Michelle Dee has successfully secured a spot among the ten silver finalists in the 72nd Miss Universe “Voice for Change” video competition.
The announcement was made following the evening gown competition in the Miss Universe 2023 Preliminaries held in El Salvador on Thursday, Nov. 16 (Manila time).
The PH bet made a powerful entrance by introducing herself as “Michelle Marquez Dee” and proudly using “Filipinas.” She graced the stage wearing a striking red one-piece swimsuit in the earlier portion of the competition.
Enhancing her preliminary performance, Michelle’s “air walk” — an improvement from her “snake walk” in the national pageant inspired by her mother, former beauty queen Melanie Marquez — added an extra flair to her deep green gown crafted by designer Mark Bumgarner.
The gown itself served as a tribute to Marquez, who wore a similar color when she was crowned Miss International 1979.
In the video competition category, candidates are given the opportunity to present their advocacies in a 3-minute video and inspire the public to participate.
Motivated by her siblings who are on the autism spectrum, Dee’s entry emphasized her commitment to promoting awareness about autism, focusing on three key principles: “acceptance, inclusivity, and empowerment.”
Additionally, she showcased the achievements of the autism community while fulfilling her role as an ambassador for the Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP).
In early November, she amassed more than 150,000 online votes, securing her a top spot in the category.
She is also currently serving as the ambassador for the Autism Society Philippines (ASP).
Joining Michelle as silver finalists are candidates from Angola, Brazil, Chile, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.
The three gold winners of the Voice for Change special award, who will each receive a $12,000 (over P600,000) cash prize, will be announced during the coronation night on Sunday, Nov. 19 (PH time).
All 84 contestants are competing to succeed Filipino-American R’Bonney Gabriel as the next titleholder. Michelle aims to secure the Philippines’ fifth crown in the national pageant.