Exclusive Interview: Raina Hein of 'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 14
Exclusive Interview: Raina Hein of 'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 14
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
After a jampacked two-hour America's Next Top Model finale, Tyra's two Cycle 14 finalists, Raina Hein and Krista White, stood before her to learn which had earned the title of Top Model. It was a tough decision, and in the end Krista's hard-edged beauty won out over Raina's unique fresh face.

Read What Happened: America's Next Top Model Cycle 14 Finale Recap

Though the gorgeous, wide-eyed Minnesota native walked away without a crown, she still walked away with a lot, including some advice she'll never forget from Tyra Banks, the drive to accomplish her dream as an international fashion model and the bragging rights of being Top Two on Top Model--her favorite show.

Congratulations!
Thank you so much!

How's it feel to have it all in the open and get to watch the finale last night? \It feels absolutely amazing! I couldn't feel better, to be honest.

You had such a positive attitude, even the moment that you found out Krista won. Could you take me back to that moment and tell me what was going on through your head?
Of course! I'm sitting here next to Krista and all I want to hear is my name be called. Of course I wanted to be America's Next Top Model. But the girl next to me, her dream just came true. And of course, I'm going to do nothing else but be happy for her and there's no reason for me to be sad at all because I made it to Top Two. I never even thought I was gonna make it past the first round of auditions. Just the fact that I was standing there, in Top Two on America's Next Top Model was the best feeling in the whole world. And there is no reason to be sad because my career has just started and things are just beginning for me.

Were you a fan of the show before?
Oh definitely! I have watched every single season, every single episode, I know every girl. It's definitely by far, my most favorite television show.

So then you probably have seen that even the people who come in second often go on to have the most successful careers out of the show?
Yes, definitely! I know a lot of girls who, not only have come in second, but have come in third, fourth and fifth, and they are just really, really well in the fashion industry. So I can't wait to see what is in store for me.

During the show, you said that your positive attitude seemed to get on the nerves of some of the other girls at times. But do you think it gave you a competitive edge over them?
Well, just the fact that I had such a positive attitude and a positive outlook definitely gave me an advantage over them. Because I know that the pressure and the stress definitely got to everyone once in a while. I never broke down emotionally and mentally. I always had a really positive outlook on every situation and every moment I was there so yeah, I would definitely have to say I had an advantage.

Tyra wanted you to make every photo shoot your favorite, but let's be honest, that's not always the case. But I do want to know, what was your absolute favorite shoot that you were on?
My absolute favorite shoot would have to be, I have three, is that okay? I'd have to say the rain and the wind. It was very challenging. I was freezing cold, but putting myself in a very challenging and very difficult situation only pushes me to be better and go above and beyond what I know I can do. So it was an adrenaline rush. It was really exciting to see how far I could push myself and it was very rewarding. As far as the other two, I would have to say the vampire shoot and the hair shoot. They were both totally different than all the other ones. It was really out there as far as fashion is concerned. And I really enjoyed embracing that, and becoming a different character.

How about the last photo shoot that you all did, that we saw last night, the Ugly-Pretty shoot?
The Ugly-Pretty shoot was very challenging! It's hard to be ugly-pretty! I still don't know if I know exactly how to do it. So it was really fun to be dressed up Old Victorian style. I've never worn clothes like that, so it was really exciting to see us all glamorous. However, as far as the photo shoot itself is concerned, I think that I probably should've thrown out a couple more crazy poses and spiced it up a little. I was really trying to embody the ugly, but unfortunately, the pretty-pretty is what came through.

After that photo shoot, you guys were in a whirlwind of Covergirl commercials, Covergirl print ads, then the Anna Sui runway show. So which of those stands out in your mind as the most fun?
The most fun, I would definitely have to say, is the runway show. I got so much adrenaline and it's totally my thing. Smiling, bubbly personality and flirting and like, totally me! I couldn't have been more happy that I was in an Anna Sui runway show. But I did really, really well in the Covergirl photo shoot. But I don't know, all three of those things were amazing. But if I had to pick one, I would have to say the Anna Sui runway show.

How was it to have all those girls from the Top Six walking with you? It was good to see them again, especially Jessica! It was a big surprise; I didn't think I was gonna see them. However, I should've probably guessed that they were there, because they did the same thing on Cycle 13. But it was really good to see those girls again and be with them.

So how did you feel about your performance overall, going into that Top Four judging panel? Were you confident that you would be in the Final Two? I was actually prepared to be sent home, but there was a good chunk of me that was pretty confident that she was going to call my name. I have always put in 110% effort in every photo shoot, every challenge, every runway show. So I had faith in myself, but I was still standing next to two girls who were big competition. I would have to say, probably a little bit of a split between the two.

How nerve-wracking was that final judging panel where you're standing in front of Tyra and she's saying, "America's Next Top Model is..."?
I have never been more nervous in my entire life, but it was so exciting. And just the fact that I was hearing those words and standing in front of that panel only next to one other girl was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I can't be happier. I really can't.

You said it's your favorite show, so are you gonna keep watching it? And how do you think it's gonna be different for you to watch the next Cycle?
Well, I definitely am going to keep watching it. I think it's a really, really great show. It shows models in a whole other light than a lot of other media shows models and that's great to see. And as far as how it's gonna change my perception of the show, I would have to say that I know what the girls are going through and I know what they're thinking. Being in a house with cameras and microphones is difficult at times. So it's gonna be interesting to see it from more of a knowledgeable point of view, I guess I'd have to say.

You'd probably have more sympathy for when they start crying or blow up.
Yeah, definitely. I will definitely feel for them a lot more.

So what have you learned about yourself and about modeling through this whole experience?
I learned, first of all, that I am a really strong person. I have always been confident in myself but being in the show has made me so much more confident. The things I had to go through, and pushed myself through and the girls I had to live with and some of the comments that were made at me, really made me stronger. And I learned to appreciate whatever I have, especially if you're stressed out and it's getting down to the wire.

As far as modeling goes, I have received so many tips and pointers and critiques from Nigel, Tyra, Andre and the Jays. It's going to give me so much knowledge in the future. And it's already started to help me. There were some things that were said to me that I will never forget and they will be with me forever, and help my career to be the best it can be.

So you've got this whole modeling world in front of you, what's your dream modeling job?
Oh my goodness! Dream modeling job, I would have to say, anything and everything international. Runway, print, commercial, glamour, beauty, I want to do it all. Working with top designers is always something every model wants to do. I'd have to say that I plan on moving to New York City or California and when that happens I just hope to start booking jobs and making an impact in the fashion world.

You're from a pretty small town in Minnesota, is that right?
Yep, that's right. Minnetonka.

How has the reaction been from everybody at home?
Everyone is super supportive, and is behind me 100% and I couldn't be more grateful for my friends and family where I'm from.

What's some final words for your fans out there? I know you've got a lot on our site, and they were heartbroken to see that you didn't win.
Aww, they are so sweet! I have the best fans in the whole world and I couldn't be more grateful for them. They put a smile on my face more than they will ever know. I hope they'll stick with me and watch me in my career as it launches off.

Do you have a website, Facebook or Twitter or anything like that that they can catch you on?
Yes! Definitely! I have a website, it's RainaHein.com and I also have Facebook and Twitter.

More Top Model Cycle 14 Finale Interviews:
Third-Place Model Angelea Preston
Third-Place Model Alexandra Underwood

Top Model Cycle 14 Winner Krista White



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