Expert: Miss Universe 2022 has the ‘transformational leadership quality’ new org is looking for

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 16) — Newly-crowned Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel truly deserves to win the competition as she embodies the quality the new leadership of the organization is looking for, an expert said.

“She has that transformational leadership quality that the new organization has been looking for in its next winner,” pageant expert Adam Genato told CNN Philippines' The Source.

He added that ever since business mogul Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip took over, she has always said “she is really serious in looking for that transformational woman who could empower her fellow women and transform lives by uplifting her fellow countrymen in her community and we saw that with R’Bonney.” 

In the final question and answer round, the Filipino-American beauty queen was asked, “If you win Miss Universe, how would you work to demonstrate this is an empowering and progressive organization?”

She said she will “use it to be a transformational leader.”

Gabriel, who is also a fashion designer, said she is using fashion as a “force for good” by cutting down on pollution through the use of recycled materials in her pieces, as well as teaching sewing to women who have survived human trafficking and domestic violence.

“I say that because it is so important to invest in others, invest in our community and use your unique talent to make a difference,” she pointed out.

Meanwhile, Genato said it was a surprise for him that Philippines bet Celeste Cortesi failed to enter the top 16, but noted a lot of factors may have contributed to this.

“We can only speculate, but I can say some of the things. Number one, I really find her preliminary performance very safe. Pageant fans, not just in the Philippines, but also in the audience here in New Orleans were left wanting for more… for a show-stopping gown perhaps in the evening gown segment of the competition,” he said.

While it is unknown how Cortesi performed in the closed-door interview prior to the finals, Genato noted this was 50% of a candidate’s score, which makes it a big factor.

“We don’t know what happened behind the scenes, but for sure definitely, there were a lot of judging that happened behind the scenes that we were not privy of,” he said. “I couldn’t say how she fared, but when we saw Celeste coming out of the preliminary closed-door interview days before the finals night, she was very happy, she was in high spirits.”

Cortesi's early exit ended the 12-year streak of the Philippines of heading to the Miss Universe pageant’s semi-finals.