The Miss Universe Philippines Organization and 71st Miss Universe backstage host Catriona Gray addressed Filipinos after Philippine bet Celeste Cortesi failed to enter the Top 16.
Pinoys, who are among the most pageant-obsessed people in the world, took to social media to air their reactions after the 25-year-old Pasay beauty ended her journey.
Some were in disbelief, like television host Vice Ganda.
READ: ‘El Tocuyo awardee?’: Pinoys in disbelief as Celeste Cortesi ends Miss Universe 2022 journey
Miss Universe 2011 first runner-up Janine Tugonon also posted a broken-hearted emoji following the moment.
Despite this, the Miss Universe Philippines Organization shared that it is “proud” of Celeste for representing the country in the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world.
“You inspired us with your beauty, grace, and perseverance,” it said on a Facebook post.
“Thank you for giving an amazing performance for the country, @celeste_cortesi!” MUPH added, tagging Celeste’s account.
Catriona, who was spotted shaking her head after failing to hear “Philippines” make it to the Top 16 semifinals, also offered words of comfort to Pinoys.
“The selection committee must have really had a hard time, but what an exceptional group of ladies,” she said as a backstage host.
“Guys, you are not alone — Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia – I know you might be feeling a little bit of disappointment right now, but we always have next year,” Catriona added.
This is the first time the Philippines did not make it to the Miss Universe’s semifinals since the stint of Venus Raj in 2010.
Celeste was previously considered a frontrunner in some pageant communities.
Apart from her Miss Universe stint, she also represented the country in Miss Earth 2018, where she was among the Top 8 finalists.
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