Michelle Dee puts PH back on the map after Miss Universe Top 10 finish, says Shamcey Supsup-Lee
MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee expressed her gratitude to Michelle Marquez Dee, heaping praises on the Filipino beauty queen for her performance in the just-concluded Miss Universe 2023 pageant.
“A Top 10 finish is already an achievement. Thank you for putting the Philippines back to the map as a pageant powerhouse,” Lee told INQUIRER.net in an online interview after the culmination of the pageant’s coronation show on Nov. 19, where Dee prevented a “back to backstage” scenario for the country by advancing to the next round of competition.
In the 71st edition of the global pageant, Dee’s predecessor Celeste Cortesi broke the 12-year placement streak posted by Filipino contenders in the Miss Universe pageant.
“I still believe in my heart that you should have made it to the Top 5. But as I have always said, we can only control half the pie, the other half is beyond our control,” continued Lee, who watched from the Philippines after skipping her trip to El Salvador due to undisclosed circumstances.
The crown eventually went to Dee’s fellow Miss World alumna Sheynnis Palacios, who scored Nicaragua’s first-ever victory in the Miss Universe pageant. Miss Supranational 2019 Anntonia Porsild from Thailand settled for second place, while Australia’s Moraya Wilson finished third.
The other two in the Top 5 were Miss Supranational 2021 first runner-up Karla Guilfu from Puerto Rico, and Camila Avella from Colombia, one of the first two mothers who made it to the international stage of the Miss Universe pageant.
“To have united the Filipino people, you have established that kindness does move mountains and create change,” Lee told Dee, who earned her ticket to the Miss Universe pageant after her second attempt in the Miss Universe Philippines competition.
“To Michelle, I cannot put into words how proud I am of you and your mission to bring your cause to the Universe stage. To be chosen as a gold winner for the ‘Voice for Change’ is already a testament to your commitment to be the queen that walks the talk,” Lee continued.
Dee, Guilfu, and Angola’s Ana Coimbra were all declared gold winners in the advocacy video competition initiated by Miss Universe crown provider Mouawad with CI Talks. The winners were chosen by a group of judges, but the Filipino queen also topped the online poll for the program. The three winners each received $12,000 for their respective advocacy projects.
The Filipino queen also received the “Spirit of Carnival” award from Carnival Cruise Line for embodying the company’s value of fun, friendship, diversity, and inclusion. Dee came out as a bisexual woman after her coronation as Miss Universe Philippines in May.
Her Miss Universe feat is similar to her 2019 Miss World participation where she also brought the country back in contention by finishing in the Top 12, after her Miss World Philippines predecessor Katarina Rodriguez broke the country’s seven-year placement streak in the London-based global tilt.
Dee took to social media to express her gratitude to the Filipino people for the support she enjoyed. “Love and kindness over everything! Mahal ko kayo (I love you all). Thank you so much for raising our flag with me,” she said.
Her two-time Miss Universe Philippines batchmate and Miss Supranational 2023 first runner-up Pauline Amelinckx also lauded Dee. “You are timeless. You had us sitting at the edge of our seats. Thank you for bringing an entire nation with you,” she posted on her Instagram Stories.
Lee, meanwhile, said, “we will be waiting for you to come home, our Queen.” No details of her homecoming have been released as of this writing.