Say Hello to Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray From Philippines
After several hours of a nail biting contest, Miss Philippines was crowned Miss Universe 2018.
Catriona Gray, beat contestants from 93 other countries to take the coveted crown.
Gray wore a sparkling red dress that she said was inspired by a volcano in the Philippines. The 24-year-old singer and model said she wore the red dress because as a 13-year-old, she dreamt of winning the Miss Universe crown in a red dress.
She said her mom cried when they saw each other after she won the competition.
Gray edged out first runner-up Tamaryn Green of South Africa and third-place Sthefany Gutierrez of Venezuela. She succeeds Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.
The office of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was quick to congratulate the winner. Gray is the fourth Filipina to be named Miss Universe.
India’s Nehal Chudasama failed to make it to the Top 20 shortlist.
This year’s Miss Universe was even more special because for the first time a transgender participated in the contest. Angela Ponce, the 27-year-old Spanish participant also failed to make it to the top 20 shortlist even though she had been a favourite in the contest.
She said in a video presentation that it was not important for her to win but was more important for her ‘to be here.’
One of the few controversies of this year’s contest involved Miss United States, Sarah Rose Summers, seeming to mock contestants from Cambodia and Vietnam over their English language skills.
According to CNN, in a live Instagram video, the 24-year-old Summers said that Miss Vietnam H'Hen Nie is ‘so cute and she pretends to know so much English and then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she nods and smiles’.
Later in the video Summers appeared to express sympathy for Miss Cambodia, Rern Sinat, who she said, 'doesn't speak any English and not a single other person speaks her language.’
Summers later apologized.
Despite its shares of controversies, the contest chose a winner at the end. We wish Miss Philippines all the best for her future endeavours. Hope she uses the power of the crown to spread positivity and warmth.
(With inputs from AP)