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Catriona Gray

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Catriona Gray
Catriona Gray with iconic tristar and sun earpiece, in Mak Tumang Swarovski gem-embellished "Mayon" evening number.jpg
Catriona Gray, 2018 Miss Universe
Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray

(1994-01-06) 6 January 1994 (age 25)
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
ResidenceMetro Manila, Philippines
Home townOas, Albay, Philippines
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Beauty pageant titleholder
AgencyCornerstone Entertainment[2]
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown
Catriona Gray Signature.jpg

Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray (born 6 January 1994) is a Filipino-Australian model, singer, visual artist,[3] and beauty queen who was crowned Miss Universe 2018. She is the fourth Filipina to win the Miss Universe competition. Previously, Gray was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2018[4] and Miss World Philippines 2016.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Gray was born in Cairns, Queensland,[6] to a Scottish-born father, Ian Gray, from Fraserburgh, and a Filipina mother, Normita Ragas Magnayon, from Oas, Albay.[7] Gray is reportedly named after her paternal grandmother, Catherine Gray (née Ross), an immigrant to Western Australia from Scotland in 1952[8] and Elsa Magnayon (née Ragas), her maternal grandmother from Oas, Albay, Philippines.

Gray was a student at Trinity Anglican School in Cairns where she was a house captain and a school chorister.[9][10] She received a master's certificate in music theory from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.[11] In addition, she obtained a certificate in outdoor recreation and a black belt in Choi Kwang-Do martial arts.[12] Furthermore, Gray was lead singer of her school's jazz band; she also starred in local productions of Miss Saigon. After graduating from high school, she moved to Manila where she worked as a commercial model.[13]


Little Miss Philippines[edit]

Her foray into the world of pageantry began in 1999 when she won Little Miss Philippines in Sydney at the age of five.[14]

Gray at the NFL Honours in Atlanta, GA, February 2019.

Miss World[edit]

Miss World Philippines 2016[edit]

On 2 October 2016, Gray was crowned Miss World Philippines 2016 where she won the following special awards:[15]

  • Best in Swimsuit
  • Best in Evening Gown
  • Best in Fashion Runway
  • Best in Talent[16]

In addition, Gray won the following corporate endorsement awards:

  • Miss FIG Image Gateway
  • Miss Folded and Hung
  • Miss Hannah Beach Resort
  • Miss Figlia
  • Miss Manila Hotel
  • Miss Organique

During the Top 12 question and answer round she was asked, "When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror, what do you see?", she answered:[17]

Gray: "I see someone who is constantly trying to be better. I've always endured to always be better than the day before, to do things that challenge me, to do things outside the box. And something that is very fulfilling that I have found is when I look in the mirror, I want to see someone who gives back to the community, and that's someone who I achieve to be every single day."

During the final question and answer round all the five finalist were asked the same question, "Why should you be Miss World Philippines 2016?", Gray answered:[17]

Gray: "To be a Miss World is to be passed a torch that burns with passion and purpose. If I am to become Miss World Philippines, I will dedicate my voice and essence to carry that torch and to set charitable causes alight, such as my personal advocacy, the Paraiso Bright Beginnings Project. And I would focus on passing on this torch to empower others because I believe together there is no darkness in this world that our light cannot overcome."

Miss World 2016[edit]

After winning her national competition, Gray competed at Miss World 2016 held in MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Maryland, United States where she was placed in the Top 5.[18] Gray won the following awards:

  • Multimedia Award[19]
  • Talent Award (2nd place)[19]
  • Top 5 (Beauty with a Purpose project)[19]

During the question and answer portion, she was asked by the reigning Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna, "Which qualities do you think it will take to wear my crown?", she answered:[20]

Gray: "I think, first of all, it takes bravery. To be a Miss World is to carry a burning torch. It is like action carried out by one to illuminate the lives of many. And I would dedicate my whole self, my love for the arts and my voice to try to uplift, empower and educate people. And it would be my greatest honor and duty to hold this torch high enough so that all the world could feel and see its light. Thank you."

Miss Universe[edit]

Binibining Pilipinas 2018[edit]

On 8 January 2018, Gray submitted her application form at the Binibining Pilipinas office at the Araneta Center to officially join the 2018 national pageant.[21] On 16 January 2018, national director Stella Araneta officially accepted her application and confirmed that Gray will be competing at the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 pageant.

During her national costume competition, Gray wore a Muslim princess attire from the Mindanao region, taking placement as its winner. On 18 March 2018, she was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2018 by the outgoing titleholder Rachel Peters.[22][23]

Gray obtained the following corporate and contest awards:

  • Best in National Costume Award
  • Best in Evening Gown
  • Best in Swimsuit
  • Miss Jag Denim Queen Award (Endorsement)
  • Miss Ever Bilena Cosmetics Award (Endorsement)[24][25]

She also obtained the following popularity contest prizes:

In Philippine beauty pageant history, Gray is the first Filipina to represent the country in both the Miss World and Miss Universe competitions, and the second to represent the Philippines in two major international pageants, the first being Carlene Aguilar in 2005.

At her national competition, United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Yong Kim asked the following: "After the devastating warMarawi is now on its way to recovery, what will be your message to the young women of Marawi?":[22]

Gray: "...My answer and my message to the women is to be strong. As women, we're the head of the household and we have amazing influence, not only in our own families, as mothers, sisters and friends, but also in our community. If we could get the women to stay strong and be that image of strength for the children and the people around them, then once the rebuilding is complete and is underway, the morale of the community will stay strong and high..."

Miss Universe 2018[edit]

Gray returning to the Philippines after being crowned Miss Universe 2018.

Gray represented the Philippines in the 2018 Miss Universe contest on 17 December 2018 held at IMPACT Arena, Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi Province, Thailand.[28] During the national costume show presentation, Gray showcased a beaded tribal suit featuring the indigenous tribes of the ancient pagan Filipinos, alongside an oversized Parol painted Christmas lantern pulled by a roller device. The costume was accompanied by a pre-Christian Shamanic dance of the historical Babaylan paganism. The costume gained both support and criticism, due to the perceived difficulty of walking and the failure of LEDs to function, whilst Gray cited her scoliosis ailment.[22][29][30]

In the pageant's preliminary stages, Catriona Gray did a slow-motion walk, (nicknamed lava walk[31]) on the ramp in the swimwear competition wearing a pink swimsuit, which was praised by supermodels Tyra Banks and Ashley Graham,[32] fashion commentators and Internet viewers.[33][34]

During the first question and answer round, Gray was asked by host Steve Harvey, "Canada recently joined Uruguay as the second nation in the world to make marijuana legal. What is your opinion on the legalization of marijuana?"[28] She responded:

I’m for it being used for medical use, but not so for recreational use. Because I think if people were to argue: Then what about alcohol and cigarettes? Well, everything is good but in moderation.[35]

In the final question and answer portion, the top three contestants were asked the same question by Harvey: "What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life and how will you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?" She answered:

I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is very... it's poor and it's very sad. And I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty in it; to look in the beauty in the faces of the children, and to be grateful. And 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. And this I think if I could also teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children will have a smile on their faces.[35]

At the end of the event, Gray won the competition and was crowned by her predecessor, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa. She is the fourth Filipina Miss Universe after Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973 and Pia Wurtzbach in 2015.[28][36]

In beauty pageant history, Gray is the most successful Asian pageant crossover by placing high in both biggest international beauty pageants, Miss World and Miss Universe competitions, becoming the only pageant contestant in the 21st century to have made the Top 5 in both Miss World and Miss Universe, and eventually win either of the world's biggest pageants (in her case, Miss Universe).

On 17 October 2019, Gray attended the 2019 Latin Music Awards[37] at the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood and Highlands in Los Angeles, California[38] where she presented the 2019 "Canción Favorita - Tropical" award for the song "Adicto" to Marc Anthony and Prince Royce.[39][40]

On 8 December 2019, Gray crowned Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa as her successor at the 2019 Miss Universe competition at Tyler Perry Studios, in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States.

In her capacity as Miss Universe, Gray visited Brazil,[41] Canada,[42] Dubai in the United Arab Emirates,[43] Indonesia,[44] South Africa,[45] Thailand,[46] various cities and states across the United States, and her home country of the Philippines.[47]



Title Year Album
"We're in this Together" 2018 Non-album single

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award-Giving Body / Organization Awards Nominated Work Result References
2019 49th Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Box Office Entertainment Awards Global Achievement by a Filipino with Manny Pacquiao
Won [48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lugay, Elton (10 January 2019). "EXCLUSIVE: Up close with Catriona Gray". USA. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  2. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "WATCH: Catriona Gray back in PH after Miss Universe reign". ABS-CBN News.
  3. ^ Fern, M. A.; Mar 19, ez. "Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray Is An Awesome Artist".
  4. ^ News, Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN. "Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe". ABS-CBN News.
  5. ^ "FULL LIST: Winners, Miss World Philippines 2016". Rappler. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Cairns beauty Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2018". 19 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Catriona living mom's dream".
  8. ^ "Miss Universe 2018 winner: Miss Philippines Catriona Gray".
  9. ^ "Trinity Anglican School, Cairns December 17 at 1:01 PM".
  10. ^ "Qld beauty crowned Miss Universe Philippines".
  11. ^ Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk. "Miss Universe 2018: Who is Miss Philippines Catriona Gray, this year's winner?". journal-news. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Thank God for Catriona Gray—Singer, Martial Artist, Advocate, And Now, Miss Universe Philippines".
  13. ^ "5 Things to Know About Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray". E! Online. 16 December 2018.
  14. ^ "LOOK: Catriona Gray was once Little Miss Philippines". CNN Philippines. 10 April 2018.
  15. ^ "What are the Chances of Catriona Gray". The Trending Facts. 10 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Catriona Gray crowned Miss World Philippines 2016". Rappler. 2 October 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray: 'This is an amazing moment I will never forget'". Rappler. 3 October 2016.
  18. ^ "PH bet finishes in Top 5 of Miss World 2016". ABS-CBN News. 19 December 2016.
  19. ^ a b c "Philippine bet Catriona Gray secures spot in top 20 of Miss World 2016".
  20. ^ "READ: Miss World 2016 Top 5 Q&A". ABS-CBN News. 19 December 2016.
  21. ^ "After Miss World, Catriona Gray eyes Bb. Pilipinas crown". 8 January 2018.
  22. ^ a b c "Catriona Gray to represent PH in Miss Universe 2018".
  23. ^ "Catriona Gray is Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Miss Universe Winner". 18 March 2018.
  24. ^ "FULL LIST: Official Top 40 candidates of Bb. Pilipinas 2018". 16 January 2018.
  25. ^ "Catriona Gray bags 5 special awards". ABS-CBN. 18 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Catriona Gray".
  27. ^ "Bb 20, Catriona Gray wins #SayItWithPizzaHut".
  28. ^ a b c Adel, Rosette (17 December 2018). "From world to universe: Catriona Gray is now fourth Filipina Miss Universe". Philstar Global. STAR Group of Publications. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Catriona Gray is the new Miss Universe Philippines!".
  30. ^ "What are the chances of Catriona Gray for Miss Universe 2018?".
  31. ^ "Miss Universe's 'Lava Walk' Makes Kendall Jenner's Runway Stomp Look Even Worse". Revelist. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray Wowed Even Supermodels With Her Walk". Vogue. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  33. ^ MARQUEZ, CONSUELO (14 December 2018). "Netizens hail Miss Philippines Catriona Gray's 'slow-mo' walk in swimwear competition". Asia News Network. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  34. ^ Archana, KC (14 December 2018). "No One Can Get Over Miss Philippines Catriona Gray's Slow-Mo Turn At Miss Universe 2018 Prelims". Indiatimes Lifestyle Network. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  35. ^ a b Cabico, Gaea Katreena (17 December 2018). "FULL TEXT: Miss Universe 2018 Q&A with top 5, final 3".
  36. ^ "Pageant-mad Philippines joy at Universe win". 17 December 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2019 – via
  37. ^ "Chiquis, Jhay Cortez, De La Ghetto & More to Present at 2019 Latin AMAs". Billboard. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  38. ^ "Catriona Gray reikt award uit op Latin Music Awards". Missitems (in Dutch). 4 October 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Miss Universe Catriona Gray raises funds for abused Filipino kids". Manila Bulletin Entertainment. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  43. ^ "Miss Universe in Dubai: Catriona Gray meets her UAE fans". The National. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  44. ^ "WATCH: Catriona Gray meets Indonesian president Joko Widodo". Rappler. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  45. ^ "IN PHOTOS: Catriona Gray tours South Africa". Rappler. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  46. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "LOOK: Catriona Gray returns to Thailand". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  47. ^ "IN PHOTOS: Catriona Gray gives back during latest visit to the Philippines". Rappler. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  48. ^

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
Miss Universe
Succeeded by
South Africa Zozibini Tunzi
Preceded by
Rachel Peters
Miss Universe Philippines
Succeeded by
Gazini Ganados
Preceded by
Hillarie Parungao
Miss World Philippines
Succeeded by
Laura Lehmann
Preceded by
Jamaica Sanneta Myrie
Lebanon Valerie Abou Chacra
Miss World 3rd Runner Up
Succeeded by
France Aurore Kichenin
Kenya Magline Jeruto