While beauty pageant fans are criticizing Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers over her remarks on Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie, they are praising Miss Philippines Catriona Gray’s slo-mo twirl during the Miss Universe 2018 preliminary competition at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on December 13, 2018. The twirl was so magical that even supermogul Tyra Banks, 45, approved.
Banks has been a fan of the Filipino talent for a long time. In 2015, she handpicked Filipino designer Francis Libiran to do a couture collection for “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 22, which was won by deaf actor and model Nyle DiMarco, 29.
“ANTM” Cycle 22 episode 13 “The Girl Who Took a Shot in the Dark” was aired on The CW on November 6, 2015. A photo of Anne Curtis, 33, wearing a dress by Libiran was shown in the episode.
On August 9, 2018, Bench took to Twitter to share clip of “Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7” winner Maymay Entrata, 21, walking the runway. Filipino fans were surprised when Banks liked the post.
Gray also modeled for Bench. In 2012, she sang live for the Bench fashion show aside from walking the runway.
Both Banks and Gray are into modelling and singing. The “ANTM” creator has released three singles.
In 2000, Kobe Bryant released his debut album “Visions” and its lead single titled “K.O.B.E.” featured Banks. The two performed the song live at NBA All-Star Weekend in January 2000.
Also in 2000, Banks starred in “Life-Size” opposite Lindsay Lohan. The former recorded a single titled “Be a Star” for the soundtrack of the movie.
In 2004, the music video of Banks’ first single “Shake Ya Body” premiered on UPN. It featured “ANTM” Cycle 2 contestants.
One of the “ANTM” Cycle 2 contestants was Jenascia Chakos, who is half-Filipino. The other half is a mixture of English, German, Greek, Indian and Irish.
Gray is half-Australian and half-Filipino. In 2016, she represented the Philippines in Miss World 2016 where she won second place in the talent competition and finished in the Top 5.
Almost a month before the Miss Universe 2018 coronation night, Gray released a single titled “We’re in This Together.” Watch the music video of the song here: