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How did Raine Michaels get picked to be one of Sports Illustrated 25 swimwear models? Here is how!

Belmont freshman and rocker Bret Michaels' daughter Raine Michaels will appear in the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in May. “There are only 25 girls in the magazine, which is crazy,” said Michaels. “And I’m going to be one.”

Michaels will be flown out to an undisclosed location in mid-February for the swimsuit photo shoot. But it was a long few months that led up to her selection. Her first step was to submit an Instagram video to the Sports Illustrated Swim Search over the summer.

Michaels took 79 videos of herself, trying to find the perfect one. It wasn’t until her phone was at one percent that she decided to take one more. “Feeling a bit of uncertainty, she decided to submit that last video anyway. She thought, “we’ll see where it goes, and if no one sees it then, whatever.”

The next day, she woke up to find her picture reposted on the official Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Instagram. A week later, Michaels was invited to Miami, where she took part in the second step of the audition process, an interview with her idol Kate Upton. “We had to do an interview with her for for like two minutes. Which is crazy because she’s my role model. I was freaking out,” said Michaels.

Michaels was one of 60 contestants in Miami. Sports Illustrated editors and veteran models narrowed those 60 down to 16 that same day. “I was like the 11th girl that got called,” Michaels said. “I thought, there was no way I was going to get called now.”

In November, Sports Illustrated flew the 16 out to Miami again for a photo shoot and another round of interviews. It wasn’t until January that the six finalists would receive Skype calls congratulating them on making the magazine.

Michaels received the highly-anticipated call and secured her place. “I honestly can’t remember what they said. I was so nervous,” Michaels said.

Though Michaels is living out her dream, she is still a full-time student. She realizes trying to balance school and modeling is going to be a struggle in the next few months. “I let my teachers know in advance," said Michaels. “Obviously I’m here to be a student, but this is what I really want to do.”

She doesn’t plan on dropping out, but knows if things start to pile up she’ll have to make a tough decision. “It all depends on how everything turns out. I’m really going to think about it this summer,” said Michaels.

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