Michelle Dee’s Miss Universe performance breaks stereotypes – pageant expert

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 20) — Michelle Dee’s performance during the Miss Universe 2023 exceeded expectations as the Philippine bet broke stereotypes of the beauty queen, a pageant expert said on Monday.

“Her hair was getting shorter and shorter leading up to the pageant. That only goes to show that she is not afraid to go against the stereotype of what the organization is looking for,” pageant expert Adam Genato told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

“If you noticed her execution, her vision for her candidacy here since day one, it is the complete opposite of everything of what we think about Miss Universe. She has been very consistent with her edgy and unapologetic, authentic self,” he added.

Dee brought the country back to the Top 10 semi-finalists in the Miss Universe pageant. Although she failed to secure a spot in the Top 5, she still took home three special awards: the Spirit of Carnival Award, the Miss Universe' fan vote, and as one of the three gold winners of the Voice for Change competition.

Genato said Dee was also a standout during the coronation night for donning a black evening gown, different from the usual nude, sparkly pieces worn by most of the candidates.

“Unfortunately, it did not resonate with the judges,” he said. “We can safely say that the gown is polarizing because as much as we pageant fans are in favor of what she has done, probably the judges thought that her gown was too high fashion, too edgy, too modern, too extreme for their taste and you cannot fault them for that.”

“At the end of the day, just like I said, Michelle really performed to the best of her abilities,” he added.

Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios was crowned Miss Universe 2023.

The Philippines last took home one of the most coveted beauty pageant titles in 2018 with Catriona Gray.