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Miss Universe 2018: Miss Philippines takes the crown, Miss South Africa is runner-up

24-year-old Catriona Gray is a model and television personality in her native Philippines.

Miss Universe 2018: Miss Philippines takes the crown, Miss South Africa is runner-up

Catriona Gray of the Philippines smiles after being crowned the new Miss Universe 2018 on Dec 17 in Bangkok. (Photo: AFP / Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Miss Universe 2018 has a winner, and it’s Miss Philippines, Catriona Gray.

The 24-year-old model, actress, TV host and seasoned beauty queen, who was born to an Australian father and a Filipina mother, took the top spot at the Miss Universe pageant held on Monday (Dec 17) in Bangkok.

Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green was the first runner-up, while Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez was the second runner-up.

Southeast Asian countries were also well-represented, with contestants from Indonesia and Thailand making it into the Top 20, while Miss Vietnam H'Hen Nie rounded out the Top 5.

Gray wore a sparkling red dress, and said, "When I was 13, my mum said she had a dream that I would win Miss Universe in a red dress." According to the Associated Press, she said her mother cried when they saw each other after she won the competition.

The office of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated the winner, saying in a statement: "Ms Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges.

READ: Miss Universe: Miss USA apologises for mocking Miss Vietnam and Miss Cambodia

"In her success, Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work."

Gray is the fourth Filipina to be named Miss Universe.

Catriona Gray of the Philippines (left) reacts after winning the Miss Universe 2018 with Miss Universe first runner-up Tamaryn Green of South Africa on December 17, 2018 in Bangkok. (Photo: AFP / Lillian Suwanrumpha)

The show was hosted once again by comedian Steve Harvey together with model Ashley Graham, and featured a performance by R&B artist Ne-Yo.

This year’s Miss Universe competition was the 67th annual event and represented 94 different countries and territories.

READ: 18 Miss Universe national costumes other than Singapore’s that deserve attention

Source: CNA/my