The world is such a small place for the phenomenal beauty queen Catriona Gray, which is why she’s now conquering the universe.
Tipped to win in this year’s edition of Miss Universe, the most coveted titled on the pageant stage, Catriona was a vision of elegance and class as she glided on the Miss Universe catwalk during the preliminaries. And that now iconic slow-motion twirl during the swimsuit competition, she just made everybody’s world stopped for a minute.
It’s safe to say that the 24-year-old Fil-Australian beauty is the most prepared Miss Philippines to walk the Miss Universe stage, and it’s going to be a sin, according to pageant aficionados, if the judges would not give her the crown.
In an interview with Manila Standard before she flew to Thailand, Catriona revealed that she’s been preparing for months because she wanted to represent the country in the best way she possibly could. And obviously, that’s what people have been seeing since day one of the pageant.
“I’m in a good head space. I just feel great energy with the love and support of the people that surround me, especially my team, the Binibining Pilipinas and my supporters,” she started.
“I prepared for months because I’d rather take time and be slow about it rather than wait for it until the very end and then cram. It’s like studying for an exam, you have to do it little by little over a course of time rather than cramming the night before. It’s been a wonderful and positive experience. I just learned so much about myself and about the Philippines,” she continued.
She also said that she wanted nothing but the crown. And her confidence is inspired by the people who rally behind her even before her Binibini days.
“Confidence is not something you’re born with. It’s a muscle that you choose every day. It’s just the feeling that I am supported—knowing that no matter what, I have people to fall back, people to build me up. That makes me feel that I can do what I do. It doesn’t just come from my team, it also comes from every supporter, every person that leaves me a comment online or anyone who sees me in person who gives me kind messages. I’m very blessed,” she enthused.
“I wanted to go all out. [It’s] all or nothing,” Catriona said.
Following the preliminaries, the top 20 will be determined prior to the coronation night. The pageant will keep the regional selection format with five women from four groups of countries—Europe, North America, South America, and Asia and Africa—will each have five representatives.
The ceremony will be hosted by comedian Steve Harvey and supermodel Ashley Graham, with TV personality Carson Kressley and runway coach Lu Sierra providing the commentary throughout the event and R&B superstar Ne-Yo performing a special number.
This year’s judges are Fil-American fashion designer Monique Lhullier, Miss Universe 1988 Bui Simon, Miss Universe 1992 Michelle Mclean, Miss New Jersey USA 2004 Janaye Ingram, women’s digital platform SWAAY MEDIA founder Iman Oubou, Entrepreneur and CEO of CulturIntel and CIEN + TV Lili Gil Valetta and vice chairperson of the LCS Group of Companies Richelle Singson-Michael.
Filipinos can watch the culmination of Catriona Gray’s quest for the Philippine’s fourth Miss Universe title as ABS-CBN airs the coronation ceremony live from Muang Thong Thani, Thailand, tomorrow (Dec. 17) at 8:00 a.m. and via free livestreaming on the ABS-CBN Live channel on ABS-CBN’s streaming service iWant.
The free livestreaming on iWant, meanwhile, may be accessed via web browser on iwant.ph and the iWant app on iOS and Android.
Aside from ABS-CBN’s free-to-air TV channel, the pageant can also be seen on SKYcable via the Metro Channel on Dec. 24 at 3:00 p.m. and on digital television via ABS-CBN TVplus.
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