Filipinos upset over Miss Universe: 4th-spot for Philippines

Filipinos upset over Miss Universe: 4th-spot for Philippines

All eyes were on Miss Universe Philippines Ariella Arida to stake Asia's claim on the world's top beauty pageant - with good reason.

Indeed, she was the favourite of bookmakers to win the crown in Moscow on Saturday. Her victory would have been doubly sweet for a country devastated by Typhoon Haiyan as it would have come just two months after another Filipina, Miss Megan Young, claimed the Miss World 2013 title in September.

But the 24-year-old fashion model dropped the ball ­- she fared poorly in the question-and-answer segment - and ended up as third-runner up.

The crown went to Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler instead.

Filipinos, already reeling from one of the country's worst disasters with estimates of 10,000 people dead as a result of Typhoon Haiyan, were crushed, judging by the deluge of comments on social media saying that Miss Arida was robbed of her crown.

Before the finals, everyone thought she would be a shoo-in for the title.

Miss Arida was tipped on betting site Betfair as the top choice to take the coveted title at a low 3.85 euro (S$6) odds of winning, compared to Miss USA who was ranked sixth with a 12.0 euro odds.

Other statistics seemed to be in her favour - Filipinas have made it to the Top 5 in the competition three years in a row since 2010 and Miss Philippines was first runner-up last year.

In addition, the IBTimes reported about Miss Arida's rather successful and eventful stay in Moscow before the finals.

In the weeks leading to the finals, the chemistry graduate from the University of the Philippines Los Banos was said to have "impressed" during designer Tony Ward's fashion show at Moscow Fashion Week and even appeared twice on the runway in his couture ensembles.

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