Miss Virtual Yakutia was developed by SakhaInternet Ltd. and Ona Plus Women Newspaper in 1999. Initially the online beauty contest was known as Miss Virtual Yakutsk and there were not so many competitors. Only 20. However, this idea pleased local inhabitants. With online voting, citizens acquired the opportunity to exert influence on the course of the contest. They were really unsatisfied with traditional Miss Yakutia held in a restricted area of a concert hall, and viewed by limited audience, and estimated by a few judges (usually VIPs).
The last point was a stumbling-block. Nobody did understand the criteria of electing Miss. It was generally agreed that judgment was a sort of preconceived. In any case, people did not like to stay aside, they wanted their opinion to be not only taken into consideration but accepted as correct. Miss Virtual Yakutsk appeared to be in right time and in right form. The Internet project immediately conquered popularity and reputation of the alternative beauty contest.
By a majority Elena Zhilzova was recognized as the 1 st Miss Virtual. The power of photography did work for her good. She did not come in sight just with darling smile, but tried to reveal her feminity. She couldn't succeed without the help of a photographer. From this point onwards local photo masters did find a unique opportunity to demonstrate their artistic skills, express themselves, increase reputation, and declare that they were able to do much more than just taking pictures for documents.
Organizers decided to conduct the event annually and in a big way. In 2000, Online Beauty Contest acquired a new title “Miss Virtual Yakutia”. The change meant that any young lady living on the territory of the republic may become a contender. She needs only to send a picture of her own and that's all. “Let beautiful and photogenic win!” – sounded the motto. Today this slogan remains unchanged.
Ekaterina Duraeva deserved the title “Miss Virtual Yakutia' 2000” . She received 164 votes in preliminary tour and 73 votes in final. Among 50 participants she had got the best result.
Tatiana Nikitina became the most virtually beautiful in 2001. One year before she won Miss Yakutsk State University , later she became Miss Asia & Oceania 2003 .
The executive committee made a pause and resumed the contest in two years only. Valeria Stepanova was the best in 2003.
Next year organizers appeared to be too clever by half. They complicated the process of electing the beauty. Besides online preliminary and semifinal voting they decided to involve Russian celebrities as members of jury in final stage. Latter should observe finalists' pictures and choose the one they like. This idea was accepted, but other one not. Contenders should additionally participate in a real contest on a concert stage in front of limited audience and a few invited judges. Again VIPs were the ones who had power to select the best. Expansion beyond virtual realm led to the same point. All that reminded the ordinary beauty contest. ‘What's the sense?' asked local newspapers full of indignation.
As a result of complicated voting Sardaana Koryakina earned “Miss Virtual Yakutia'2004”. A few days later she deserved the same title without attribute ‘virtual'. Afterward she took part in Miss Russia Beauty Contest, and received some admiring remarks about her national costume. Then a sort of scandal happened. Sardaana Koryakina allegedly broke the conditions of the contract with Miss Yakutia Executive Committee and lost her title Miss Yakutia . The point is that she joined N.Y. Model Agency, a newly-fledged competitor to Miss Yakutia Executive Committee. Sardaana Koryakina didn't regret. She has public acknowledgement, and she is the Miss chosen by a majority of Yakutians and some celebrities.
The scheme of Miss Virtual Yakutia'2005 was changed a little bit. Something was cancelled, something was added. For instance, SMS-voting was additionally applied for the first time. So the best of bests was Maria Goushina !
Miss Virtual Yakutia' 2006
This time the contest came back to the roots. It was fully conducted online. On Dec. 9 executive committee declared Miss Virtual Yakutia'2006 ( http://miss.ykt.ru & www.missvirtualyakutia.com ) to be open. 120 ladies from all sides of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) sent applications and photographs of high quality. All of them were divided into twelve preliminary groups. Online vote started on Feb. 16 and closed accurately in a month. Twenty ladies with highest points entered semifinal. Luckiest added their portfolio with more pictures and stories about themselves. Afterwards Yakutians selected TOP 10 by means of Internet and SMS. The list of finalists was published on Mar. 31. Contenders took ten days break.
To make people keep them in mind, they made audio-greetings and posted them on official website of the beauty contest. On Apr. 15-16 almost all ladies (except Irina Sannikova, she got in a car accident) appeared online again but in another format. For two days they actually occupied Sterkh Hotel, where they attended masterclasses, took part in photo session, tried sponsors' cosmetics, perfumes and clothes, got new coiffure, update their personal blogs, chat with fans and so on. All that girlish activity Internet users could see live through webcams installed in hotel rooms and halls.
On Apr. 18 final (secret) vote started. Ordinary visitors voted on the website by checking a box in front of a favorite contender. Invited judges (mostly celebrities) sent emails with preferences. On Apr. 21 final results were declared during awarding ceremony – Virtual Night' 2006 with legendary Russian DJ Groove. So… The winners is… Polina Protodyakonova!
Miss Virtual Yakutia' 2006 is 19-year-old student of Yakutsk State University . Her major is philology. Born in the settlement of Verkhnevilyusk. Likes casual clothes, R&B music, turquoise and violet colors. Dreams to express herself fully in this life and help people.
Written by Bolot Bochkarev.