Hours before the much-anticipated coronation of Miss Universe 2018, the Philippines' representative to the pageant Catriona Gray managed to achieve a new milestone: reaching 1 million followers on Instagram as of Sunday night.
"1 MILLION OF YOU?!?? Thank you for joining in this journey with me," Gray captioned on a photo posted seconds after hitting the 1-million mark.
Pegged as the "candidate to beat" by several pageant portals, Gray's social media following surged after her performance in the preliminary competition went viral.
Her "lava walk" and "slo-mo twirl" have particularly captivated fans and celebrities alike, with some even attempting to imitate the "gravity-defying" move.
Fans of Gray made the extra social media push days ahead of the coronation by creating the hashtag #RoadTo1Million, along with photos of her Instagram following as it inches closer to the 1-million mark.
Even fellow beauty queens like Gray's predecessor Rachel Peters, Binibining Pilipinas-International 2018 Ahtisa Manalo, and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also threw their support behind Gray, and asked their fans to do the same.
On a previous post, Gray asked Filipinos to pray for her bid to be the country's fourth Miss Universe titleholder.
"Philippines, you have endlessly inspired me, given me strength and support. I want nothing more than to bring pride to you and give my all to give the best Christmas gift ever to my country... Mahal kita, Philippines. Para sayo 'to. Stand by me prayer warriors, laban tayo," she wrote.
The weeks of pageant activities will culminate on Monday morning at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand where reigning queen Demi Leigh Nel-Peters is expected to pass on the Mikimoto crown to her successor.
ABS-CBN’s live telecast of the competition will start at 8 a.m.