Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach took to social media to congratulate Rachel Peters, the Philippines’ representative in this year’s Miss Universe pageant.
In an Instagram post a day after the coronation in Las Vegas, the beauty queen thanked Peters for making the whole nation proud.
“Sitting on the other side, it was so nice to witness a Miss Philippines perform and have the loudest cheer in the crowd. Keep your head up. We’re all so proud of you,” she wrote.
Her Twitter post also wished the new Miss Universe Demi Leigh Nel-Peters a good reign.
She also thanked the outgoing Miss Universe french beauty queen Iris Mittenaere: “I’m so happy that we got along so well and I gained a friend in you.”
Wurtzbach, who sat as one of the judges of Miss Universe 2017, received some negative comments from netizens, blaming her for Peters not being able to enter the top 5 of the competition.
Peters finished in the Top 10 of Miss Universe 2017, which was won by Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.
Many of her fans defended her, though, saying that Wurtzbach only did her job as a judge and that she couldn’t influence the opinions of other jurors.
Other celebrities and fellow beauty queens also showed their support for Peters despite only landing in the Top 10.
Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. Chair Stella Marquez Araneta congratulated Peters for her “phenomenal representation” of the country in this year’s edition of the pageant—one of the biggest beauty events in the world.
“The Universe is now brighter with you as a shining star. More than your poise and beauty, you are a cut above the rest with your grace and elegance that exemplifies a true woman of substance and an inspiring Filipina,” Araneta said.
Newly-crowned Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco thanked her fellow beauty queen for representing the country “with beauty and a heart”.
For TV host Bianca Gonzalez, the 26-year-old beauty from Camarines Sur is still the Filipinos’ Miss Universe.
Senator Grace Poe described Peters “a portrait of beauty and perseverance”.
“With or without the crown, you already have won the hearts of the Filipinos!” the senator added.