigel, and Jay were all super duper impressed with my shot. The best part however was when the photographer told me that I inspired her and that I could compete with all of the other high fashion super models that she is used to shooting. I was so shocked and yelped, “THANKS!!!” to which she replied with, “you aren’t even looking in my general direction….but you are welcome!” Hahaha, those darn blind contacts made me feel so darn stupid.

Anyway, elimination (like every elimination so far) was scary. I mean, I know I had a stellar photoshoot, but it’s still hardcore terrifying! I reeeeeally wanted to get best photo, but it ended up going to Alasia (who did have a really great shot). I ended up getting best-photo-runner-up, which is also a great honor. I didn’t complain at all because I knew I did nothing but my very best and the judges had nothing bad to say about my photo. Regardless of how gruesomely disgusting the photo looks, I am quite pleased with the picture I got!

Haven’t been eliminated yet! Yuussssss!!! High Five!

Next week is going to be awkward, highly amusing and quite comical. See you then ;)

Episode Three

Posted in antm insider

Here we go. Holy moly….alot to say.

Ren: The girl really didn’t want to be there. And to be honest, living in a house with a bunch of other strangers that really like to fight, can be quite stressful. I would have to classify Ren as a free spirited, totally chill, let’s just lay on the beach with a bottle of wine, type of girl. I admire her for staying as long as she did, because it can really wear and tear on ya. However, it really does piss me off to know that there are SO MANY other girls that would just die to be in her shoes. Anyway, Ren is probably off doing what she loves without the drama “ruining her sanity and happiness”.
{pgslideshow id=19|width=200|height=200|delay=2000|image=O}

Ainsley: WHAT?!?!?! This girl loves to fight! Why the anger dude? Right now, it’s a four way tie between Krista, Angelea, Alasia and Ainsley to be named Most Intense Fighter Of The House, or most commonly known as “MIFOTH.”

Anyway, the Fab Bus was FABulous. Toccara is GORGEOUS. She is super successful and such an inspiration. Anyway (again), I was really excited about the fact that I had a free pass to the go-see’s at BlueFly.com. I can’t believe I got a $500 gift card there!!! I haven’t bought anything yet. What should I get? I’m thinking some bomb-dig shoes, or maybe some fancy shmancy jewelry. Dior? Chanel? Loubiton? YES YES annnnd YES. What do you think?

I am super excited for Simone. Who wouldn’t want to win a $2,500 gift card AND a photoshoot for BlueFly.com?! That lucky duck. If I had to describe her in three words, it would be: regal, sophisticated, and intelligent.

After our adventures at BlueFly, we went back home and chilled. We probably got home at about 2am (betchya didn’t know that!) and we were super exhausted. I was actually really glad Brenda tried to motivate everyone to go to bed early…(we ended up having to get up at 6am the next day).

Anyway, I can’t believe Krista called her Geppetto! What does that even mean? Really? Anyway, I also found it really rude that Angelea, and Krista were calling her Chuckie and talking about her behind her back. Is this really necessary? I think not (old English voice). Why everyone picked on her, I DON’T KNOW. I’m not the biggest fan of fighting, or yelling (hence the reason you haven’t spotted me in an epic yelling match). Anyway, I am shocked at the fact that some girls can be so mean! But, that’s life right? You just have to stay the bigger person.

Photoshoot:  "The Dance"

We are greeted by Mr. Jay and Troy Powell whom is an astounding dancer/dance instructor. As Mr. Jay is talking, I am thinking, “I really hope I get something easy”, because I have absolutely no idea how to dance. I mean, I think I’m a Stellar McStellar dancer when I go out to the bars or clubs, but as for being good at a specific type of dance…I fail. I am assigned jazz. THANK GOODNESS, Because that’s A LOT easier than moshing, African, or break-dancing (even though I have been known to whip out some balla, gangsta, breakdancing moves in the streets…NOT). Troy gave me some great tips and helped me out a lot. He is very genuine, talented, and extremely kind. Third photoshoot in, and I am still getting great reviews from Mr. Jay! YAY! I practiced for at least an hour and a half before it was my time to shoot. I really wanted to nail this photo shoot just like the last one! I am very dedicated and serious when it comes to modeling. After all, it’s my dream, therefore, I give it all 110% because I refuse to be sent home. Mr. Jay gave me amazing feedback and even said I was giving him “Harpers Bazaar”. I WAS SO EXCITED!

Simone ended up crying after her photo shoot because she was struggling a lot; I felt really bad for her. It’s tough doing something that you are completely unfamiliar with. Mr. Jay didn’t have the most positive remarks for her during her shoot, which hit her hard. Simone is probably the most genuine person out of all the girls, which stuck out to me a lot.

I thought that Alexandra’s photo was the best this week. I give her props for whipin’ out some fierce break dancing moves in 5 inch heels! EEek! Anyway, it comes down to Ren and Brenda. All I’m thinking is, “Ren can’t stay. She truly doesn’t want to be here…and if Brenda goes home, my closest friend leaves”.

Ren ends up going home, and Brenda finds out from Tyra that she is about to endure another transformation. Have you checked out the previews for the next episode? Definitely not extensions….BuuzZZzZzzZZ.

Advice of the Day: “If you have a dream, go for it 100%. Don’t sit around doing something because you think you should or you want to impress someone else. Do what you love, and do it for yourself.”

Next week: Sitting in a bathtub, covered in blood, wearing fangs?

That’s not all of it.  Stay tuned. ;)

Episode Two

Posted in antm insider

Alright, episode #2. WOAH. First off, I STILL cannot believe I got naked in front of national television. REALLY. That was probably one of the four hardest things I had to do during my experience on ANTM.

I remember walking into that room with the mannequin (thnx spell checkers) and hearing J say, “you only get to wear one piece”. Shoot, I’m in the very back of the bunch…which means I get to the mannequin last. UUGHHH. (ENTER LINEBACKER MODE). My football skills finally get to be used…..WAIT…I’ve never played football.

What I'm thinking at the time: MY GRANDMA IS GOING TO KILL ME. Well, I just got off the phone with her, and she's OK! That’s a plus.

Anyway, I rushed toward that mannequin hoping to grab the post-it note that said either, VEST, SHORTS, PANTS, or SCARF. But no, of course I got the ring…THE SMALLEST THING on the mannequin. Deep down inside, I was freaking out. I was more nervous than you would ever believe. Here I am, with my goodies flailing to the world and I’m supposed to sell a ring!

Well, I remember taking off my robe and walking on set. What I'm thinking at the time: “I wonder how many people are staring straight at my non-existent ta ta’s right now. RAINA SNAP OUT OF IT, YOU AREN’T GOING HOME. YOU HAVE TO ROCK THIS PHOTOSHOOT.”  So, I did. I stepped on set with more confidence than the popular girl in school who just got a new designer handbag. Yea, I was that girl with confidence. I don’t really know where it came from considering my goodies were out on display, but it doesn’t matter because I sold the ring (as Andre so eloquently stated).

Tyra and Andre called me a courtesan….hmmm I guess that’s a good thing right?  Anyway, I couldn’t believe Tatianna’s picture! It reminded me of something in a men’s magazine. However, she did look gorgeous. My favorite picture was probably Simone’s. It just looked so elegant. Then there was Naduah’s. I was shocked. If they hadn’t blurred out her “no no spot”, that’d be a straight shot to the nether-regions. Yikes! Then there is Alasia’s picture. To be honest, I thought it was very creative and very bold, but I could never show off my derrière so candidly like that! Then there was Gabrielles. I remember panel that day; the picture popped up on the screen and the whole room was dead silent for about 15 seconds. I’m so sad she went home. I really liked her. She was such a sweetheart!

The House So Far

Alasia: Oh my goodness does that girl love to fight! And if you are wondering, yes she really did throw a scissors and spatula at Ren. However, I do remember Ren egging her on a little bit. Now, picture yourself being thrown into a house with 12 other girls that are completely different from you culturally, emotionally, money-wise, education-wise, intelligence-wise, family-wise, etc. etc. There are bound to be some crazy fights. And, there were.

Runway Challenge

SWINGING PENDULUMS?!?!?! UM…..WHAT! Miss J really wasn’t kidding when he said that timing was everything. I can literally see myself falling off this runway. However, after pretending one of the busiest intersections in NYC was a runway, and having to dodge traffic, I felt a bit more prepared. And, having people stop dead in their tracks to watch you strut your stuff, is quite a goofy feeling!

The pendulums were no joke! They weren’t all that light either. Thankfully, it never hit me once! I remember watching Alexandra on the TV back in the hair/makeup room. I wanted to cry. The poor girl. Do you know how embarrassing that’d be?! REALLY REALLY EMBARRASSING, like….being naked on national TV…wait, I DID THAT. But, she got up and got herself together and finished it. I personally thought she did an amazing job and rocked it. And Rachel Roy is right; models fall ALL the time. We aren’t perfect! Shoot….I trip and fall at LEAST once a week (insert previous blog).

This runway show was really fun. I was wearing this breathtaking, dark green, silk, gown. It felt so comfortable, and I felt like a princess! I wish I would have won the challenge so I could have kept the dress, but Brenda did deserve it. She’s a runway rocker! The most intimidating part for me was the stairs. These weren’t any ordinary stairs with the special gripped texture. They were Fully POLISHED, just WAXED, see-yourself-in-the-reflection, MARBLE. Did I mention that we are in five inch heels? I took the stairs slow, because I went after Alexandra and I was in NO WAY planning on sliding down those evil, waxed, marble contraptions.

Photo Shoot #2:  RAIN(A) AND WIND

First of all, they really didn’t illustrate to you how difficult this photo shoot was. It wasn’t simply “rain” that was hitting you. It was a legit, hardcore power-hose. The water was FREEZING cold, and on top of it all, there were a couple wind machines to make it even better.

Now, this may sound odd at first, but I have taken at least a hundred ice baths in my life. Being a volleyball player, you get REALLY sore. Like the kind of sore where you can’t even get out of bed in the middle of the night to go potty because your body hurts so bad from seven hours of brutal practicing. SO, the only way to help your body be in less pain: ice baths. Don’t know what an ice bath is? Well, it’s where you go to Seven Eleven, buy five, maybe six (you might need to make a drink) bags of ice, dump it in your bathtub, fill it up with very cold water, take off all your clothes, and get in. Or, if you live in the arctic tundra, like myself, using 60.32 lbs of snow works too, thus releasing the lactic acid in your muscles. Since I’ve had to endure this on many occasions, AND since I live in the coldest state in the entire United States, I felt pretty prepared. Yes it was cold, but I wasn’t going to let ANYTHING stop me from getting an amazing picture.

I remember thinking to myself, “I am going to beat this rain and wind.” I looked at the photo shoot as a competition between me and the elements. After the photo shoot was over, I went back downstairs to hair and makeup, drenched like a wet dog and violently shaking. I was so cold! Thankfully, one of the wonderful hair stylists let me use his blow dryer to warm myself up.

Naduah: This girl is a sweetheart. However, every time…I mean EVERY time a makeup artist puts makeup on her, she would change it to her own liking. It’s important to trust your stylists. After all, it isn’t about the model. It’s about what is ON the model.

Panel is nerve-racking! I had amazing reviews from J and great feedback from the photographer, so I wasn't too excessively nervous. However, you never ever know what to expect. After all, I never thought Gabrielle would be the first to go home, and that shocked me.

I remember Tyra telling me that I looked like someone in Twilight, or a wolf. I’m thinking, “OOOooooooWwww”. I could NOT BELIEVE Tyra called my name first, and howled too?! I wanted to run around screaming like a little girl who just got a pink pony. I remember looking at my photo after she handed it to me, and couldn’t believe it was me. That was the first time I said to myself, “Raina, you ARE a model”. This was a gargantuan confidence booster.

I NEVER thought Naduah would be eliminated second! I couldn’t believe it! But Nigel and J are right; Sometimes simplicity is better.

Next episode should be quite interesting. Stay tuned!!! ;) ;)