Alisa Tulinina spoke to the Voice of Russia prior to the competition, and explained what this competition meant for her.
"First and foremost, I am very proud to be representing Russia in the 23rd Annual Mrs. International Beauty Pageant. It means so much for me to represent Russia and my hometown of Kazan, to be here and to participate. I am having so much fun despite the difficulty of the language barrier, as no one here speaks Russian. I appreciate the support I have gotten from my family and my country. It is truly an honor".
While most of the contestants were from the United States, there were also women representing Canada, Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Russia and other countries. When the competition narrowed down to just 16 contestants, Tulinina was the only non-American left standing.
In the following round Tulinina was eliminated from the competition. And in the end the judges crowned American Sarah Bazey from Minnesota as a new Mrs. International. Bazey will now spend the next year promoting a charity of her choice, as well as a charity of the Pageants, the American Heart Association. Well, Mrs. International may not be as popular as other pageants around the world, such as Miss Universe or Miss America, according to Mary Richardson, the national executive director of Mrs. International, the Pageant permanently promotes marriage and family above all else.
"We really showcase the accomplishments of married women. Our belief is again the importance of family. You know, the support of a husband if a contestant does or doesn’t have kids, is really relevant. The focus is the importance of the marriage and the vows, and you know, giving back to the community a woman of character, a woman that is very well rounded and involved".
The contestants were scored based on individual interviews with the judges, which amounted at 50 percent of the overall score. The other 50 percent was split into two sections, evening gown and fitness wear. For the evening gown section, all the contestants were escorted by their husbands, another rare occurrence in any pageants. Russian Tulinina, who was married with two children, recalls her husband’s first reaction, when he found out he was required to participate in the competition.
"He doesn’t have to do much. He just has to walk out once to escort me in the formal wear. Pretty much he does not have to say anything. But what does he think? Like any other man, he would rather not participate. But he supports me whenever I need him. So, if I need him, he is there. All contestants here came with their husbands who will support all of their wives and walk with them on the stage. I think it’s very important when your other half supports you no matter what".