Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has defended newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo from criticisms as she advised her to turn negativity into something that will make her stronger.
During an interview at ANC News program “Headstart” on Oct. 28, Gray said: “I’ve actually already personally reached out to Rabiya…But I just try to comfort her to know that, at the Miss Philippines, there is always people who would talk about you…give positive and negative.”
“It really comes with the territory of being a Philippine Queen. But she (Rabiya) has an amazing opportunity, considering what her back has really gone through to be able to perform at the level that they have, and what the country is still going through this pandemic.
“So, she has an amazing opportunity to really rise above the hate and rise above the criticisms…and really show people how a queen can positively impact a community at such a time as this” Gray also said.
Gray, 26, was also asked about her opinion on alleged cheating in beauty pageants.
“Honestly, there is always the judging score process, but there’s also the treatment of the candidates. It’s hard for me to speak specifically for the actual judging system at the recent Miss Universe Philippines pageant, since it’s a new pageant and I’m privy to that information,” the Australian-Filipino beauty queen said.
Gray highlighted the importance of fairness for every candidate.
“As a contestant I’ve competed twice internationally and twice nationally, It’s important that contestants are treated the same. They are given the same conditions, the same resources at the pageant and also that the judging panel is properly briefed and it’s really all about equal footing,” Gray said.
“Because our candidates or any candidate that really prepares to be there at the competition and once they’re there, it’s (the) hope that they will be given equal opportunity each to excel in their own right,” she added.