Catriona Gray’s ‘slow-mo twirl’ in Miss Universe prelims captivates fans

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2018 12:32 AM | Updated as of Dec 14 2018 09:40 AM

The Philippines’ Catriona Gray takes her turn on stage during the Miss Universe preliminary swimwear competition. YouTube: Miss Universe

For a second, some Filipino viewers of the Miss Universe preliminary competition weren’t sure if the live stream from Bangkok suddenly had a hiccup as Philippines bet Catriona Gray emerged on stage, apparently in slow motion.

(See Gray’s preliminary swimsuit performance at the 46:32 mark in the video below.)

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Gray had just started her walk for the swimsuit competition when she twirled and the “lag” was noticed by pageant fans online. But the “slow-mo” spin, it turned out, was choreographed to end with a swift hair flip and snappy hip swing that commanded attention.

Here’s a frame-by-frame look at that moment:

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Catriona Gray starts her swimsuit walk in the preliminary competition with a twirl that starts slowly and ends swiftly. YouTube: Miss Universe

Going by Gray’s cumulative pageant efforts in recent months, the “slow-mo twirl,” as fans have now dubbed it online, may very well have been a calculated one to go with her “lava walk” for maximum impact.

And it worked, as evidenced by the flood of comments about her swimsuit competition performance on Thursday night. Here are some of them:

Aside from the swimsuit competition, the preliminary pageant also saw the candidates taking turns on stage in their evening gowns.

The preliminary competition will determine the top 20 to be announced on coronation day on December 17.

If Gray succeeds in being crowned Miss Universe, she would be the fourth Filipina to do so after Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margie Moran in 1973, and Gloria Diaz in 1969.