BANGKOK – Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018 at a glittering pageantry at Impact Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok Monday.
The first runner-up is Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green and the second runner-up is Miss Venezuela Isabella Rodriguez. The rest of the top 5 included Miss Vietnam Tran Tieu Vy and Miss Puerto Rico Kiara Ortega.
Miss Thailand Sophida “Ning” Kanchanarin was one of the ten finalists, but she missed out from the top 5.
Miss Laos Onanong Homsombath won the best national costume for her half-human half-bird spiritual creature in traditional Lao folklore.
Ms Gray, 24, was officially crowned Miss Universe title by last year’s winner, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. She was chosen over 94 beauty queens from 94 countries – a record-setting entries over last year’s 92.
During the top five question and answer session, Ms Gray was asked about her stand regarding the legalization of marijuana.
“I’m for it being used in a medical use but not so for recreational use, because I think if people were to argue what about alchohol and cigarettes, well everything is good but in moderation,” she said.
For the final question, Gray and her top 3 contenders were asked: “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life, and how would you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?”
Gray answered: “I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is very poor, sad and I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty in it, to look in the beauty of the children and be grateful.”
“I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson.”
“If I could teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster and children would have smiles on their faces.”
The coronation was hosted by comedian Steve Harvey and supermodel Ashley Graham, while American singer-songwriter Ne-Yo performed at the competition.
Celebrity Steve Harvey and supermodel Ashley Graham hosted the pageant.