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Miss Universe 2018: The Philippines bags crown, India fails to make Top 20

India had pinned high hopes on Nehal Chudasama, 22, to end a long drought for the country at the pageant as Lara Dutta had last brought back the crown in 2000

IANS  |  Bangkok 

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray waves after being crowned Miss Universe during the final round of the Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, December 17, 2018.

India's failed to make it to the Top 20 of the 2018 pageant, where Elisa Gray from pipped 93 contestants from around the world to emerge the winner -- as chosen by an all-women jury.

had pinned high hopes on Nehal, 22, to end a long drought for the country at the pageant as had last brought back the crown in 2000.

But South Africa's Tamaryn Green, a medical student, and Venezuela's Sthefany Guterrez, studying to be a lawyer, secured the first runner-up and second runner-up spots at the gala ceremony, where Spain's made history as the first transgender woman to contend for the title of

Hosted by Emmy Award-winning Steve Harvey, the show here on Sunday saw Gray taking an ecstatic first walk as in a dazzling red gown with a thigh-high slit. She was crowned by Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, who comes from South

Gray holds a Master Certificate in Music Theory. An adventure junkie, she is an and volunteers as a Teacher's to the students at an NGO according to the official Miss Universe website.

In the final question round, Gray was asked about the most important lesson she has learnt in life and how would she apply it in her time as Miss Universe.

She said: "I work a lot in the slums of and life there is very poor and sad. I have always taught myself to look for the in it, to look for the in the faces of the children, and I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining and to asses where I could give something and provide something.

"And if I could also teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity would not brew and foster, and children would have a smile on their face."

Earlier in the competition, Gray was asked about her views on legalisation of marijuana. She said: "I am all for it being used in medical use but not so much for recreational use, because I think if people were to argue what about cigarettes and alcohol... Well, everything is good, but in moderation."

The began with the Top 20, with five semi-finalists being chosen from each region -- The Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific, as well as a Wild Card category.

In a newly formed segment, the contestants were made to make an 'Opening Statement', giving out a message for the world.

Then, the contestants were narrowed down to the Top 10, leading to the swimsuit and evening gown rounds. They were further streamlined to the Top 5 and were asked interesting questions ranging from issues like MeToo to immigration.

lent a musical touch and Ponce took a proud walk down the ramp, winning a standing ovation for representing diversity and inclusion in its true sense.

First Published: Mon, December 17 2018. 09:42 IST