It was the “slo-mo twirl” that left mouths agape across the world, and certainly left fans of Catriona Gray, the Philippines’ bet in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant, in awe.
Strutting on the catwalk in the swimsuit competition of the beauty pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, Gray stopped for a half-second, spun to her left, and let her long, straight hair whip around her as she smiled again to the audience.
The video of the 24-year-old model’s performance went viral online, as pundits bolstered her standing as one of the early favorites to win the crown.
It didn’t hurt that Grey’s walk in the long gown competition was equally enthralling, as she wore an orange flowing number inspired by the mythical “ibong Adarna” co-designed by her and Mak Tumang.
Gray is hoping to win the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe crown after Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margie Moran in 1973, and Gloria Diaz in 1969. She had already placed in the top 5 of the 2016 Miss World pageant.
A victory by the Filipino-Australian stunner would also help the Philippines move up the rankings among the countries with the most winners in the Miss Universe pageant since 1952.
The United States currently tops the list with eight queens, while Venezuela has produced seven winners. Puerto Rico has five, and the Philippines is currently tied with Sweden, which has also won the event thrice.
The Miss Universe 2018 coronation night is on Monday, Dec. 17, and will be aired live on ABS-CBN channel 2 starting 8 a.m.
READ: ‘Amazing’ Gray shines amid parol malfunction
Speaking to ABS-CBN News on Friday, Gray said preparing for her pageant walk has been “a very slow process” that started way before she competed in the local Binibining Pilipinas tilt.
“It’s been a process ever since before Binibini,” Gray said. “I’ve been training with my mentor, Carlos Buendia.”
“It’s just been a very slow process. Why? Because it really evolves as time goes on, and you start to change the way you walk.”
Gray confirmed that the “slow-mo twirl” was intentional, and admitted that it turned out better than she expected. “I don’t even know how I did that!” she said, laughing.
“My mentor kuya Caloy, or Carlos, he always taught me that when I turn, I should snap back. Like when you dance, right? So I think that’s what carried the hair,” Gray added.
READ: From world to universe: Catriona Gray finds her beauty
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