2018 Miss Universe Pageant: Miss Philippines Catriona Gray crowned the winner

December 16, 2018

by Yvette Thomas

Catriona Gra
Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018 (Photo courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization)

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018, in a ceremony that took place December 16 at IMPACT Arena, Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi Province, Thailand. Fox had the U.S. telecast of the show, which was hosted by Steve Harvey with Ashley Graham. Carson Kressley and Lu Sierra provided commentary, while Ne-Yo was the show’s musical performer. The annual Miss Universe ceremony is produced by the Miss Universe Organization. The show’s theme this year was “Empowered.”

Contestants from 94 countries and territories were at the pageant, including Spain’s Angela Ponce, who made history for being the first transgender contestant in the Miss Universe pageant. Ultimately, Ponce did not place in the Top 20.

Catriona Gray
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray (left) is crowned 2018 Miss Universe by former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters during the 2018 Miss Universe competition in Bangkok, Thailandm on December 16, 2018 (Photo by Frank Micelotta / Fox)

According to a Miss Universe Organization press release: “Catriona Gray is passionate about the arts and previously received her Master Certificate in Music Theory from Berklee College of Music. She works closely with Young Focus Philippines, an education based NGO that provides free education and school sponsorships for children in Tondo Manila, one of the poorest neighborhoods within the country’s capital city. Additionally, [she] is an advocate for HIV/AIDS education and prevention after losing a close friend to the virus. She supports Love Yourself Philippines, an organization that offers free testing, education and treatment to those living with HIV/AIDS, and now as Miss Universe, plans to bring more awareness to the epidemic.”

The press release added, “For the first time in the competition’s history, the finalists had the opportunity to share a personal statement summarizing what they wanted the world to know about them. Topics ranged from female health care, the environment, ethnic minorities, body positivity, and cultural diversities. The first-ever all-women selection committee panel was made up of entrepreneurs, business leaders, industry experts, and former Miss Universe titleholders … Miss Universe Laos On-anong Homsombath was honored as the winner of the National Costume Show and shared about her costume, the Stream of Generosity, a half-human, half-bird spiritual creature in traditional Laos’ folklore.”

Here are the Top 20 contestants of the 2018 Miss Universe pageant:

Catriona Gray, Miss Philippines — Winner
Tamaryn Green, Miss South Africa — First runner-up
Sthefany Gutiérrez, Miss Venezuela — Second runner-up
Kiara Ortega, Miss Puerto Rico — Top 5
H’Hen Niê, Miss Vietnam — Top 5
Marta Stepien, Miss Canada — Top 10
Natalia Carvajal, Miss Costa Rica — Top 10
Akisha Albert, Miss Curaçao — Top 10
Manita Devkota, Miss Nepal — Top 10
Sophida Kanchanarin, Miss Thailand — Top 10
Francesca Hung, Miss Australia — Top 20
Zoe Brunet, Miss Belgium — Top 20
Mayra Dias, Miss Brazil — Top 20
Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers, Miss Great Britain — Top 20
Enikő Kecskès, Miss Hungary — Top 20
Sonia Fergina Citra, Miss Indonesia — Top 20
Grainne Gallanagh, Miss Ireland — Top 20
Emily Maddison, Miss Jamaica — Top 20
Magdalena Swat, Miss Poland — Top 20
Sarah Rose Summers, Miss United States — Top 20