Catriona Gray from the Philippines Crowned Miss Universe 2018
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Catriona Gray from the Philippines Crowned Miss Universe 2018 

The Miss Universe 2018 pageant was held in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday,where nearly hundred women from around the world vied for the crown. Miss Philippines Catriona Gray won the Miss Universe crown for 2018, with Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green as the first runner-up, and Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutiérrez was the second runner-up.

Gray,24, was born in Cairns, Queensland and crowned Miss World Philippines on 2 October, 2016. After winning her national competition, she competed at Miss World 2016, where she won multiple awards and was placed in the top 5.

Thailand’s Sophida kal Kanchanarin, who received huge cheers from the home crowd, did not progress further and failed to make it in the final 10.

The evening’s main attraction was Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, the first transgender contestant in the history of Miss Universe pageant. However, she did not make it to the final round of 20.

In an interview with Time, Ponce said, “I am competing because it’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. I’m showing that trans women can be whatever they want to be: a teacher, a mother, a doctor, a politician and even Miss Universe.”

Singer Ne-Yo, gave a special performance,whereas Steve Harvey and Ashley Graham hosted the evening together. Graham had co-hosted the show last year as well. Harvey announced in his opening speech that for Miss Universe 2018, there was an all-female selection committee for the first time ever.

The committee included fashion designer Mo’nique Lhuillier, Miss Universe 1988 Bui Simon, Miss Universe 1992 Michelle McLean, Women’s March co-founder Janaye Ingram, SWAAY Media founder ImanOubou, CEO of CulturIntel Lili Gil Valetta and architect Richelle Singson-Michael.

As the winner of Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray was presented with the iconic sash and crown by Miss Universe 2017, South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, looking beautiful in green sequined gown.

At the grand ceremony, Gray said, “I stand here today because someone believed in me and we owe it to our children to believe in them.”

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