Gray, who hails from the Philippines' Albay province, emerged victorious over South Africa's Tamaryn Green and Venezuela's Sthefany Gutiérrez.
Born in Queensland to a Scottish-Australian father and Filipino mother, the 24-year-old vision represented the Philippines on Sunday and took out the top prize, wowing judges with her final answer.
Gray began participating in pageants at the age of 5, when she won the Little Miss Philippines beauty pageant, ABS-CBN News reported.
Now in its 67th year, the 2018 competition included Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, the first ever trans woman to take part. "Mount Mayon is a famous volcano located in my hometown [in the] Bicol region of the Philippines", Gray said.
"When I was 13, my mum told me 'Honey, I dreamt of you winning Miss Universe in a red dress.'" Gray wrote. The 24-year-old has been touted as the top contender to win the Miss Universe 2018 crown.
Ms. Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges. "(Is this real? Is this really Tyra?) And then I checked the link she was commenting on and it was my video and I was like oh my god!"
She is the fourth Filipina to win the competition.
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In an emotional moment, Catriona appeared to hardly believe that she had won, giving off a beaming smile.
Miss South Africa, Tamaryn Green, was crowned first runner-up.
The final of the Miss Universe competition is watched by nearly every household in the country, and the national pride that comes from the competition is palpable from both the contestants and the audience.
American comedian Steve Harvey will be hosting the event, alongside Ashley Graham, who will cover all the action backstage.
"It's been a pleasure meeting you @iamsteveharveytv and thanks for connecting with me".
From Top 20, the candidates were narrowed down to Top 10 for the chance to compete in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Because if you give them food, they will go hungry the next day.
Miss Thailand, Sophida Kanchanarin, the host nation's queen also sent the audience roaring with laughter when she literally announced that she was hungry when asked by the host how she was feeling in the thick of the competition.