‘If you want to criticize me, let’s have a showdown’


Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee. Image: Instagram/@themissuniverseph

While priding herself as the “most unbothered queen,” Michelle Dee finally addressed claims that her 2023 Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) title was a result of a “cooking show,” a slang which means that the winner of the competition has already been chosen.

In a video posted by Empire Philippines on YouTube last Aug. 23, Dee calmly responded to allegations and even turned the table on her bashers and critics, saying that if they are really intent on challenging her MUPH victory, they should instead have a “showdown.”

“What’s the context of the ridicule that surrounds Michelle Dee, the winner of Miss Universe Philippines 2023? Every time I see her posted, it gets laugh reacts. The design is very cooking show,” she read the question from a computer screen.

Answering the question, Dee said that she has learned to deal with bashers early on, having grown up in the shadow of her actress-model-beauty queen mother, Melanie Marquez, and knew there would be a lot of negative reactions should she win the Miss Universe Philippines title.

“I’m probably the most unbothered queen. I’ve been in showbiz and the industry for a very long time. I grew up around it, so I definitely assumed or anticipated that if ever I win the crown — and I did — I really expected a lot of negative reactions. I was up against a lot of very deserving women also, so that came with their supporters as well,” she said.

Dee also pointed out that the “cooking show” remark is a “go-to reaction” in every pageant.

Commenting on a netizen who described her as another “clapper” for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, an apparent reference to her predecessor, Celeste Cortesi’s early exit at last year’s global tilt, Dee said that dwelling on such things is “unworthy of [her] time” and a “waste of [her] energy.”

“I don’t really like giving these kinds of bashers airtime because they’re so unworthy of my time. I think it’s a waste of energy to even think about people that say stuff like this because first and foremost, I’d love to see them onstage. I’d love to see them perform. I mean, if you want to criticize me, then let’s have a showdown na lang,” she said.

“No matter what happens, no matter what you say, you can’t take the crown away from me,” she added.

The “Agimat ng Agila” also pointed out that it’s too early to conclude the Philippines’ exit this early in the pageant.

“You have the right to your opinion pero grabe, inuunahan mo na. Unplaced na kaagad? I’m pretty sure kaya nating ilaban ‘yan (You have the right to your opinion but wow, you’re jumping the gun already. Unplaced right away? I’m pretty sure we can have a good fight),” she said.

Dee will vie for the Philippines’ fifth Miss Universe crown after Gloria Diaz (1969), Margarita Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018) in El Salvador on Nov. 18. Filipina-American R’Bonney Gabriel of the USA is currently the reigning titleholder.

The beauty queen, who ended her Miss World 2019 journey at the Top 12, will also try to bring back the country’s glory back in Miss Universe after Cortesi ended its 12-year placement streak in the global tilt. EDV


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