And the Winner Is… Miss Philippines
Catriona Gray, the 24-year-old Filipina-Australian contestant, won the Miss Universe 2018 crown on Sunday night in Bangkok, Thailand.
She competed against 93 other beauties from different countries, making it to the final two. She ultimately succeeded against Demi Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa.
Miss Universe 2018 is… PHILIPPINES! pic.twitter.com/r2BkN8JpXh
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) December 17, 2018
Gray is the fourth Filipino to wear the crown, including Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran, and Pia Wurtzbach who won in 1969, 1973, and 2015, respectively. She had been a favorite to win at this year’s Miss Universe ever since competed in Miss World in 2016.
Born in Australia, Gray began in pageants at age 5, when she won the Little Miss Philippines beauty pageant, ABS-CBN News reported. She moved to the Philippines at age 18. She won Miss World Philippines and finished in the top five of Miss World in 2016.
A model and singer with a Master Certificate in Music Theory from Berklee College of Music in Boston, she also has a Certificate in Outdoor Recreation and a black belt in Choi Kwang-Do.
Dedicating her Miss Universe journey to the Philippines, Gray said in an Instagram post:
“Philippines, this is it. What an amazing journey this has been – from day one back in January 2018 of announcing candidacy [for Binibining Pilipinas] to today. Philippines, you have endlessly inspired me, given me strength and support. I want nothing more than to bring pride to you and give my all to give the best Christmas gift ever to my country. Mahal kita, Philippines. Para sayo ‘to. Stand by me prayer warriors, laban tayo.”
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Philippines, this is it. 💫 What an amazing journey this has been – from day one back in January 2018 of announcing candidacy @bbpilipinasofficial to today. 🙏 Philippines, you have endlessly inspired me, given me strength and support. I want nothing more than to bring pride to you and give my all to give the best Christmas gift ever to my country. 🇵🇭💛 Mahal kita, Philippines. Para sayo 'to. Stand by me prayer warriors, laban tayo. 🙏 Photography @bjpascual Styling @eldzsmejia Makeup @jellyeugenio Hair @hairbybrentsales
This year’s pageant had an all-female panel of judges, including Colombian-American CEO Liliana Gil Valletta, Janaye Ingram; fashion designer Monique Lhuillier; former Miss Universe winners Michelle McLean and Bui Simon, Iman Oubou, and Richelle Singson-Michael.