MANILA, Philippines -- For the Miss Universe organizers, a beauty queen from a country known for its passion for pageants and active Internet presence seemed like the perfect choice to host the annual competition's first extensive online coverage.
|Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner-up Shamcey Supsup. File photo
And so Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup is returning to the world's biggest beauty pageant as a host of its Internet-based programming.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News' Ginger Conejero, the Filipina architect, 26, said she was initially skeptical of the e-mail inviting her to be the online host of the pageant. She even asked Binibining Pilipinas to confirm the message with the Miss Universe organization in the United States before responding.
"The exact message they sent was that they were discussing with the digital media group, and my name came up, and they all agreed that I would be a good fit for the role," Supsup said.
For the General Santos City beauty, however, the reputation of the Philippines may have everything to do with her being hand-picked as Miss Universe's web coverage host.
"Filipinos are really fanatics when it comes to pageants 'di ba? And we're always known to be active sa Internet, sa voting. So siguro naisip din nila na it's a good thing to put a Filipina on a website segment," she said.
Apart from the infamous viral video of four friends "going crazy" over the Top 15 feat of the Philippines' Venus Raj in the 2010 Miss Universe, Filipinos' online presence extends to actually influencing the results of some international pageants.
Late last year, the online voting component in another beauty competition, Miss International, catapulted Philippine bet Dianne Necio into the Top 15.
At the time Supsup competed in Miss Universe, she also managed to lead the race in online voting leading up the coronation night.
"When I got [the invitation], hindi lang pala ako audience, I'm going to be part of the show. It's going to be a different experience. Kasi dati I'm competing, now I'm going to be interviewing the candidates, so iba 'yung experience," she said.
According to Supsup, the web coverage of Miss Universe will have her part of "the girls' journey." Through the online episodes, the beauty queen said viewers can "find out more" about the candidates, and can catch a glimpse of their various activities before the final night.
"It's a privilege, it's an honor. I'm very much thankful for the opportunity, because I never expected to be part the show again," said Supsup, who left for the Miss Universe coronation night in Las Vegas on Thursday.
This year's Miss Universe pageant -- where Filipina Janine Tugonon will compete against 88 other international beauties -- will be aired live on ABS-CBN on December 20.
WATCH the 66th Miss Universe pageant on November 27, 8 am (Manila time) on ABS-CBN's Channel 2