The much-awaited Miss Universe beauty contest has come to an end, and the crown has been taken by Miss Philippines Catriona Gray.
Apart from standing out in all the aspects of the competition that won her the prestigious title, the 24-year-old model’s signature “slo-mo twirl” is going viral and winning hearts across the globe. According to a report by E! News, Gray’s signature twirl that she employed on the ramp during the swimsuit round of the contest became a big hit and a viral moment during the pageant.
Gray, a former martial artist who won her black belt at the age of 12, is a fashion model by profession. She has worked for various charities in her country and, per the report, is very vocal about poverty in the Philippines. She also has her very own project called Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project, through which she had been raising funds to help poor children go to preschool.
Although she is purely a Filipino at heart, the model has a very international background. Gray was born to a Scottish father and a Filipino mother, and during the contest, she said that she is “very, very close to her parents, especially her father.”
She was born in Australia and moved to the Philippines at the age of 18 to start her modeling career there. The article further detailed that Gray attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and received a degree in Music Theory. She is also a singer.
When asked by Steve Harvey during the pageant if she were going to write a song about her experience at the Miss Universe contest, what would she call it? Gray said the following.
“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. I would name the song ‘Raise Your Flag’ because I stand here not as one but as 104 million Filipinos!”
The report also revealed that Gray loves to travel and she even writes about her traveling experiences on her blog called Cat’elle. The newly-crowned Miss Universe has written about her travels across the Philippines, the U.S., China, and Vietnam.
At the pageant, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green was awarded the first runner-up title while Venezuela’s Sthefany Gutiérrez was declared the second runner-up.
In the past, three other women from the Philippines have won the Miss Universe title. The first Filipino woman to win the crown was Gloria Diaz, who was awarded the title in 1969. The woman to win the second Miss Universe crown for the country in 1973 was Margie Moran. In 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was awarded the crown after a big drama on the stage when Steve Harvey first awarded the crown to Miss Colombia by mistake instead of crowing Pia.