Kaci Fennell of Jamaica finished fourth runner up, shares the same sentiment as millions of Filipinos who believed that Mary Jean Lastimosa should have been part of the Miss Universe’s Top 5.
Lastimosa, who was the Philippines’ bet in the prestigious beauty competition, made it only to the Top 10 of Miss Universe, breaking the string of Top 5 finishes for the Philippines since Venus Raj in 2010.
Paulina Vega of Colombia took the Miss Universe crown during the coronation night in Miami, Florida on Sunday (Monday in Manila). The rest of the Top 5 came from the United States, Ukraine, Netherlands and Jamaica.
According to ABS-CBN News entertainment reporter Ginger Conejero she was able to talk to Fennell after the competition and she talked about the pleasing personality of Lastimosa.
“After nung pageant, inabangan namin sila sa labas ng arena. Habang ini-interview namin si MJ, ‘yung ibang mga candidates na dumadaan dala-dala ‘yung mga maleta at gowns nila, sumisigaw sila na ‘We love you, Philippines!’”
“Si Miss Jamaica, nakausap din namin afterwards. Sabi niya, ‘You know, Miss Philippines should have been right there next to me,’” Conejero reported.
Conejero went on to say that even the other journalists were raving about Lastimosa’s performance during the entire run of the competition.
“Binigay talaga ni MJ lahat and nakita at na-appreciate ng marami sa mga candidates, even other medias na lumalapit, they say na ‘Ang galing galing ng kandidata niyo,’” she said.
Shortly after the pageant, Lastimosa took to Instagram to thank all of her supporters, adding that she is proud to represent the Philippines in Miss Universe.
It took Lastimosa three attempts before getting the Binibining Pilipinas Universe crown, which enabled her to join the international pageant.