DUBAI: Miss Universe 2018 host Steve Harvey took to social media to share a video message with Egyptian fans of the pageant show, which saw Miss Philippines nab the crown on Sunday night, saying they should be “proud” of Miss Egypt.
“She represented the country so very, very well. Everybody in Egypt should be so proud, she’s not only beautiful, she’s an absolutely wonderful person. Egypt, you’ve got a lot to be proud of,” Harvey said in a video posted on the @missegyptuniverseofficial Instagram account.
“It’s been a pleasure meeting you @iamsteveharveytv and thanks for connecting with me. It means a lot and I really appreciate it,” Miss Egypt Nariman Khaled posted on her own Instagram account.
Meanwhile, Filipinos around the world cheered as Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was crowned this year’s Miss Universe — the country’s fourth woman to win the title.
Filipino-Australian Gray was crowned in a glittering ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 24-year old beauty went up against representatives from South Africa and Venezuela in the final round of the competition, where they were each asked the same question: “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life and how would you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?”
Gray answered by talking about her work in a slum community in the Philippine capital, where she focuses on making education accessible to the community’s youth.
“I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila, and the life there is very poor, sad and I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty in it, to look (at) the beauty of the children and be grateful,” she said.
“If I could teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster and children would have smiles on their faces,” she added.
Dubai-based Filipinos tuned in to watch the model be crowned.
“I just landed from a five-day trip, but I didn’t want to miss the live stream,” Filipino flight attendant Rachel Manalo told Arab News, adding that she stayed awake until the early hours of the morning just to watch the pageant.
Even those in transit couldn’t miss the show. Filipino Anne Valencia was catching a flight when the winner was announced.
“There was a lot of screaming in the airport, that’s when I found out the Philippines won,” Valencia, who was checking in at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport when she heard the news, said.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte immediately sent his congratulations to the newly crowned Gray.
“Ms. Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipino beauty: Confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges,” he said in a statement from the presidential palace.
“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.”