Last week, while searching for Mister International 2015 candidates, I came across Misters of Estonia Year which I thought was a unique contest. I ended up searching about it instead. Through this searched on the internet, I got to know about the man behind this concept -Leo-Sergei Täht. It was interesting to know that Leo was the organizer and co-owner of so many contests in Europe. Being a pageant fan, I was quite impressed and wanted to know more about him. Unfortunately, I could find little about him on the net. So I decided to contact him personally and asked him about the contests and pageant scene in Estonia. He was very gracious and kind enough to agree to do this interview. Read below for more.
Recently, I came across Misters of Estonia year where 20 past winners of Misters of Estonia during the last twenty year were chosen and they competed again for the best Mister Estonia, I thought it was very unusual but an interesting and unique competition. How did that idea come about?
Yes, with this project, we celebrated our 20th anniversary of organizing Mr. Estonia national finals of Manhunt Estonia, Mister Summer Estonia, Mister Baltic Sea Estonia, Mister Europe Estonia, Top Man Estonia for Mister Intercontinental World final, Mister International Estonia. I specialize on male-pageantry and always look forward to creating ideas to promote and expand male pageants in our Nordic region.
Did the past winners support this idea?
Sure! They helped to organize anniversary event, send pictures from their final contest, communicate between each other, sponsored event, for example, Mr. Villu Loonde who is Mr. Summer Estonia 2004, Mister Estonia 2006 and Mister Europe Euro nations 2013 IInd runner-up – he is director of “Kapten Grant” company which produce sea-foods, all of them helped in organizing a gala dinner for our anniversary event.
You are the organizer and co – owner of so many pageants like Mister International Estonia, Mister Denmark International, Mister International Finland, Mister Baltic Sea International and a lot more. How do you manage to organize all these pageants in a single year?
For Mister International organization based in Singapore and organized by Mr. Alan Sim, we started our association with them only in April, this year. We got official regional director certificate by general organizer, The idea is to promote this Grand Slam male pageant in our Nordic countries, because nobody know about it in Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania. Mister Baltic Sea International pageant was organized only one time in 2008 and an awarding ceremony took place in the capital of Estonia – Tallinn-city on board historical m/s Admiral. 9 countries participated which are situated around the Baltic Sea – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia The winner is Mr. Lithuania – Marius Shulga. We prepare our pageant finals very carefully and our priority at the moment is to concentrate on Mister International 2015 which will be held very soon in Manila, Philippines.
When did you actually started organizing those contest? I wouldl love to know about its history and its success or hardship you faced while organizing those contest.
I started organizing Estonia’s Mister pageants since 1995 and I’ve been Estonia’s National Director for Manhunt International 1995 in Singapore and ND for Mister World 1996 in Istanbul, Turkey. Mr. Andres Lints Estonian National delegate on Manhunt International 1995 was in Top 10 – 7th place. Mr. Andrus Raissar – Mister Estonia on Mister World 1996 was in Top 15 – 13th place. I personally knew Mr. Eric Morley – organizer of Mister World and Miss World. Also I’ve been a National Director and jury member on Mister Intercontinental 2001 and 2002 in Germany organized by WBO Europe by Mr. Detlef Tursies, Top Man Estonia 2001 for Mr. Intercontinental 2001 – Mr. Roman Henson was in Top 5 – 4th runner-up and Top Man Estonia 2002 for Mr. Intercontinental 2002 – Mr. Erik Nurm was Mr. Elegance titleholder.
My first established and organized International male pageant is Mister Baltic Sea International in 2008. During 2010-2014, I took time off from it, but continued in beauty pageants as jury member on national finals as Eesti Suvepiiga & Suvemees – Miss & Mister Summer Estonia, Miss Bikini Estonia, Miss Model Estonia, Mister Finland, Miss & Mister Style (Russia).
Can you tell us about the history of Nordic Beauty Pageant and its concept?
We – Nordic Beauty Pageant Organization – specialize in the business of event management, beauty pageants, licensing of international pageants, product launches, and special projects, both locally and internationally now, for the past 15 years. We keep contact between national directors of countries in our Nordic region. We are quite a new name in the glamour industry internationally. We are expanding our pageant and promotions consultancy division to provide better value and added services to our clients from concepts to the final product. We treat all our events seriously from the initial planning stage to last minute details ensuring the success of our events. Our aim is to serve our clients effectively and efficiently. At the same time, our mission is to promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle. Our region including Finland, Sweden, England, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Western Russia.
Male pageants haven’t been very popular like beauty pageants. Did you find any hardship in holding those pageants?
We understand well that our market area is quite big and we are getting more professional in this male pageant industry in the last 20 years.
In the year 2014, Mister Denmark won Mr. World 2014. That must have boosted your morale and enthusiasm among male pageants fans. Isn’t it so?
That’s right, our colleague from Denmark Mrs. Lisa Lents is the organizer of Miss & Mister Denmark contest. We are very happy that such a big title came in our Northern Europe region 🙂
How do you conduct pageants in Estonia?
There are about 5-7 regional tours in biggest town of Estonia like Pärnu, Tartu, Narva, Rakvere, Saaremaa, Valga and Tallinn for selecting contestants for Mister Estonia. Regional winners come in National final which will be held with Miss Summer Estonia finalists in Eesti Suvepiiga & Suvemees – Miss & Mister Summer Estonia. Top 3 winners get rights to represent Estonia in international world Finals. National final includes National Costume, Fashion, Beachwear and Evening dress rounds with an award ceremony. It’s a classic format. With special guests singers and dance companies. Jury meet contestants in pre-judging time. We also organize internet voting in web-magazines in Estonia like http://www.elu24.ee and http://www.publik.ee
As an organizer and owner of so many pageants, what are the things that you would like to see happening in the future?
First of all, we are open to cooperation and looking for strategical media partners in our Nordic region. We made in Facebook medium our main projects You are welcome to join us.
Thank you for the invitation. Would you be attending Mister International 2015 in Manila, Philippines?
Not this year…. we just started our associations in 2015 with this Grand Slam pageant organization.
Mister Estonia International – Eghert-Sören Nõmm is one of the strong candidates for the Mister International title. What do you think of his winning chances?
Well, Eghert is a great person and very good artist. Let’s showcase his CV
1997 – until now SIXTINA Dance School dancer, teacher, choreographer
1998 Mini Star Estonia winner
1999 World Championships of Performing Arts gold medal
2000 Mini Mister Estonia
2001 Mini Mister World
2002 World Championships of Performing Arts Junior, World champion
2004 World Star of Performing Arts Grand Prix – Sixtina group
2006 Children Talent World Grand Prix
2007 – until now Sir N dance crew owner, dancer and choreographer
2008 IDO dance competition Junior Estonian Champion
2010- until now National theater “Estonia” dancer, actor and singer in a musical
2011 Eurovision song contest background dancer for Getter Jaani
2012 Nov. Movement Lifestyle & Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in Los Angeles
2012 Nov. Bobbie Chance: Expressions Unlimited Theatre Studio in Los Angeles
Thank you, Leo, for doing this interview. It was a pleasant talking to you and helping us to know more about the pageants scene in Nordic countries and especially Estonia. Wish you all the success in your future endeavor.