The audacious and perky Shane Raines teamed up with brother Tony in the MTV reality show “The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines” this season after a steamy appearance on “The Real World: Skeletons.” Proudly being the only gay personality to have ever taken part in “The Challenge,” the 24-year-old ex-hairdresser quickly gained instant popularity overnight. After a lengthy conversation with him, it was easy to see why.
His adorable Louisiana accent and his humble and appreciative manner were just a small part of his charm. His honesty was extremely refreshing, and his polite Southern characteristics were enchanting. Shane had an inner authenticity, a gentle hint of flamboyancy and a kind spirit that was hard to ignore.
Shane, can we begin with you telling Get Out! about yourself?
My name is Shane Raines. I’m 24. I was born in Louisiana, about 10 minutes from New Orleans. I graduated high school in 2009 and went straight into beauty school. I graduated from there in 2010 and got my license shortly after. I’m a cosmetologist, currently still working in and out. I work when I want now. I’m taking a little break since all this hit. Right now I’m just focusing on this, MTV and reality world.
You’ve acquired a huge following.
Yes, and it’s been such a short time. It’s just really getting started. I kind of lucked out there. They must like something, I don’t know. My brother Tony did the “Real World,” and I appeared on one of the episodes as a guest. They gave me a lot of screen time in that episode, so I got a good bit from that. Then I just filmed “Bloodlines” for “The Challenge,” so I got it off my brother. But we had a little after-show party for MTV, and I got the call; my brother didn’t. I was honored. I appreciate it.
What do you think will happen to your career from here?
I thought I would look to model. If I had to I would work out, get my body in shape. I’m cool with the reality thing. I would love to do something a little bigger, maybe acting. Growing up I always focused on hair. I thought I was always going to be a hairdresser. I will always have that on the back burner. Not everyone makes it a lifetime career, but while it’s here I’d like to go as far as I can get.
What was it like being thrown into the television world from being a hairdresser?
Thrown in, that’s the perfect way to say it. I was born in New Orleans, which is like a small New York; however, my mother moved us out to the country. She moved away from all of her family. They were all crazy city people, and she took us to the smallest town possible. I grew up with cows. I pretty much grew up with no money, a single parent and my brother. I went to the same school from elementary to 12th grade. So it’s really mind-blowing, it’s bizarre, truly a dream come true.
So I bet you sit back sometimes and think this is surreal.
Oh, all the time. Especially when I’m doing stuff like this, being on the phone with you. Johnny said he got me a cover on a magazine. I said, “Wow, no way!”
Have you seen Get Out! magazine?
Oh, yeah. Just last year I went on the “Real World” with my brother, and his castmate Bruno had a little brother who appeared on the same show I was on.
Let me guess, Briah.
Yes! So me and Briah had a small little relationship for six months, long distance, and then around last year this time I saw his Get Out! magazine cover.
I did that interview.
I saw that interview. Awesome.
So the two of you were seeing each other? I love this.
Yeah, but it got complicated. It was good while it lasted.
That’s OK. You’re only 24 years old, too young to commit.
Right now I’m seeing someone, but I tell him I’m not committing. I’m focusing on me right now. He understands, so that’s good.
No one on the television program was gay, correct?
Did everyone know you were gay? Did you try to hide it?
It’s a competition show, and each season is different. They take someone from “The Real World,” so they took my brother, and I got to go on. So on the one episode from “The Real World,” I came out, and they show a scene of me and Briah in bed together, underneath the covers. He basically came out from that episode. I came out when I was 15. I had my first boyfriend when I was 15. I thought he was so hot; I figured, why not. At 15 I said, “Hey, this is me, you can’t hide that,” and I didn’t want to hide it. I feel bad for people who wait until they’re 40, 50, 60 to come out, like Caitlyn Jenner. To spend more than half your life in the closet has got to suck. I can’t imagine. I feel blessed. I told my mother the other day. She is so old school. She was reading a book called “Shane,” and she said in her real heavy accent, “It’s a curse. I must have done something bad to have a gay son.” I told her, “Mom, it’s a blessing to be gay.” We have a great relationship though.
I would think it was a little rough to come out in a school where everyone was there from kindergarten to 12th grade, having all the same people around you everyday.
Absolutely. I was the only one that was out in my entire school, and there were others. So I was the only one that was picked on, and I definitely had to fight my way through. I did it. It made me a stronger person.
So is this season over?
It can be seen right now Wednesdays at 10 o’clock. You won’t see us on this one though, because my brother fell and ruptured his spleen. The fall didn’t look bad on television, but it was bad enough to cut his stomach open. The challenges are not hard. I’m a more slender gay guy, and I can do them. When I first got to the airport I just sat, quietly observed everyone. I didn’t know if everyone thought I was gay or not. When I got to the house I just let loose. Everyone starts drinking basically. One of the girls came up to me and said she was guessing whether or not I was gay. She said I was much too pretty to be straight; however, I didn’t act gay. So once I got to the house, they figured it out. Not that I was trying to hide it. I have a look, my hair is done, but it’s not like I’m wearing pink flamboyant [clothes] out there. I’m not screaming gay.
Personally, I feel like all men are gay until proven otherwise.
Thank you! I think everybody has a little something in them.
Do you and your brother have a good relationship?
I just got off the phone with him actually. He is basically my best friend. He’s the first person I told that I was gay. He was the most supportive.
What was your hardest challenge on the show?
Snakes. My head was in a box, and the snakes dropped down. It’s just your head in the box, so you can’t even grab the snakes. If you take your head out, you lose. That’s my biggest fear. They don’t tell you what is in the box. They ask you what your biggest fear is. At the same time my brother was in a box, and he had to chew roaches and spit them out. That for me was the biggest challenge.
It shows from your popularity on social media.
I have 44,000 right now. I’m on it daily.
Well, I’m going to follow you right now!