Monday, May 17, 2010

Q&A with "ANTM" runner-up Raina Hein

[Originally posted at]

After coming in second during last week's America's Next Top Model finale, Minnesota-based model Raina Hein has been non-stop busy fielding phone calls for interviews and interest from modeling agencies from around the world. The ever-gracious model (who truly embodies "Minnesota Nice") took the time to answer some questions from us via email about her experience coming in second, her favorite and least favorite challenges on the show, and what's next for her.

[Photo courtesy CW]

How does it feel to come in second? You were picked by many as the one to beat. Are you disappointed you didn't win it all?

I couldn't be happier with getting second. This puts me in the driver's seat. I am not locked down in a contract and am able to make my own decisions based on what I want. Also, the majority of the models that finish 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th on ANTM end up having a much more successful modeling career than the winner. I can only hope the same goes for me! And I've already booked my first international campaign in Dubai. I was shocked when I got the call, but it also helped me to realize that getting second place was only the very beginning for me.

You posted on Facebook that you're getting calls from agencies. Any big names?

Wilhelmina, Elite, Next, and Click in NYC, LA, and Miami are what I am currently deciding between. The London market has also expressed interest in me. I've been very lucky.

You're probably the most recognizable model in town right now and it happened in such a short time. What's it like to suddenly become so well-known?

It's so crazy! I still feel just as normal as I did before ANTM! Every time someone asks for an autograph or picture, my immediate reaction is, "Why me?" I am still the goofy, spontaneous, down-to-earth Raina I've always been.

What was it like to get feedback from the likes of Tyra Banks and André Leon Talley?

They have so much knowledge and great advice. I have received an immense amount of feedback, critique, and tips from both and couldn't be more grateful for it all. It has definitely changed my modeling career for the better and will use all of their words of wisdom to make them proud.

What was your favorite challenge on the show?

It was an adrenaline rush walking on a runway while trying to dodge two giant swinging pendulums. Not only was there that, but we had to walk down and back up two sets of freshly polished (see your reflection) marble stairs. It was extremely challenging, and that's what I like. Thank goodness I didn't get knocked off that runway. Eeek!

The challenge you disliked the most?

The "go-sees" challenge was tough. Getting caught in a thunderstorm with no umbrella, after being on a plane for 22 hours, and having nothing but a map (that ended up disintegrating in the rain) in a foreign country was nothing but chaos. I ended up being 15 minutes late to the New Zealand Agency, and got disqualified from the challenge win. It was frustrating! But in the end, it left me with nothing less than a valuable lesson.

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