Miss Universe pageant has kicked off in Bangkok with Miss Philippines contestant – and a once Queensland resident – taking out the crown for 2018.
Catriona Gray from the Philippines claimed the Miss Universe crown for 2018 on Monday, beating contestants from 93 other countries. The 24-year-old Filipina-Australian pipped South African Demi Leigh Nel-Peters for the top spot, becoming the fourth Filipina to bring home the coveted title. Miss Venezuela, Sthefany Gutiérrez, rounded out the top three at the contest in Bangkok. Thailand’s own Sophida Kanchanarin made it to the final 10, to huge cheers from the home crowd, but did not progress further.
The 24-year-old first started working on her modelling career while still at Trinity Anglican School in Cairns, and has since moved to the Philippines and worked as a model and a pop singer.
Her new song, we’re in this Together, has beaten Ariana Grande into the top spot on iTunes in the Philippines. The women who made it through to the final round included Vietnam, Venezuela, Philippines, Costa Rica, Curacao, Nepal, Canada, Thailand and Puerto Rico. Miss Australia’s contestant Francesca Hung missed out on a top 10 spot.
Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, did make it to the finals — but only just, and was eliminated before voting got down to the last 10. Last week, summers sparked an online backlash when she posted a video commenting on the English-language abilities of two contestants.