A beauty contest in Kazakhstan was thrown into chaos after one of the finalists revealed he’s actually a man. Ilay Dyagilev, 22, fooled organisers by posing as Alina Alieva, beating 4,000 applicants to the last stage of the competition.
He said: ‘My friends and I, we had a debate on beauty, and I decided to take part in the pageant. I’ve always been a champion of natural beauty. ‘You can see that many young women look identical, the same make-up, the same style – and they believe that they are beautiful if they follow trends.
I don’t think so.’ But he decided to tell the organisers of Miss Virtual Kazakhstan that they had been conned, as had online voters from all over the country.
‘I came through to the finale and decided to expose the identity of Arina Alieva when I realised it had gone too far. ‘At the very beginning there were around 4,000 applications from across Kazakhstan, but I got to the final,’ he said.
The organisers said they were ‘shocked’ by the revelation of the man from Almaty. Ilay’s confession led to him being removed from the finalists and replaced by Aikerim Temirkhanova, 18. She has scored 1975 votes in the semi-final compared with 2012 for the fake Arina Alieva.
The imposter came through a semi-final which whittled the numbers down from 142 to 16. In neighbouring Russia last year, male student Andrey Nagorny, 20, posed as a lingerie model and won a contest. The ‘striking brunette’ used his girlfriend’s lingerie and makeup and called himself Ms Avacado. After the organisers discovered the truth in the contest on the Pacific island of Sakhalin, he was stripped of the title and prize.