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Michelle Dee stuns in Miss Universe 2023 preliminary competition

Michelle Dee shines in Miss Universe Philippines 2023 preliminary competition, advocates for autism acceptance, and empowerment. A showstopper! #MissUniverse #MichelleDee

Miss Universe Philippines 2023, Michelle Dee, stole the show during the preliminary competition on November 16. Her entrance, where she used "Filipinas" instead of the usual "Philippines," immediately caught the attention of online audiences. In the swimsuit competition, she stunned in a red one-piece ensemble with a deep V-neck cut, showcasing her curves.

During her runway walk, the hosts highlighted Dee's work with autism advocacy groups, inspired by her two siblings who are on the autism spectrum. She has set up a foundation aiming to provide opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum and has been named a goodwill ambassador for the Autism Society Philippines. Her entry for the Vote for Change category emphasized autism acceptance, inclusivity, and empowerment.

Dee's evening gown, a Mark Bumgarner creation, paid homage to her family legacy, specifically her mother, Melanie Marquez, who wore green when she was crowned Miss International 1979. The gown is embellished with thousands of different shades of emerald green and black Swarovski crystals, symbolizing wisdom, power, and transformation.

Following the preliminary competition, Dee was among the Top 10 delegates who qualified as a silver finalist in the Voting for Change category. She expressed overall happiness with how everything went during the closed-door pre-pageant interview.

The National Costume show is set for November 17, with the coronation night scheduled for November 18 (morning of November 19 in the Philippines). Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, Emmy award-winning TV personality Jeannie Mai Jenkins, and television presenter Maria Menounos will host the coronation night, while Catriona Gray and Zuri Hall will serve as backstage commentators.

Dee is competing to win the country's fifth Miss Universe crown, following the recent victories of Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018. The anticipation for the coronation night is high, and Dee's performance in the preliminary competition has undoubtedly made her a strong contender for the title.

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