Catriona Gray competed at Miss World two years ago, where she placed fifth. Photo courtesy of Miss World Philippines.
Catriona Gray competed at Miss World two years ago, where she placed fifth. Photo courtesy of Miss World Philippines.

Cairns model grabs Miss Universe title

CAIRNS woman Catriona Gray has beaten the largest pool of competitors to date to take out the title of Miss Universe 2018.

Ms Gray represented the Philippines, where she has been living since graduating from Trinity Anglican School in 2011.

The 24-year-old was up against 93 competitors - the largest Miss Universe cohort in the event's history - at the pageant's finals in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday.

She was head-to-head with Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green, who was crowned first runner-up.

Ms Gray's former talent coach Henry Petersen has worked with the likes of Jesinta Franklin and Kendal Schuler, but says he had always known Catriona Gray was one of a kind.

"I knew from when I met her that this was the special one," he said.

"The more you look at her the more you can see how she just oozes class on stage. She is more talented, more compassionate, more intelligent than any of her competition. Miss Universe couldn't have picked a better ambassador."

Mr Petersen said he had high hopes for Ms Gray's future after her year-long stint as Miss Universe next year.

"I've always thought Hollywood was in her future," he said. "She can act, she can sing, she can dance. She's ready-made for Hollywood.

"But she'll go anywhere she wants to. I wouldn't be surprised if she turned her back on the world of glitz and glamour to go and help the poor."

 

But for now her former talent scout is pushing for one thing.

"If I were the Cairns Regional Council, I would be organising a civic reception for Catriona when she comes home," he said. "Just because she lives in the Philippines doesn't mean she isn't an Aussie. Cairns is still her home town and she deserves a grand welcome home."

Ms Gray works in the Philippines as a model and a singer.

Miss Australia, Sydney's Francesca Hung, missed out on the top 10.

Ms Gray is one of three Cairns beauties to have recently competed in Miss Universe and Miss World.

Cairns models Erin Holland and Madeline Cowe have also competed at the pageants.



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