Last weekend at the New York Pro there was, as sadly seems to be the norm these days, no Women's Bodybuilding to enjoy*. However, there were over 30 (!) magnificent competitors in the Women's Physique division - ripped, oiled, and thoroughly swoonworthy. And all of them got to put their hands behind their heads, thrust their hips forward, and, clenching everything they have, crunch down hard.
With La Malacarne choosing to rest on her Arnold Classic-winning laurels and not return to the show she had won for the previous three years, there was a new champion. In her first Physique outing the familiar face and exquisite body of Michelle Cummings returned to the stage most triumphantly. Sadly, I can't find a single pic of Michelle hitting abs and thigh though, so you'll just have to wait for some Michelle till another day. If you can't (or won't) wait, a post-contest interview with Bikini Olympia champ Ashley Kaltwasser might keep you occupied for a bit, and you can also watch some of Michelle's winning routine in this result round-up clip.
On with the abs and thighs...
The runner-up, Gloria Fauls (top left), had her best ever day as a pro, as did Jennifer Hernandez (top right), who finished 3rd. Both of these lovely ladies have been around for a good few years but have escaped our attention. They have it now! The other two ladies in the top 5 were the more familiar faces of veteran Tamee Marie (4th) and the gorgeous Ayana Carroll (bottom left and right respectively).
And meanwhile, at the other end of the judges scorecards (I'm aware they don't actually list the women on the scorecards in the order they finish - you know what I mean), was another familiar beauty returning to competition for the first time in a while, and for the first time in the Physique division, FMS fave Geraldine Morgan.
Now maybe it's because she's such a fave, or maybe it's because she's got that bit of extra muscle that so appeals, but can you see anything about Geraldine and her wonderful physique that screams "did not place"? If I am confused about the placings in Women's Bodybuilding at times, then I have to admit I'm at a total loss when it comes the Physique division. Really. I have no absolutely no idea what's going on!
One show seems to be won by the woman who looks the most like an old-time light-heavyweight bodybuilder and I think I know where I am and then the next one comes around and the woman who most closely resembles a Figure competitor walks off with the title and I'm all lost again. Am I alone in this or is everyone else in the dark too?
At the top, Olga Belyakova (left) and Miava Nelson display their "did not place" physiques. Below, Nathalie Foreau (left) and Katka Kyptova also finished outside the top 15. All were previously bodybuilders. But then so was the winner.
What is going on?!
Maybe you don't know how the results panned out. If so, let's play a little game.
Here are eight of the women from the contest. Five of them placed and three did not. Task one is to find the five who placed. Task two is to put those five in order.
Win by agreeing with the judges.
OK, we have Fabiola top left, and next to her Candrea Judd-Adams. Below them we've got smokin' Katie Sauter on the left (don't let my choice of adjectives cloud your judgement - I know NOTHING) and next to her the heat of Tracy Hess.
Then it's FMS fave Marcie Simmons (top left), Jessica Gaines (top right), Jehina Malik (bottom left), and last but not least Margarita Charaim.
So, which three didn't place? And what order did the other five finish?
Answers at the end of the week. No cheating now!
And we leave you today with Abs & Thigh specialist Roxanne Edwards.
Roxanne finished 14th, by the way.
*Don't despair too much, just a couple more weeks and the biggest big girls of them all will be back and then it's gravy, with Toronto, Omaha and Chicago all in a row.