Catriona Gray of the Philippines was the winner of the 2018 Miss Universe pageant, and she will be returning this Sunday, December 8, 2019 to crown her successor. The Miss Universe 2019 competition airs live tonight on Fox at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.
The soon-to-be-former Miss Universe has spent the last year living in New York while working closely with the organization to “advocate for humanitarian issues and be a voice to affect positive change in the world.” Gray has been actively involved in many charitable efforts throughout her time as Miss Universe, as well as the years leading up to her big win. According to the Philippine Tatler, Gray has worked tirelessly over the last few years to build a better futures for children in impoverished areas, to raise awareness for HIV, and to support social justice and equality for all.
The 24-year-old Filipina-Australian became the fourth woman from her country to bring home the coveted title. Here’s what we know about Gray:
She Wore a Red Dress Because of a Dream Her Mother Had
The night Gray was crowned Miss Universe, she wore a stunning, sparkling red dress that she said was inspired by a volcano in the Philippines. She chose that specific dress because of a dream her mother had when she was a child.
“When I was 13 my mom said she had a dream that I would win Miss Universe in a red dress,” she said, according to NBC News. She also said her mom cried when they saw each other after she won the competition, which was the 67th Miss Universe pageant.
It is widely believed that Gray won the competition due largely in part to her answer to the final question of the pageant. When it was time for the final question during the Miss Universe pageant, Gray was 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?”
Her response was, “I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is… it’s poor and very sad. And I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty of it, to look for 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. If I could teach also people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children would have a smile on their faces. Thank you.”
She Shared an Emotional Tribute to Her Reign as Miss Universe on Instagram
Gray shared an emotional goodbye tribute to her reign as Miss Universe late Saturday night on Instagram. She posted a picture of a book spread featuring a photo of Gray just one day before she turns over her crown to the new queen.
“My last night as reigning @missuniverse and my emotions are all over the place,” Miss Universe 2018 wrote. “But underneath the noise, the underlying tone is gratitude. Gratitude for this amazing opportunity…for all of you amazing souls who have endlessly supported me and joined me on this journey. My message tomorrow night is dedicated to each and every one of you. 1 day to go….”
Be sure to tune in Sunday, December 8 at 7 p.m. ET to catch the finals stages of the 2019 Miss Universe competition on Fox.