We'll be back to the round-up of recent contests tomorrow, but today we can catch our breath with a few candids from the shows featured over the last three days, culled from the hundreds available at Muscular Development, Flex Online, FTVideo, Bodybuilding.com, contest website of the year TEAM-ANDRO, and Lisa Cross's own Facebook page.
Another reason for thinking about the IFBB Worlds as a contest worth a visit is provided by these candids of the 'Farewell Banquet'. I'm not saying they'd let you in, but presumably there's nothing to stop you hanging around the front door or trying to get a job as one of the waiting staff. Better still, get the DJ gig. 'If you want me to play it you're gonna have to flex for it...' It does look like fun, doesn't it?
Swedes Deniz Faith (left) and Eva Lagerhorn Blom (right) both bid to get their favourite tune played. Readers will remember both these beauties competed in Bodybuilding, finishing 5th and 6th respectively. More evidence here that, as we suspected, Deniz is really gorgeous and Eva can control her face when flexing off stage about as well as she can when she's on it.
Katka Kyptova (left) digs into her pudding after her first (as far as we know) show as a Physique competitor. And the kind of glamour you expect at an event called a 'Banquet' is provided by Hungarian fitness goddess Zsuzsanna Toldi (left) and German fitness/bikini babe Valeria Ammirato. Readers who've been with FMS since 2011 (!) may remember Valeria being featured before (see Innamorato with Ammirato). At the Worlds she won the short Bikini Fitness class, and I think if I look at her in that dress and those shoes much longer I'm going to get all innamorato with her again. Zsuzsanna, by the way, didn't compete at the Worlds, so she must have been there to support her Hungarian compatriots. Or perhaps just for the free food.
From Kiev to Madrid, and (left) a picture taken moments after Lisa Cross had competed at the Arnold Classic Europe. Just got off stage and bumped into the gorgeous Olga Belyakova, World Champion, Lisa tells us. Glad I am not the only one who thinks Olga is 'gorgeous'. In case you're still undecided, another close-up of her (right) from the Arnold Expo.
It shouldn't surprise regular readers to see Lisa hanging out with the Russians. We learned that Lisa's degree was in Russian and Politics during our Arnold countdown. Lisa doesn't waste the chance to brush up her Russian with Natalia Yariz and Maria Kuzmina (above) and Valentyna Yefymchuk (below). Lisa says Valentina is such a lovely lady. We have met up a few times now and it is always a pleasure.
Finally from the Arnold Europe, here's Lisa 'having a chat' with Yeon Woo-ji, the Physique class winner, who Lisa reckons is a lovely lady and has a beautiful physique. She doesn't tell us what language they were chatting in. It wouldn't surprise me that much if Lisa had picked up a working knowledge of Korean. Amazing woman. And she wears that dress well, doesn't she?
And from Madrid, it's back in time to September in Las Vegas.
A ripped and veiny Valerie Gangi and a bouffed (and no, that's not a spelling mistake) Tina Chandler at the meet and greet before the show. Valerie is fondly remembered by older fans from her younger, bodybuilding days. She turned pro way back in 1995, and not only looks amazing for her age, but is a serious competitor in the Physique division, winning this year's Tampa Pro to qualify for the first ever Physique Olympia. I've already told you how I feel about Tina this week, so I'll just say it's the thought of having the opportunity to get this up-close and personal with her (and all the other top muscle goddesses) that makes me wonder whether I should blow all my air miles at once for a trip to the Olympia next year.
Mmmmmm. If this isn't the kind of scenario you've always dreamed of being a part of then you are probably here against your will. All three of the ladies here look like they're having fun. The kind of fun I'd like to be having with the lady in the middle.
Just hang around in the Orleans Casino and you will get whiplash as the fbbs walk by.
I can only imagine that if yours truly was just 'hanging around' and spied the newly-blond Aleesha Young, glammed up to the nines with her blue blue eyes and sexy pout, suggestively toying with that bottle of beer, then 'heart failure' would probably be a more likely outcome than whiplash. What a way to go that would be!
The ultimate double date? Europe's finest, the recently retired Brigita Brezovac and Ms Olympia in waiting Alina Popa showing that female bodybuilders can be beautiful, feminine and fashionable. In pairs.