While the country was able to bring back and start the streak again in having a spot in the semifinals, many were left shocked and dismayed when Michelle didn’t make it to the top 5 during the final competition held on Sunday, Nov. 19 in El Salvador.
Michelle was considered among the frontrunners in this year’s competition; she was able to bring home a gold award for the Voice for Change category, where she echoed her advocacy for autism awareness and empowerment. She also won the Spirit of Carnival award.
“WALANG KAKAIN,” “Michelle Dee,” and “COOKING SHOW,” among others landed on X’s trending topic list with thousands of posts as of writing, collating all the funny yet relatable quips of social media users; perfectly depicting how every pageant fan feels.
"ROBBED" also dominated the trending topic list, with over 30,000 posts as of writing. An X user expressed disbelief, saying that Michelle would’ve been able to perform well during the question-and-answer portion.
“WAIT??? ARE WE ON THE SAME PAGE???? THAT GOWN IS THE BEST AMONG ALL OF THEM. WHAT HAPPENED??? They are really afraid that the Philippines might devour the mic when she enters the Top 5 so they had to get rid of her. ROBBED!!!! #MissUniverse2023,” they wrote. Another also stressed how Michelle did so well in the pageantry, considering that she is among those who stood out during the evening gown and swimsuit competition, plus bagging two special awards.
Another one also earthed Michelle’s last interview on Fast Talk with Boy Abunda, where she coherently and smoothly answered the question, “Why is it important to have more women leaders in society?” during the mock interview.
Some also “summoned” comedian Steve Harvey as they were hoping for an "I made a mistake" moment, referencing the iconic Miss Universe moment way back in 2015 where he mistakenly announced winner Pia Wurtzbach as the 1st runner-up.
Of course, the whole experience wouldn’t be complete without Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray’s meme-worthy reactions.
On a different note, beauty queen Angelique Manto, one of the contenders last Miss Universe Philippines 2023 highlighted how her batch mate Michelle will be remembered as the "most creative, fiercest and best reps" of the Philippines in the prestigious pageant.
"Michelle Marquez Dee will go down in history as one of the most creative, fiercest, and best reps our country has ever had. You are our winner through and through," she wrote.
On her Instagram broadcast channel, Michelle thanked her supporters after the pageant ended.
"Love and kindness over everything!" she wrote. "Mahal ko kayo."
"Thank you so much for raising our flag with me," Michelle added.
Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua emerged as the winner in this year’s competition, marking their country’s first crown in decades. Meanwhile, Thailand’s Anntonia Porsild and Australia’s Moraya Wilson placed first and second runner-up, respectively.
Mexico will be the next country to host the 73rd edition of the prestigious pageant.