After a 5-year break a beauty pageant was held again in Armenia. The title of “Miss Armenia 2017” was issued to Lilly Sargsyan. The 17-year-old will represent Armenia in the Miss World 2017 contest which will be held in China in November.
Miss Armenia 2017 had contestants also from other countries, all Armenian nationals. For example, the title of Vice-Miss Armenia was issued to Anahit Isakhanova from Latvia. The video below shows all the contestants.
Who is Miss Armenia 2017
The new Miss Armenia is a design and arts student. Lilly told the journalists that she’s now getting ready for the Miss World 2017 contest, but is keen to continue her education.
Gohar Harutyunian, a former Miss Armenia and Miss CIS winner and the organizer of Miss Armenia 2017 contest described her as an “introvert” and “melancholic” and said their focus now is to teach Lilly to hold better on stage and get rid of her shyness.
Meanwhile, as with every similar contest, there is quite a bit of criticism on the Armenian section of Facebook and Twitter. Most of it goes along the lines of “she’s too skinny” and “there were more beautiful girls at the contest.”
Why was there a 5-year-pause in Miss Armenia contests?
The first Miss Armenia contest was held in 1996 and went on with some interruptions now and then till 2012.
The winners of the Armenian contest took part in several beauty contests, including Miss CIS, Miss Europe and Miss Globe with moderate success.
The beauty contest terminated after 2012 amid criticism of poor organization, corruption allegations and financial difficulties.
On a related note, Armenian model and actress Shushan Yeritsyan won the title of Miss CIS 2017, a pageant held among young beauties from the Commonwealth of Independent States that formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
However, it is not clear how she was selected to represent Armenia in the Miss CIS contest, as no Miss Armenia contest was held prior to that.
Meanwhile, when asked if she wants to participate in Miss Armenia 2017, Yeritsyan said she’s too busy getting ready for the Miss CIS contest but welcomed the resumption of the pageant in Armenia.
The conflict between “Miss Armenia” organizers
After the previous organizer of Miss Armenia contests did nothing for 5 years, Gohar Harutyunyan, a former Miss Armenia, Miss CIS and Miss Globe winner decided to organize the contest herself. Her organization, “Miss Armenia All-Armenian Foundation” ensured the support of the Ministry of Culture, and more importantly the Miss World and Miss Universe contests.
This change didn’t go down well with Karen Aristakesyan, whose NGO called “Miss Armenia National Agency” was the organizer of the previous Miss Armenia contests. He claimed that Gohar Harutyunian is infringing on his trademark for “Miss Armenia.”
In response, Gohar Harutyunyan changed the name of contest from “Miss Armenia” to “Miss Armenia All-Armenian Beauty Pageant.” Incidentally, the contest ensured the participation of Diaspora Armenians from Georgia, Russia, USA, Latvia, Lebanon, which is just as well. Why not, since more Armenians live outside of the country.
PS: Overall, IMHO this is a silly contest, which I never watch, but let’s recognize that it has quite a bit of promotional value for the country if the Armenian beauty takes part in Miss World and Miss Universe and registers at least moderate success.