Miss Universe 2018: Miss Philippines Catriona Gray takes the crown
The 24-year-old was crowned by Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters as she became the fourth Filipina to win the coveted title.
Miss Universe 2018 has found its winner! Miss Philippines Catriona Gray claimed the Miss Universe crown for 2018 on Monday, beating contestants from 93 other countries. The 24-year-old was crowned by Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters becoming the fourth Filipina to win the coveted title. The top 3 for this year included Tamaryn Green of South Africa and Sthefany Gutierrez of Venezuela, who finished in third place.
Miss Universe 2018 is... PHILIPPINES! pic.twitter.com/r2BkN8JpXh— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) December 17, 2018
This year marked the 67th edition of the Miss Universe pageant and the theme for it was Empowered Women. The panel consisted of seven women - fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, TV host and model Michelle McLean, businesswoman Janaye Ingram, entrepreneur and author Iman Oubou, architect and businesswoman Richelle Singson-Michael, former Miss Universe Bui Simon and entrepreneur Lili Gil Valletta. The emcee for the evening was comedian and game show host Steve Harvey and model and body positivity activist Ashley Graham. This was Harvey's comeback after his infamous Miss Universe gig from three years ago, where he ended up announcing the wrong name.
This year's pageant also saw its first ever transgender contestant from Spain. Miss Spain, Angela Ponce made history this year representing trans women all over the world on the prestigious platform. "I'm competing because it's what I've wanted to do since I was a little girl," Ponce told Time ahead of the competition. "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." Ponce, unfortunately, did not make it to the Top 20 spot.
This year's competition was dotted with controversies. Most recently, Miss USA Sarah Summers was called out for passing rude and xenophobic comments on Miss Cambodia Rern Sinat. In a video posted on Instagram, Summers, accompanied by Miss Universe Australia Francesca Hung and Miss Universe Colombia Valeria Morales are seen talking about Miss Universe Cambodia, in a condescending tone. In the video, Summers is seen saying that Sinat doesn't know "any English" and that "it must be isolating and confusing all the time". She also said that "no one here speaks her language". Then she went on to say, "Poor Cambodia". "She pretends to know so much English and then after having an entire conversation with her she goes..." she said grinning widely and then bursting out laughing along with the two implying that Sinat doesn't understand their conversation.
However, after her comments were called xenophobic she went on to apologize for her comments, saying, "In a moment where I intended to admire the courage of a few of my sisters, I said something that I now realize can be perceived as not respectful, and I apologize."