If I may, I'd just like to lay this year's countdown to rest, simultaneously indulging my statto tendencies and reporting just a little of the reader/voter feedback we have received. The final word (I promise!) on this year's Hot and Hard 100.
Aleesha (#2) & Theresa (#4): Top Americans
Once again the USA was the country (whether by birth or adoption) which gave us the most Hot and Hard women, with 38 out of the 100.
Women from 26 countries appeared on the list, but apart form the US, only eleven of those countries had more than a single Hot and Hard woman to represent them.
Selma was top Brazilian (and top South American) at #24
After the USA, Brazil provided the most, with 10 - although no Brazilian woman appeared in the top 20, the first time that has happened in the three years we've been doing our countdown.
The UK, with seven women, and Canada, with five, were the only other countries with more than four women on the list, the number who hail from Spain, Switzerland, and Russia. There were three Danes, three Hungarians, and three Czechs, and two women each from Finland, South Korea, and Venezuela.
Great Dane: Helle (#3)
Continentally-speaking, we had a European winner for the second time in three years. Five of the top 10 are from Europe, twelve of the top 20.
Melissa Wee, from Singapore, was by far the highest-ranked woman from Asia, and the first Asian woman to break into the top 10.
"By His Grace", Melissa at #10
Loved the Hot and Hard 100 this year! Cheers for putting it together. (Aiden, by email)
High Physique: Mavi Gioia (#8) & Erica Blockman (#9)
The answer to the question Are Most of the Women in the Hot and Hard 100 Bodybuilders? depends very much on what you mean by "Bodybuilders". But if you mean "women who compete in Female Bodybuilding as defined by the IFBB" (or its equivalent in other federations), then the short answer is "No".
52 of the women last competed and/or will next compete in the Women's Physique Division (or equivalent), more than twice as many as those who last competed and/or will next compete in Female Bodybuilding - 23.
Top 20 FBBs: Kashma (#11) & Virginia (#14)
However, fans of the big girls should not despair. Like all stats, a bit of massaging and it all looks very different!
Although FBBs only made up 23% of the overall list, there were 4 of them in the top 5 (80%), five in the top 10 (50%), and nine in the top 20 (45%).
"Queen Muscle" (#19)
16 of the 23 FBBs made the top 50, not as many as the 24 WPD competitors, but a far better comparison than the 23 vs. 52 overall.
And, the highest new entry was the biggest woman of all...
"The Behemoth" (#12)
NEW HOT AND HARD ON THE BLOCK?
All those new entries so far this year! Including my choices Miranda, Brooke, Carly and of course Michelle! (PumpItUp comments, 2016 Hot and Hard Countdown 80-71)
37 of the women on our list were appearing for the first time, Nathalia Trukhina, at 12, the highest of all. Apart from "The Behemoth", only the glorious Diana Schnaidt (#26) entered the list in the top 30, with just six other new entries in the top 50, including the UK's highest new lady on the list, Corinne Ingman.
Diana, new at #26
So that left the first half of the countdown packed with new entries, 29 in all, from the "Curvy Muscle Sensation" Jessica Sestrem at #99, to Physique Olympia runner-up Kira Neuman at #53.
Jessica & Kira
SAME OLD, SAME OLD?
On the other hand, 37 new entries means 63 women on the list were appearing again, and 61 of them also appeared in last year's Hot and Hard 100. As noted above, the further you go up the list, the less likely a new name becomes.
Back again: Alina (#6)
Of the top 10, four women - Alina, Shannon, Elena and Mavi - were there for the third year in a row. So if I could be bothered to put a 2014-2016 list together, they'd be at the top!
Heidi (#17) & Cindy (#18)
Similar Hot and Hard 100 consistency has been shown by Kashma Maharaj, Suzy Kellner, Heidi Vuorela, and Cindy Landolt, who have never finished outside of the top 20.
Overall, I liked the list a lot.
There were more voters than last year (not quite as many as 2014), and they came from all over the world. Its make-up reflects current trends in female muscle fandom pretty well I would say, as well as the dominance of the Physique Division in terms of numbers. And despite all those new entries, the top 20 is packed with familiar bodies and reflects the enduring appeal of those women to us fans...
Rachael (#96) & Julia (#35) - but who will you be feeling smug about next year?
Just wanted to say thanks for putting together the list, although going through all of these amazing women shouldn't be called work. I must have been ahead of the curve. I had [Rachael] Loftis and [Julia] Föry on last year's list when they didn't make it. See you in 2017. (colt131, via email)
Or at least to the well-informed, slightly-ahead-of-the-curve fan who reads FMS!
Cris, our 2016 #1