Shamcey Supsup, the national director of the Miss Universe Philippines pageant, has sought to shed light on what happened before the top 10 contestants announcement was controversially canceled.
The finals of the 2023 Miss Universe Philippines concluded on May 13 with hot favorite Michelle Marquez Dee of Makati Province winning the crown.
The problem began when the jury voted for the top 10 qualifiers for the finale.
According to Filipino newspaper Rappler, host Xian Lim announced that there was a technical difficulty and the judges had to resort to manual tallying. As a result, they canceled the top 10 and had all 18 semifinalists competing for the final five places instead.
Audiences demanded an explanation from the organizers.
Six days later, Supsup posted a statement on Facebook about the technical difficulties, saying that after the top 10 were named she noticed that the judges’ votes did not add up correctly.
“The board then made the decision to initiate a manual counting of the judges’ votes in order to ensure absolute fairness and transparency.”
Supsup explained that it became evident there were discrepancies in the initial top 10 results as the 12 judges’ votes for the top 10 only added up to 106 instead of 120.
The pageant attracted the participation of 38 contestants.