Catriona Gray, 24, of the Philippines and Michelle McLean, 46, of Namibia have something in common aside from the obvious and well-known fact that they are both confidently beautiful with a heart. The former is a candidate in Miss Universe 2018, in which the latter is a judge.
At the age of 19, McLean was crowned Miss Namibia 1991. She represented Namibia in Miss World 1991 and finished fourth runner-up.
McLean joined Miss Universe 1992 and won the title. She became the first and still the only woman representing Namibia to win the title.
On the other hand, Gray is the eighth woman from the Philippines and the most recent one to make it to the Top 5 of Miss World. The first seven are Cecilia Amabuyok, Evangeline Pascual, Ruffa Gutierrez, Mafae Yunon, Karla Bautista, Gwendoline Ruais and Megan Young.
On December 18, 2016, Gray represented the Philippines in Miss World 2016 at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, United States. Aside from making it to the Top 5, she also won the Multimedia award, was second place in the talent competition and was one of the five finalists in the Beauty with a Purpose category.
More than a year after failing to win the Miss World crown, Gray joined the 55th edition of the Binibining Pilipinas, which chooses the representatives of the Philippines in Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Intercontinental, Miss Supranational, Miss Grand International and Miss Globe. She won the top crown that made her the Philippine representative to Miss Universe 2018.
Hosted by Steve Harvey and Ashley Graham, the Miss Universe 2018 coronation night will take place at the IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Center in Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand on December 17, 2018. Gray will compete against 93 other women for the crown of South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters’ successor.
Including McLean, Miss Universe 2018 has seven judges for both the preliminary competition and the coronation night. The other six are Bui Simon, Iman Oubou, Janaye Ingram, Liliana Gil Valletta, Monique Lhuillier and Richelle Singson-Michael.
Almost three weeks before the Miss Universe 2018 coronation night, Gray released a single titled “We’re in This Together.” Watch the music video here: