Pia Wurtzbach on Maxine Medina: 'I'm very proud of her'

MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach said that she is proud of Miss Philippines Maxine Medina, following her Top 6 finish in the Miss Universe 2016 pageant.

Many Filipino fans were hoping for a back-to-back win for the country, where the 65th edition of the pageant was held on Monday, January 30.

At the pageant's after-party, held at Okada Manila on January 30, Pia told reporters: "I think she did very well. I'm very proud of her. This girl has been training for months leading up to the competition. I saw how hard she worked for this."

Pia added that Filipinos should support Maxine now, instead of criticizing her, after many have taken to social media saying that she did not advance to the Top 3 because of her performance in the Question and Answer portion. (READ: Netizens answer Maxine Medina's question for Miss Universe)

"I think that the Filipinos should be very proud of her instead of trying to pull her down," said Pia. "This girl is under a lot of pressure, because we're the host country. We [wanted a] back-to-back [win], so she really tried everything that she could, so I'm really happy with how it happened."

When asked what she said to Maxine when she hugged her after the pageant, Pia said she gave her congratulations and that she knew that Maxine was worried about the Q&A. (LOOK: Pia Wurtzbach hugs Maxine Medina after top 6 Miss Universe finish for PH)

Pia continued: "Tapos sabi ko sa kanya, 'Alam mo, 'wag ka mag-alala kasi alam mo, tama lahat ng sinabi mo, wala naman mali sa grammar mo, hindi naman nila masasabi na nag-buckle ka sa Q&A kasi sinagot mo naman yung tanong to the best of your abilities. So 'wag kang mag-alala, walang kakalat na video sa YouTube na nagfail ka ng Q&A mo, sabi ko sa kanya, you're not that girl." (READ: All the answers from the Miss Universe 2016 QnA rounds)

(And then I told her, 'You know what, don't worry, because you know, everything you said was right; there was nothing wrong with your grammar; they can't say you buckled at the Q&A because you were able to answer the question to the best of your abilities. So don't worry, there's won't be a video spreading around on YouTube of you failing at your Q&A, you're not that girl.)

Pia crowned France's Iris Mittenaere at the coronation ceremonies at the Mall of Asia Arena.

On Iris, Pia said she was one of her top picks for the crown: "I'm very proud of her. She was one of my favorites actually, leading up to the competition, so I saw a winner in her, a potential in her, and I'm glad that the judges saw that also."

Following Miss Universe, Pia has signed with IMG Models, and is set to be a guest judge in the upcoming season of Asia's Next Top Model. – Rappler.com