American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow also felt the heartbreak felt by Filipinos as their bet, Michelle Dee, failed to win the highly coveted crown at Miss Universe 2023.
The Makati beauty queen ended her Miss Universe journey when she finished in the Top 10 and didn’t advance to the Top 5 of the pageant.
Michelle nevertheless was a gold winner in the competition’s “Voice for Change” video and was a recipient of the “Spirit of Carnival” award given by pageant sponsor Carnival Cruises.
However, many Filipinos were shocked that she was not able to enter at least the Top 5, giving her the ability to impress judges with her eloquence and quick thinking in the question-and-answer portions.
Michelle herself also shared her disappointment when she failed to advance to the Top 5, saying “Sayang, hindi ako nakahawak ng mic,” to ABS-CBN News on Sunday, November 19.
She said that she prepared for the pageant for a “whole year” to make sure her performance, particularly the question-and-answer portion, was smooth.
Some Pinoy pageant fans also speculated that Michelle was “dropped” because they “knew” how she would perform in the Q&A.
Ronan, an investigative reporter, was among those who expressed his reaction immediately after Michelle failed to advance to the Top 5.
“Miss Philippines was robbed, shaking and crying,” he wrote on Sunday.
“#michelledee,” the journalist added.
“But happy for you, Nicaragua,” Ronan later wrote.
His first tweet has amassed 660,200 views, 8,300 likes and 1,600 reposts. It has also earned several replies in the thread.
Miss Philippines was robbed, shaking and crying.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) November 19, 2023
Ronan won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for his investigative reporting on allegations of sexual abuse against film producer Harvey Weinstein.
He is the son of actress Mia Farrow and filmmaker Woody Allen and has previously served as a UNICEF Spokesperson for the Youth.
Michelle in the pageant
While Michelle’s national costume earned mixed reactions from Pinoys, some lauded her for her performance in the swimwear and evening gown rounds.
Her gown for the finals particularly impressed Filipinos since it was a tribute to the country’s oldest “mambabatok” who practices ancient Filipino tattooing.
Michelle was also among the final picks of Missosology, a leading pageant website, for Miss Universe 2023.
Meanwhile, some social media users agreed with Ronan who thought the Philippine bet would advance to the final round.
“100%. She could’ve swallowed them all in that Q&A, lol,” an X user wrote.
“Miss Universe is afraid Philippines will ACE the Q and A,” another user commented.
“Yes, she nailed everything! With awards!” exclaimed a different user.
Others also claimed of seeing a now-deleted Instagram Story from the Miss Universe account which saw Michelle in the Top 5 instead of Thailand bet Anntonia Porsild, who eventually placed as first runner-up.
What's the meaningof these?🤭 pic.twitter.com/wJ0Xwbhjy4
— Diane Lopez🥰❤ (@Diane29211996) November 19, 2023
The Miss Universe Organization has yet to issue a statement about the incident.
Pinoy pageant expert Adam Genato also said the org should address the post since “it is really confusing everyone.”
“Ano ‘to? Steve Harvey moment again back in 2015?” he said to CNN Philippines.
“Probably during the finals night, their goal was to give real-time updates about how the pageant was unfolding, but unfortunately, they probably made an honest mistake. To be fair with them, they took it down minutes after, but it was kind of too late because it already went viral,” Adam said.
He also said that he personally reached out to the press team of the org but has yet to receive a response.
In the meantime, the pageant expert said he is assuming the post was “an honest mistake on their part.”
The Miss Universe 2023 was won by Nicaraguan bet Sheynnis Palacios, while Anntonia placed as first runner-up. Australia’s Moraya Wilson placed as second runner-up.