Miss Universe pageant has kicked off in Bangkok with Miss Philippines contestant - and a once Queensland resident - taking out the crown for 2018.

According to the Cairns Post, the 24-year-old first started working on her modelling career while still at Trinity Anglican School in Cairns, and has since moved to the Philippines and worked as a model and a pop singer.

Her new song, We're in this Together, has beaten Ariana Grande into the top spot on iTunes in the Philippines.

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray, left, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green, right react as Gray was announced as the winner of Miss Universe. Photo / AP
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray, left, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green, right react as Gray was announced as the winner of Miss Universe. Photo / AP

Ms Gray beat out South Africa finalist Tamaryn Green for the crown. Ms Green was crowned first runner-up.

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The women who made it through to the final round included Vietnam, Venezuela, Philippines, Costa Rica, Curacao, Nepal, Canada, Thailand and Puerto Rico. Miss Australia's contestant Francesca Hung missed out on a top 10 spot.

The three-hour show began at 11am (AEDT) with US singer Ne-Yo performing his hit Nights Like These, accompanied by drummers in red traditional Thai costumes and women in golden outfits performing a Thai dance.

American comedian and television personality Steve Harvey then began hosting the show on the stage, making a joke about Thai food being "hot as hell".

Catriona Gray of the Philippines, left, reacts as she is crowned the new Miss Universe 2018 by Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Photo / AP
Catriona Gray of the Philippines, left, reacts as she is crowned the new Miss Universe 2018 by Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Photo / AP

Being held for the 67th year, the competition is taking place in Bangkok for the third time.

Ms Hung was the last contestant to make it in the Top 20, but sadly missed out on the final 10.

"Ah did you have to make me last — so nervous," she said as Harvey called her name to join the 19 other girls.

"That's a tough spot, last. I've been last a lot. Well you're here," Harvey responded before putting Ms Hung on the spot.

"Okay, listen to me, in your bio it says that you like to tell jokes, is that true?"

He handed a hesitant Ms Hung the mike, asking for one joke before reminding her she's on national TV.

"Thanks Steve, but it is your day and I don't want to steal your thunder, however … an optimist and a pessimist met in a bar. The pessimist said, "oh things just couldn't get any worse" and the optimist said "no, of course it can"."

After an awkward pause Ms Hung continued: "I said I could tell jokes, I never said they would be good."

Singer Ne-Yo leads Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez during the final round of the 67th Miss Universe competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo / AP
Singer Ne-Yo leads Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez during the final round of the 67th Miss Universe competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo / AP

A confused Harvey said it would have helped if he knew what either term meant.

Also missing out of the Top 10 was Sarah Rose Summer of Miss USA who recently got slammed for publicly mocking non-English speaking contestants Miss Vietnam and Miss Cambodia during an Instagram Live session.

Ms Hung who was also caught up in the drama apologised for her involvement. She posted a photograph on Instagram of herself with the Cambodian contestant, claiming the whole situation had been "misconstrued."

Contesters participate in the finale of 67th Miss Universe competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo / AP
Contesters participate in the finale of 67th Miss Universe competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo / AP

"I'm so upset that this situation has been misconstrued like this … We were merely saying it must be even more difficult at times not to have a single other delegate being able to speak (Khmer) … which in fact, makes Nat (Miss Cambodia) an even stronger contender (to win the title)," the 24-year-old sociology graduate wrote.

H'Hen Nie who represents Vietnam made it to the Top 5 alongside, Miss Philippines who won the competition, Miss Puerto Rico, Miss South Africa and Miss Venezuela.

The Thai capital last hosted the pageant in 2005 when Russian-born Canadian Natalie Glebova won the title.

This year's pageant saw the first ever transgender contestant, Miss Spain.

Angela Ponce, 27, was born anatomically male but has since transitioned to being female. She has said she would use the title to campaign for children who question their gender identity.

-with AP