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Celeste not impactful in early portion of Miss U, says pageant fans

by Athena Yap

PAGEANT observers disappointed over Miss Universe’s snub of the Philippines’ candidate Celeste Cortesi felt that she had held back in the preliminary portion of the contest, which could have affected her chances in the competition.

Vince Aseron, Mr. Chinatown second runner-up of 2022, and Louis Yap, one of the administrators of the famous Bekis of Pageantry and a head administrator of Pageantry moments Facebook page, said they were deeply saddened by the results of the recently concluded pageant.

However, based on what he had observed, Yap felt that Cortesi did not give her all in the early portion of the game so that she could reserve more of her “pasabog” or bombastic performance in the finals.

“During the preliminary, naghoholdback talaga siya kasi parang kumbaga ayaw niya pang ipakita muna lahat ng pasabog kasi reserved na sa finals,” Yap said.

“Pero parang lesson learned na lang siguro sa’tin, [at] pati na rin sa Miss Universe Philippines organization, na pag preliminary palang, dapat pala bigay todo na lahat kasi ‘yun una magiging impression ng judges,” he said.

Aseron, the first LGBTQ to finish as Mr. Chinatown runner-up, said he took a look at some factors to try to understand why Cortesi did not make it to the top 16.

Aseron felt that Cortesi’s preliminary performance was good, but he speculated that her closed-door interview could have affected the semi-final results. 

He noted that candidates like Laos and Canada who made it to the semifinals had a strong story to tell about their advocacies, and he surmised that Cortesi’s advocacy may not have appeared as strong as the others’.

“I’m not saying na hindi masyadong impactful si Celeste, pero baka kasi out of the 84 contestants, maraming may istorya,” he said.

Aseron made it clear that he did not consider Cortesi weak; other candidates may just have been stronger, he said. 

He also looked back on his Chinatown pageant journey and was able to relate, saying that beauty pageants are indeed not just about the beauty, but are holistic competitions where each candidate must check all the boxes that the pageant is looking for.

“From advocacies, stories, pasarela, Q and A. Dapat lahat meron ka. Palaban na talaga ang mga beauty pageants ngayon,” he said.

When the Chinatown runner-up reviewed Celeste’s performance again, he also felt that she had beauty and pasarela skills. But he said her answers in the question and answer might have sealed her fate. 

Before joining a pageant, one has to have a purpose and everything will follow, he said. 

“I think prior to joining pageants, you really need to have a purpose, and then by having a purpose, you could slay the Q and A,” he said.

Aseron also believes that thirteen is indeed a bad luck number because Cortesi was the supposed 13th Philippine representative to enter the semifinals. But it turned out that she failed to earn a spot, ending the country’s 12-year streak.

“Sobrang sad kasi ang tagal, 12 years, and sabi nga nila 13 is a bad luck number talaga. So baka sa 14th ma-continue ulit,” he said.

Yap said the Miss Universe pageant is unpredictable now because of the shift of the ownership.

He did not expect that Cortesti would be the one to break the 12-year streak given her performance.  

For him, she has what it takes to be among the finalists. 

“Yung streak naman, wala naman forever, pero unexpected na si Celeste pa talaga ‘yung makaka-break kasi perfect na eh, ang ganda, height, everything. So nakakalungkot,” he said.

banner courtesy of Instagram: @celeste_cortesi



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