As Catriona Gray’s reign as Miss Universe 2018 comes to a close with the upcoming Miss Universe pageant slated on December 8 in Atlanta, the current titleholder takes a look back on her Miss Universe journey.
From talking about being in the Top 20, feeling pressured in her Opening Statement, and the crazy memories she had backstage in the Top 10, Catriona got emotional as she recounted her experience in being part of last year’s Miss Universe pageant.
For the Evening Gown competition, Catriona said, “Every time I watch pageants, the evening gown is always my favorite. I was so excited about my gown because there’s so much symbolism in it.”
Catriona talked about the gown’s inspiration, which was created by Mak Tumang. The beauty queen shared, “For anyone that doesn’t know, my gown was inspired by the Mt. Mayon volcano, which is in my mother’s hometown in the Philippines called Albay in Bicol.” She also talked about her iconic earpiece as she said, “That earpiece, I designed it myself. It’s a tribute to the three stars and the Philippine sun on our flag.”
Catriona also talked about her experience in being in the Top 5 contestants and the moment that gave her goosebumps. She said, “The caliber of the girls were just amazing. I was in such good company up there. If there was any moment in my whole journey that I felt like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is destiny,’ this was one of them because out of all the top five, everyone was in a neutral gold or silver bedazzled dress and I’m the only one in color.”
As Catriona made it to the Top 3 finalists, the Miss Universe titleholder shared that she was really nervous and began doubting if she’ll ever progress. In the final walk, Catriona said that she fangirled over Ne-Yo because of an R'n'B phase she had when she was about 15.
When Catriona won the pageant, she recalled the importance of sisterhood with the other 95 contestants of Miss Universe. She had this to say: “What the competition represents, it’s really sisterhood and coming together of amazing women and to be able to share that moment with all of them was fantastic. It’s something I’ll definitely remember for the rest of my life.”
She added, “I’m a part of the legacy of Miss Universe that will continue to empower and uplift women from all around the country from all different cultures that bring us together and that’s really when women become their most powerful when we work together.”
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