Filipino fans are still in shock after the country’s bet, Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi, failed to make it to the semifinals of this year’s Miss Universe pageant, ending the country’s 12-year streak that included two wins.
Content creator and former Miss Universe Philippines contestant Ayn Bernos expressed shock at Celeste’s exit, calling her “one of our strongest candidates to date,” adding, “It really is a new era for Miss Universe.”
The Miss Universe franchise changed ownership last year after its former owner, IMG Worldwide, sold the rights to Thailand-based JKN Global Group, making its founder, Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, the first transgender woman to own the organization.
Viewers noted this year’s emphasis on the contestants’ advocacy and closed-door interviews, an area fans speculated other contestants such as half-Filipina Miss USA (and eventual Miss Universe winner) R’Bonney Gabriel shone in.
Former queens showed their support for Celeste despite the loss.