Just like pageant fans, Miss Universe owner Anne Jakrajutatip was "surprised" that contenders usually included in the competition's top 16, namely the Philippines and Thailand, didn't reach the semifinals this year.
The Thai businesswoman shared her reaction in an interview with Pinay skincare expert Olivia Quido, who was one of the selection committee during the 2022 edition of the competition.
"I think I counted myself that 15 or 20 of them used to be in the poll internationally. Everyone just ripped out the poll. Oh my goodness, everything just went upside down," Jakrajutatip said.
Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, and Indonesia—countries that usually get top placements at the international competition—had their journeys cut short at the top 16. The 2022 Miss Universe saw the end of the Philippines' 12-year streak of making it to the semifinals. These countries were also at the top of international polls.
"I'm surprised, but I'm not shocked by the quality or the high standard of the judges. I think we have the good curriculum for judging... that's why I'm not shocked but usually [Philippines and Thailand] get in," the owner said.
Jakrajutatip added that even though it was disappointing for Filipino and Thai fans, it was "good news" for other countries.
"Because they usually say that for top 16, it's always the same," she said. "For the first time, we had Laos in the top 16! And a few other countries like Australia got in also."
"We have to give equal chance to everyone."