Catriona Gray is Best Known For Winning the Miss Universe 2018 title and being only the 4th Filipina to win the coveted crown in the history of the pageant.
Born Name: Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray
Occupation: Model, Singer, Beauty Pageant Winner
Born: January 06, 1994, 25 years and 10 months, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Height: 5 ft 10 in or 178 cm
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Measurements: 34-26-36 inch – 86-66-91 cm
Bra size: 32C
Genre: Pop/Rock, Pop
Labels: Cornerstone Music
Catriona studied at the Trinity Anglican School in Queensland. At school, she became the lead singer of the school’s jazz band, along with being the house captain and the lead choirgirl. She was also involved in the local production of the Broadway play Miss Saigon.
Gray attained a master’s degree in music theory online from Berklee College of Music located in Boston, Massachusetts.
Father – Ian Gray
Mother – Normita Ragas Magnayon
Siblings – None
Others – John Gray (Paternal Grandfather), Catherine Ross (Paternal Grandmother), Elsa Magnayon (Maternal Grandmother)
She has Scottish ancestry on her father’s side and is of Filipino descent on her mother’s side.
Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray is a Filipino-Australian model, singer, and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe 2018. She is the fourth Filipina to win the pageant. Previously, Gray was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2018 and Miss World Philippines 2016.
Early life and education
Gray was born in Cairns, Queensland, to a Scottish-born father, Ian Gray, from Fraserburgh, and a Filipina mother, Normita Ragas Magnayon, from Oas, Albay. Gray is reportedly named after her paternal grandmother, Catherine Gray (nee Ross), an immigrant to Western Australia from Scotland in 1952 and Elsa Magnayon (nee 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. She received a master’s certificate in music theory from the online school of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition, she obtained a certificate in outdoor recreation and a black belt in Choi Kwang-Do martial arts. 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.
Little Miss Philippines
Her foray into the world of pageantry began in 1999 when she won Little Miss Philippines in Sydney at the age of five
Miss World Philippines 2016
On 2 October 2016, Gray was crowned Miss World Philippines 2016 where she won the following special awards:
- Best in Swimsuit
- Best in Evening Gown
- Best in Fashion Runway
- Best in Talent
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:
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:
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
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. Gray won the following awards:
Talent Award (2nd place)
Top 5 (Beauty with a Purpose project)
During the question and answer portion, she was asked by the reigning Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna, “Which qualities do you think will take to wear my crown?”, she answered:
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.”
Binibining Pilipinas 2018
Main article: Binibining Pilipinas 2018
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. 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.
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)
She also obtained the following popularity contest prizes:
Dairy Queen’s Award (First Prize)
Pizza Hut’s Award 2018
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 entry being Carlene Aguilar in 2005.
At her national competition, United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Yong Kim asked the following: “After the devastating war—Marawi is now on its way to recovery, what will be your message to the young women of Marawi?”:
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
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. 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.
In the pageant’s preliminary stages, Catriona Gray did a slow-motion walk, (nicknamed lava walk on the ramp in the swimwear competition wearing a pink swimsuit, which was praised by supermodels Tyra Banks and Ashley Graham, fashion commentators and Internet viewers.
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?” 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.
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.
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.
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.
In her capacity as Miss Universe, Gray has so far visited Indonesia, Canada, Thailand, South Africa, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, various cities and states across the United States, and her home country of the Philippines.
Gray is set to attend the 2019 Latin Music Awards slated 17 October 2019 at the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood and Highlands in Los Angeles, California.
Catriona is represented by –
Cornerstone Entertainment Inc.
WME/IMG (Renamed as Endeavor in 2017)
Catriona has done endorsement work for the following brands –
Granny Goose Tortillos
Smart (Digital Service Provider)
Catriona released her debut single We’re In This Together in November 2018.
First TV Show
In January 2019, Catriona made her first TV show appearance as a guest on the talk show Live! with Kelly.
Having trained in martial arts at a young age meant that Catriona was aware of the disciplined lifestyle that was required to prepare for a big event like the Miss Universe pageant. She would train 3 to 4 times a week for 60 minutes in different forms of exercise to maintain a toned physique. Gray would alternate between Pilates, cardio, dance, and strength training to keep her workout interesting and get the best results from her body. Maintaining her high energy levels throughout the challenging schedule of the competition was one of her biggest motivations.
For her overall health, simple beauty tricks like drinking a glass of water early in the morning and getting enough sleep were routines the beauty queen firmly abided by. For breakfast, she would turn to juices, green smoothies, and smoothie bowls. Her diet consisted of lots of vegetables and fruits. In fact, Gray would cook her own meals to be sure of its ingredients as, in this way, she could prepare it to her personal liking. Additionally, she would make her own ‘baon’ to fight hunger pangs throughout the day. She also made it a point to stay away from processed foods and bubbly drinks, as it contains sugar, and were a big no-no.
Catriona Gray Favorite Things
Subject In School – Math, English, Art
Musical – Miss Saigon
TV Show – CSI
Catriona Gray Facts
Catriona was named after both her grandmothers – her paternal grandmother, Catherine Gray (née Ross) was Scottish and moved to Australia in 1952. Elsa Magnayon (née Ragas), her maternal grandmother was from Albay in The Philippines.
She began training in the martial art form Choi Kwang Do at the age of 8 and received a black belt when she was 12.
Catriona entered her first pageant competition in 1999 as a 5-year-old kid. She won the title of Little Miss Philippines at a local beauty contest in Sydney.
Apart from being a talented singer, she is also a gifted painter and does beautiful sketches which can be seen on her Instagram account. She has auctioned off her artworks to raise funds for charities like Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project.
After her win in December 2018, Gray had revealed on Instagram that when she was 13 years old, her mother had dreamt of her winning the Miss Universe crown in a red dress.
Catriona is the first pageant winner from The Philippines to participate in both Miss Universe and Miss World international competitions.
Among her other pageant titles are winning Miss World Philippines 2016. She went on to represent her home country in the Miss World 2016 competition, held in the United States, but only made it as one of the Top 5 finalists.
Although disappointed with her performance in 2016, Catriona entered the Binibining Pilipinas (Miss Philippines) competition in 2018. After winning the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 title along with numerous popularity contest prizes and awards, she became eligible to compete in the Miss Universe 2018 pageant.
Before her, pageant winner Carlene Aguilar was the only other Filipina who represented her country in 2 international pageants. Aguilar had participated in the Miss Earth 2001 and Miss World 2005 competitions wherein she was placed in the Top 10 and Top 15 finalists respectively.
Catriona suffers from scoliosis.
Catriona’s victory made her the 4th Filipina ever to win the coveted Miss Universe title. Past winners of the crown were Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973, and Pia Wurtzbach in 2015.
Her confident stride with a slow-motion twirl, called the lava walk, at the Miss Universe competition became an overnight sensation. Among those impressed were supermodels Tyra Banks and Ashley Graham who chimed in their love for her walk on social media.
Visit her official website @ cat-elle.com.