Congratulations are in order for the new Miss Universe, Miss Philippines Catriona Gray.
Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green was the first runner-up and Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutiérrez was the second runner-up.
The 2018 Miss Universe pageant was held in Bangkok, Thailand where nearly a hundred women from around the world vied for the coveted crown. Steve Harvey returned as the host and Ashley Graham co-hosted alongside Carson Kressley and Lu Sierra.
The competition whittled down to the final 5 women, which included Gray, Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie, Miss Canada Marta Magdalena Stepien, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green and Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutiérrez.
In honor of Miss Philippines winning Miss Universe 2018, here are five things to know about Catriona Gray.
1. She’s half-Scottish, half-Filipino: Catriona’s father Ian Gray is Scottish and her mother Normita Magnayon is Filipino. She said during the pageant that she was “very, very close” to her parents, especially her father.
As if that wasn’t international enough, the 24-year-old was born in Cairns, Australia and moved to the Philippines when she was 18, according to Newsweek. She reportedly used modeling money to buy a plane ticket from Australia to the Philippines to begin a career there, and the rest is history.
2. She attended college in the U.S.: Catriona went to school at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a degree in Music Theory and is also a singer. At the Miss Universe pageant, Steve Harvey asked, “If you were going to write a song about your experience here at Miss Universe, what would you call it?”
“As Miss Philippines I’ve always felt the love and support of the Filipino people and I think I brought half of my country here tonight,” she responded. “I would name the song ‘Raise Your Flag’ because I stand here not as one but as 104 million Filipinos!”
Catriona expressed at another point in the night to Harvey, “Once I started music, it just was fulfilling in a way that everything else wasn’t. My mom told me even in the womb I was dancing.”
3. She has a signature runway move: Never underestimate the power of a strong runway walk! Catriona apparently has a signature twirl she employs on the runway, which is also known as the “slow-mo twirl.” It became a big hit and viral moment during the swimsuit portion of the Miss Universe pageant.
4. She’s dedicated to ending poverty in the Philippines: The 24-year-old model is very vocal about poverty in the Philippines and has her own project called Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project. She has been working to raise money for a preschool and hopes to ease poverty, especially among children.
5. She’s an avid traveler: Catriona loves traveling around the world and writes about her explorations all over her blog, Cat’elle. She has written extensively about her travels across the Philippines, China, the United States and Vietnam. Catriona also seems to do a lot of journeying with her German-Filipino actor boyfriend Clint Bondad.
Congratulations again, Catriona, and to the rest of the Miss Universe contestants!
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