Orphan wins Miss Moscow 2007 title

‘Miss Moscow’ is an annual beauty pageant bringing together the most beautiful women of the capital. This year it was staged at the Pushkinsky Cinema Hall, and included both novices and contestants who had already won local beauty competitions.

Next year the capital's leading beauty pageant will turn 20 – a long time for Russia where there is no tradition of staging such shows.

This year the organisers claimed they had prepared something unusual.

“It's not just walking on the catwalk – we create a theatre-like show. To participate in it, one has to be very well prepared in different areas. Otherwise it is impossible to perform well,” claimed Tatyana Andreeva, contest director.

30 finalists were chosen from among 1,500 entrants.  Each finalist was assigned a tutor, and for a month underwent intense training in stage presence as well as the arts and sciences.

Several stages of the contest tested the challengers' intellect and ability to perform.

Nearly all of them are college students – future economists, physicists and even biologists.

Miss Moscow 2007’s crown passed to Natalya Andreeva and now the winner plans to support charity activities.

“I grew up without parents, my grandmother raised me. So I understand the hardships of living in an orphanage – and want to support kids living there,” said Natalya Andreeva, Miss Moscow 2007.

For those who weren't in with a chance of winning the main prize – or one of the three runner-up titles – the organisers introduced additional categories such as: Miss Charm, Miss Fitness and Miss Photo Model.