Miss Philippines Michelle Dee with her aviation-themed national costume.


Fans mock belated costume award for Miss Philippines

Filipinos have taken to social media to mock Miss Universe organization’s belated announcement that Miss Philippines Michelle Dee won Best National Costume in the recently concluded 72nd Miss Universe pageant.

Miss Universe organization announced on Friday (November 24) that the Philippine candidate received the most votes in the Miss Universe app for Best National Costume. The announcement came five days after the coronation night, and following controversy over the “mix-up” in the announcement of the Top 5 candidates on the Miss Universe El Salvador page where the pageant was held, with Miss Philippines replaced at the last minute by Miss Thailand.

ALSO READ: Miss Universe El Salvador admits mix-up in Top 5 graphics

Many fans have been calling for a boycott of the Miss Universe pageant following the controversy. Social media influencer Quemi, in a viral post, compared the belated National Costume award to slop. “Now you are going to give us that award to appease us? You can keep it! Don’t take us for fools,” Quemi said in her Philippine dialect, calling the pageant a “cooking show”.

“This must be consolation from Miss Universe Org since the show was rigged and cooked when she didn’t enter the Top 5,” Akimbo posted on X, echoing sentiments from many netizens who claimed that Miss Philippines Dee was “robbed” of the chance to win the pageant.

Fans have accused Miss Universe organization of rigging the pageant, questioning the last-minute mix-up in the graphics card announcement for the Top 5. Fans said Miss Philippines, who won the most special awards at the pageant, should have made it to the final five.

Miss Thailand eventually emerged as first-runner up. The Miss Universe 2023 title went to Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua, giving her country its first Miss Universe win.

Fans pointed out that Dee won the most special awards in Miss Universe history. Apart from the Best in National Costume award, she was also the Fan Vote winner, Voice For Change winner and the Spirit of Carnival winner.

Miss Philippines wins Best in National Costume

Miss Philippines Dee’s aviation-themed costume is a nod to her role as an Air Force Reservist. She said her costume was aimed at promoting the Philippines’ tourism industry.

Dee wore airplane-like wings with a lever that, when pulled, transformed into a mural displaying Filipino culture with the Department of Tourism’s slogan, “Love the Philippines.” ICA/Expat Media

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