Michelle Dee admitted being disappointed over her failure to advance to the Miss Universe 2023 question-and-answer portions, but that she’s nonetheless thankful for the opportunity to represent the Philippines in the global pageant.
During an interview on ABS-CBN’s YouTube channel last Sunday, Nov. 19, Dee said she prepared for a “whole year” to make sure her performance in the pageant — particularly the question-and-answer portion — was smooth sailing, only to bow out after making it to the Top 10.
“Sayang, hindi ako nakahawak ng mic (It’s such a shame, I wasn’t able to hold the mic),” she said. “But if anything, just know that I was training the whole year to make sure if ever I had that moment, walang butas (there are no problems).”
The beauty queen noted that joining Miss Universe is “all about destiny,” as she extended her support to reigning titleholder Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua.
“But then again, it’s all about destiny. Ultimately, it’s Miss Nicaragua’s destiny. She’s an amazing woman. We’re on to bigger things, of course,” she said.
Despite her Top 10 exit, Dee said she gave “everything [she] can afford to give,” and that being acknowledged for her “hard work and dedication” is enough. “It felt amazing. It felt like home. I love putting on a show. But most of all, I love making all of my countrymen so proud.”
“And kita niyo naman, talagang binigay ko ang lahat (If you can see, I gave everything). Everything I can afford to give, I left it on that stage. I just left it to destiny,” she said. “Of course, it’s not the result we wanted but as long as all of you saw the hard work and dedication made not just by myself but also the whole team behind me. That’s enough.”
Dee’s Miss Universe debut brought the Philippines back on the pageant map, as Miss Universe Philippines national director Shamcey Supsup-Lee put it, when the crossover stunner made it to the Top 20, then to the Top 10 where she was able to showcase her Mark Bumgarner Apo Whang-Od-inspired black cut-out gown during the evening gown competition.
Shortly after the coronation night, she thanked her fans on social media for “raising our flag with me.”