While everything is still sinking in for Miss Australia Francesca Hung, she recalled her experience in the Miss Universe pageant and admitted during a live interview with the Australian TV show The Morning Show that Philippine bet Catriona Gray, who eventually won the title, was her “biggest threat” in the competition.
Catriona was born in Cairns, North Queensland and her father Ian Gray is a Scottish-born Australian and her mother Normita Magnayon is from Bicol.
When asked about how Catriona is off-cam, she said, “She’s just like any other Aussie girl. She grew up in Australia, so she has the same sort of values and ideals. She was born for this role. She is a well brought-up pageant girl, so she is going to be an amazing spokesperson for Miss Universe.”
Catriona has made headlines in Australian tabloids which drew flak from Filipino fans for posting a headline where Philippines was crossed out with a red mark.
During the competition, Francesca made headlines along with Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers and Miss Colombia Valeria Morales for “mocking” non-English speaking contestants—particularly representatives from Cambodia and Vietnam.
She explained her side and said, “I actually never experienced anything like that before, all of that sort of online abuse and attack. I had my first panic attack. It’s hard when you’re here as well; you don’t have your family around you. It can be really difficult. And you’re in this really strange environment.
“I deleted my Instagram at one point, and I just didn’t look at anything, and then after a while, I realized I can’t change other people’s perspective of me, as long as I know my intentions are pure. People around me know me. They know that I would never say anything like that. I just had to be OK with that, and let other people say what they want to say,” she added.