• Mary Jean Lastimosa

Mary Jean Lastimosa (Photo : Facebook)

Miss Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa is a strong contender for the Miss Universe crown according to  social media users, Empire 247 reported.

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Lastimosa has gained several supporters in social media especially from her fellow Filipinos. This is good news for the beauty queen since the popularity of the contestant greatly affects the views of the sponsors. However, this is not the basis to win the title since the women must have good scores in different categories especially in the dreaded question and answer portion, according to Venture Capital Post.

The public was reportedly impressed with Lastimosa's performance during the preliminary judging in Florida. The Filipina beauty wore an elegant sparkling white gown for the evening gown competition. When she changed into the purple swimsuit, Lastimosa maintained her composure.

The crowd cheered for her every time she graced the stage while netizens expressed their admiration via social media posts. Internet users praised her walk and pearly white smile. One Twitter user said that Lastimosa walked as if "her life depended on it."

Participants from the Philippines in the Miss Universe have gained runner up places from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, Ariella Arida was a fan-favorite and she won the 3rd runner-up. Before that, Janine Tugonon bagged the first runner-up in 2012 Miss Universe pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas.

Most of the social media users said that Tugonon had the best reply during the question and answer portion compared to the crowned Miss Universe Olivia Culpo from USA. At that time, Internet users said the results were rigged.

Lastimosa may be a hit with the netizens but pageant owner Donald Trump has expressed his admiration for Miss India Noyonita Lodh. The billionaire tweeted to support his friend and wrote: "My stunning friend @NoyonitaLodh Miss India hope she gets 3rd @MissUniverse crown 4 India @LaraDutta."

Miss India and Miss Philippines might be the top contenders but fans will still have to wait for the results until Miss Universe premieres on Jan. 25.