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Backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show: Obama Talk, Sandy Drama and Rihanna Run-Ins

Arriving for my backstage check-in at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show yesterday morning, I was a bit bleary-eyed—after all, election festivities kept me up until 2 am the prior night. But in the VS hair and makeup wing, several Angels were totally game to discuss Decision 2012—particularly Joan Smalls, who admitted she fell asleep long before Obama's acceptance speech. "But I was praying and hoping that he'd win!" she said. "I went and voted early that morning—and made sure I tweeted, since I'd heard Latinas and women were going to be the deciding factor. I wanted to make sure that all my people voted, that they made a difference!" Behati Prinsloo, too, was enthusiastic about Obama's reelection. "He was definitely my choice," she said. "I wish him the best of luck for the next four years."

Turning our attention to a different country, we made a beeline for It Brit Cara Delevingne next, whose recent casting in this year's VS spectacular—along with that of her fellow UK stunner Jourdan Dunn—has had the blogosphere buzzing. "Jourdan and I are the best of friends, so it's so fun we're getting to do this," she told me. "To be honest, though, I never thought it was going to happen to me. Even when I started going to the fittings, I kept thinking I wasn't going to get it. Because at shows, things can always change at the last minute, you know?" She said that adjusting to the sheer scope of this particular show would be challenging ("This is not like a normal fashion show—it's the biggest fashion show in the world!") but was thrilled to be sharing the runway with Rihanna, one of her favorite stars. "I have the biggest girl crush on her—I don't even know what to do with myself," she gushed. "And she just slapped me on the bum, about five minutes ago! We passed her and I were like, "you look so hot," and she was like, "so do you girls"—and then she slapped me on the ass!"

One VS beauty who didn't need any extra encouragement, even from a major pop star? First-time Angel Hilary Rhoda, who invited her own mom to the show. "It's her birthday, so she's coming!" she told me, adding that she learned she'd been cast in the show right before Hurricane Sandy hit NYC. So how did the model fare during the storm? "I tried to stick it out at my apartment, but there was no running water, no flushing toilets, no phone service—total nightmare. I ended up going uptown!"

So what non-weather-related challenges were our Angels dealing with as showtime approached? "Wearing lingerie always makes me so nervous," Doutzen Kroes confided. "You never know what it's going to look like in pictures and on the runway, but you have to trust the stylists to put you in something flattering. I'm just so grateful that my wings aren't too heavy this year!" Added Candice Swanepoel, "Seeing everyone's tweets, counting down the days—that makes me nervous! I put a lot of pressure on myself in general—to be better than last year, to be different in some way. Kind of my own demons, I guess." Girl, we all have 'em.

As for Behati? "I think the most difficult thing is staying dedicated to working out. But once you get into it, it becomes second nature and you kind of get so used to it that you want to keep doing it—keep being healthy even after the show." And Constance Jablonski agreed that scheduling regular workouts pre-VS can be a struggle. "Because we're always working, it's hard to spend time getting ready," she told me. "People think we spend two weeks training before the show, but it's not true!"

Click through for a bunch of our backstage Instagrams, via @luckymagazine and @elanafishman.

Hilary Rhoda

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