Miss Universe

LOOK: Michelle Dee stuns in Miss Universe 2023 preliminary competition

Rappler.com

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LOOK: Michelle Dee stuns in Miss Universe 2023 preliminary competition

Miss Universe Philippines' Facebook

Michelle is also named part of the Top 10 for the pageant's 'Voice for Change' category

MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee is a showstopper during the pageant’s preliminary competition on Thursday, November 16. 

Her entrance alone already made waves online when she deviated from the usual “Philippines” and used “Filipinas” instead when she made her introduction. 

For the swimsuit competition, Dee was a vision in red, as she flaunted her curves in a one-piece ensemble with deep V-neck cut. 

While she was strutting the runway, the hosts mentioned how Dee was inspired to work with autism advocacy groups because of her two siblings who are on the autism spectrum. 

“This 28-year old award-winning actress has set up a foundation that aims to provide opportunities to those in the spectrum,” the hosts added.

Dee, who was named goodwill ambassador of the Autism Society Philippines in January 2020, also highlighted autism acceptance, inclusivity, and empowerment in her Vote for Change entry. 

At the end of the preliminary competition, it was revealed that Dee was among the Top 10 delegates who qualified to be a silver finalist in the Voting for Change category. 

As for her evening gown, Dee paid homage to her “family legacy” in a Mark Bumgarner creation. 

The embellished green ensemble with cutouts is a tribute to Dee’s mother, Melanie Marquez, who also wore green when she was crowned Miss International 1979. 

“An ode to my family legacy and a gem to my country,” Dee said in an Instagram post. 

Bumgarner also shared a closer look at his creation, sharing that the ensemble is encrusted with thousands of different shades of emerald green and black Swarovski crystals. 

“I wanted it to shimmer just like [the] skin of a green viper; a symbol of wisdom, power, and transformation,” the Filipino designer said. 

Prior to the preliminary competition, the Miss Universe 2023 candidates also had their closed-door pre-pageant interview. Dee said that she’s “overall happy with how everything went.” 

On Friday, November 17, the Miss Universe 2023 will hold their National Costume show. 

Dee is competing in hopes of winning the country’s fifth Miss Universe crown, with its recent winners being Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018.

The coronation night is set for November 18 (morning of November 19 in the Philippines). USA’s R’Bonney Gabriel will be crowning her successor. 

Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, Emmy award-winning TV personality Jeannie Mai Jenkins, and television presenter Maria Menounos will be hosting the coronation night. 

Meanwhile, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and American Ninja Warrior co-host and actress Zuri Hall will serve as backstage commentators for the coronation night. – Rappler.com

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