MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz is quite positive about Michelle Dee's chances of winning the Philippines its fifth-ever crown.
Prior to the Miss Universe 2023 National Costume Show, Gloria shared her thoughts on Michelle in an episode of "Gising Pilipinas" on TeleRadyo Serbisyo.
Gloria first noted that a number of things have changed since her Miss Universe stint over half a century ago, then proceeded to praise Michelle's mother and Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez.
The country's first Miss Universe winner considers Melanie her favorite beauty queen,"the most beautiful," and a true winner, however she scored Michelle seven or eight from a possible 10 when being compared to her mother.
Despite this, Gloria believes Michelle has a good chance, "In a beauty contest hindi naman kagandahan, katalinuhan… 100% it's luck."
She even admitted not being the most beautiful delegate when she won, acknowledging that some luck was involved.
Gloria added that having only met Michelle once, the first thing that came to her mind was remembering Melanie's beauty and kindess.
"[Michelle] is not my first choice. A lot [of it] depends on luck, the judges' [preference], the situation, ang gown niya, physical beauty, magaling ba answers niya, talino niya," Gloria said, ranking Michelle's chances of winning the crown an eight out of 10.
Asked if the judges take into account audience impact given Michelle's popularity, Gloria stated they would because "they are just human."
Another thing Gloria pointed out was that the Miss Universe Organization is a business, and it wouldn't select a winner that isn't accepted by pageant fans.
"I always hope that the Philippines will be in the Top 5," said Gloria, pointing out the semifinalists often includes a contestant from Asia, South America, and Central America, even mentioning countries like the United States and China up for consideration.
One thing Gloria finds Michelle differing from Melanie is their popularity, "Michelle is very popular. Melanie was not popular in the Philippines, tapos naging super sikat."
Gloria did admit with a laugh she is often always wrong with her opinions and predictions, which could mean a possible coronation for Michelle.
The Philippines' other Miss Universe winners to date are Margie Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, and Catriona Gray in 2018.
Filipino-American and reigning Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel will crown her successor on November 18 (the 19th in the Philippines). — Video from ABS-CBN News' YouTube channel
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com