Miss Universe Philippines

Pageant fans shocked by plot twist in Chelsea Manalo’s Miss Universe Philippines 2024 win

Russell Ku

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Pageant fans shocked by plot twist in Chelsea Manalo’s Miss Universe Philippines 2024 win
Social media users discussed about long commercial breaks, performance of veteran queens, and hosts moments, among others.

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos online said they witnessed the “most unexpected result in Philippine pageant history” after Bulacan’s Chelsea Manalo was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2024 on Thursday, May 23.

As of writing, the hashtag #MissUniversePhilippines2024 and related keywords dominated X Philippine trends as pageant fans were abuzz over the coronation night results.

Manalo will represent the Philippines at the Miss Universe 2024 pageant in Mexico, hoping to secure the country’s fifth crown.

Social media users said they were “gagged” (jargon for surprised) by the plot twist before the coronation of Chelsea, adding she was a dark horse in the competition. The Bulacan queen was listed by Missosology as its #10 pick to secure the Miss Universe Philippine crown.

Chelsea’s wearing the La Mer en Majesté crown was also the talk of the town as she had to carefully balance it on her head in a bun after it was placed there by Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee.

Fan favorites

However, some fans also shared their heartbreaks for this year’s frontrunners, Quezon Province’s Ahtisa Manalo and Taguig’s Christi Lynn McGarry, who placed second and fourth runner-ups, respectively.

Ahtisa was later named Miss Cosmo Philippines 2024 shortly after coronation night. However, users said it was a “disrespect” and a “downgrade” to her pageant legacy, especially after she placed first runner-up in Miss International 2018.

Other queens that Filipinos online wished to see among the top five candidates were Iloilo’s Alexie Brooks and Bacoor’s Victoria Velasquez Vincent.

Cainta’s Stacey Gabriel was also praised for her reaction and sportsmanship when Chelsea was declared as the next Miss Universe Philippines.

How was production?

Fans were eagle-eyed this year over how the Miss Universe Philippines Organization would handle the production of the coronation night after the blunders in 2023 and glitches in the airing of the preliminary interviews and gala night.

Fans were initially happy about the production value of the opening performance and the stage.

However, fans would later criticize the pageant organizer for the long commercial breaks between segments and the editing of the ads.


One user poked fun at the long air time of the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 coronation night by likening it to the viral incident between Francine Diaz and OPM band Orange and Lemons during a gig in Occidental Mindoro.

Standouts outside the candidates

Social media users also had a lot to say about the hosts and performers of this year’s coronation night. Many described drag queen Marina Summers‘ introduction as the “culmination of every young gays’ dreams” of being a beauty queen.

Others had a field day in poking fun at the way host Alden Richard shouted out the provinces and cities during the portion announcing the top 20 candidates.

Gabbi Garcia also received acclaim from social media users for her hosting skills as the backstage host for the coronation night, with some fans asking for her to be the main host for next year’s pageant.

Even Gabbi’s boyfriend, Khalil Ramos, joined in praising her.

Get the highlights of this year’s Miss Universe Philippines coronation night here. You can also watch this Rappler Recap below to see how Rapplers reacted to the results.

Pageant fans shocked by plot twist in Chelsea Manalo’s Miss Universe Philippines 2024 win

– Rappler.com

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Russell Ku

Russell Ku is a digital communications specialist at Rappler who believes in the power of stories to build an empathic society.