Tamaryn Green of South Africa, who was seen by pageant pundits as Catriona Gray’s “rival” in Miss Universe, has spoken up after finishing runner-up to the Philippine representative on Monday at the packed Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Green was hoping to score a back-to-back win for her home country by becoming the successor of her compatriot, Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters — and came close to the goal.
Holding hands with Gray, who like her was a favorite among international fans early on in the competition, Green was either to become the new queen or the first runner-up. She ultimately settled for the latter.
Speaking with ABS-CBN News’ Dyan Castillejo after the pageant, Green recalled the moments before the new Miss Universe was announced by American presenter Steve Harvey.
“You stand there and you’re wondering, ‘What’s going to happen next? Whose name is going to be called?’ And you know that you gave it your all. You tried your best, you worked hard. Whatever it may be, it’s God’s plan; it’s what’s going to happen,” she said.
Green went on: “I’m so happy for Cat. She’s lovely. She’s amazing. She wanted it just as bad as all of us wanted it. But in the end, you know, I did my country proud. I did my best. I had so much fun.”
In her interview with ABS-CBN News, Green also shared her plans after the pageant, which include a short vacation with her family in Thailand, and continuing her studies to earn her medical degree.
Like Green, second runner-up Sthefany Gutierrez of Venezuela also extended warm words to the new Miss Universe. On Instagram, she captioned a photo of her hugging Gray on stage with a congratulatory message not just to the representative, but also to her countrymen.