With the commotion that the already deleted post of Miss Universe El Salvador created after showing Michelle Dee in the Top 5 finalists, one netizen reached out to Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere and expressed their sentiments on the mishap.
Mittenaere was one of the judges in the staging of the 72nd edition of the pageant. Other judges were Halima Aden (Somali-American model), Mario Bautista (Mexican singer), Giselle Blondet (Puerto Rican actress), Janelle Commissiong (Miss Universe 1977), Nadia Ferreira (Miss Universe 2021 First Runner-Up), Avani Gregg (US social media personality), Carson Kressley (US actor and designer), Connie Mariano (Filipino-American physician), Sweta Patel (Roku executive), and Denise White (Miss Oregon USA 1994).
In a comment on Mittenaere’s Instagram post, the netizen implored the French TV host to give a statement on the circulating screenshot of the Miss Universos El Salvador’s Instagram post that included the Philippines’ Michelle Dee in the Top 5, but which it subsequently deleted.
“During the Top 5 announcement? Why [were the] Philippines in the deleted version? … If ever you only knew anything about it. Please spare us some explanations or clarifications,” wrote the fan.
Replying to the comment, Mittenaere said she wasn’t aware of any deleted post and that Dee was part of her Top 5 choices, proceeding to compliment the Philippine representative.
“I have no idea about a deleted post or something. As judges, everything was fair and legal. But to be honest, Michelle was in my Top 5. I loved her style in the evening gown, and I have loved her style since I saw her in the Philippines almost 3 years ago,” she said.
“She didn’t make any mistakes, so the Philippines should be very proud of her. The level was really high this year. I know that Michelle is very sweet, and please give her a lot of love because she deserves it. She is the perfect representative of the Philippines,” Mittenaere further said.
In a recent statement, Miss Universe El Salvador said that their art card showing Dee in the Top 5 instead of Thailand’s Anntonia Porsild was an honest mistake, and they apologized for mixing up the two candidates.
Despite not securing a spot in the Top 5, Dee finished impressively as she managed to bring the Philippines back to the Top 10, taking home special awards and gaining international attention.
The PH bet is still currently abroad, attending a few post-pageant events before returning to the country to resume her life as a beauty queen and actress.