DUBAI: On Sunday night, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray crowned her successor, Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi, who took home the prestigious Miss Universe 2019 title.
The Philippines-bred beauty, who is part-Australian, made her final walk on the stage of Atlanta’s Tyler Perry Studios wearing a blue, feathered gown by Filipino designer Mak Tumang to thank her “beloved Philippines” in a rousing closing speech.
“I've always believed that as women we have the power to redefine our generation,” said the 25-year-old beauty during the televised event hosted by Steve Harvey. “When we raise our voices together, the words 'woman power' become more than just a phrase. They become a movement.”
She added “I wanted my year to be a reign with purpose, from advocating for quality education for all to raising awareness to HIV and AIDS. I've started to use my voice for good.” She went on to thank her mom and dad, in edition to her mentors and the Miss Universe organization.
She ended her emotional farewell speech with a tribute to her “beloved Philippines,” stating “you endlessly inspire me and give me hope.”
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Kind of surreal THAT just happened. It’s starting to sink in that Cat is no longer the reigning Miss Universe. A new beginning, a brand new chapter! I’m excited for what’s in store. @pageants.news . . . . #missuniverse #missuniverse2019 #missuniverso #missphilippines #puteriindonesia #missvenezuela #misscolombia #mut #missuniversethailand #catrionagray #señoritacolombia #missbrasil #missbrazil #missusa #misspuertorico #misspanama #missmexico #missuniversephilippines #missindonesia #missvietnam #missindia #missdiva #misssouthafrica #zozibinitunzi #misssa2019
Gray then performed her final duty by crowning Tunzi with the US $5 million, diamond-encrusted Miss Universe 2019 diadem, which was designed by Lebanese jeweler Mouawad.
The beauty queen and humanitarian was the fourth Filipina to win Miss Universe and the second in three years, joining Gloria Diaz, who was the first Filipina to bring home the title in 1969, followed shortly by Margie Moran in 1973. 42-years later, Pia Wurtzbach would reclaim the crown in 2015.