Thursday, 31 August 2017

FMS @NPC USAs 2017: The State of the USAs

The other day we reminded ourselves with the magnificent muscles of Melissa Fanning that "proper" Female Bodybuilders do, in fact, still exist in the NPC.

The bad news though is that Melissa was one of only five. 20% of the entire FBB division at this year's NPC USAs. Below is another 20%, the Middleweight class.

Not looking good Yvette. Not good.

It's not like the writing hasn't been on the wall, and for well-documented reasons, but 2017 really feels like it's a new low. Granted, last year there were only 3 more competitors than this, although arguably the quality of the winner and runner-up - Brittney O'Veal and Theresa Ivancik - in the Heavyweight class lessened the shock of having fewer than ten FBBers for the first time in the contest's long history. But it was just three years ago when Aleesha Young dominated, and just four years ago when Margie Martin flexed off with Shannon Courtney for the Overall title.

Go back five years to 2012 and there are 32 Female Bodybuilders at the show, and you only need to go back another five to 2007 and there are more than 50 - legendary names and quality throughout the field. Star Blaylock and Sheila Bleck weren't good enough to win their classes, and Angie Salvagno and Michelle Neil (who were) weren't good enough for the Overall, which went to Jennifer Sedia.

So praise is due to all the women - yes, even Yvette - who did fly the Female Bodybuilding flag in Las Vegas. Kireen Ellis, rather unluckily I thought, finished 4th out of 4 in the Heavyweight class, while Eva Montgomery took the Heavyweight and Overall titles plus the single pro card on offer. And the other 20%... well, we'll save that particular shining star for the big climax at the end of our week at the USAs.

Neither the Jr USAs nor the Jr Nationals have a Female Bodybuilding class of any sort anymore, so we should at least be thankful this show does - but for how much longer?

More Eva, interviewed on RxMuscle here.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

FMS @NPC USAs 2017: Our Aspen Rae

She looks amazing. So lean. The female bodybuilders who really drive me crazy are the ones able to switch between porn videos and competitions. An absolute goddess.
[Forum post]

Hey guys, she says, stroking her glutes and thighs, running her hand through her hair to show off her bicep. It's a little bit before my competition and I wanted to get in one final workout with you guys. She's stroking her abs, legs planted apart - a power stance. So I thought I could pose a little, maybe get a little oiled up, and then we'll have ourselves a nice workout. The one-piece swimsuit doesn't stay on long and then the promised oiling begins. The "nice workout" involves a chair, a dildo, and Aspen showing, and telling us, how she likes to not just ride, but "dominate". I'm going to stay here and touch my abs for a little bit, she says with a smile as the clip fades out.

Time was it was widely believed that such naughtiness was detrimental to a young lady's chances of contest success. Perhaps that was a myth, perhaps it is still supposed to be. Nevertheless, naughty Aspen Rae is now an IFBB Figure pro, winning her card by winning her class at the USAs, by far the naughtiest lady in the whole Figure division line-up (that I know of anyway, and if you know different, do tell!).

Perhaps it's only at the pro level that Aspen will start feeling the heat from the judges for her account-emptying webcam antics, although Azaria Glaim (aka Brooke Black etc.) doesn't seem to be having many problems with her Figure career on account of her former revenue-raising strategies, so perhaps times really have changed.

I hope pro status isn't going to change Aspen too much. She is such a star on cam because she seems to be enjoying herself so much, whether she actually is or not, and the best performers always have that quality, I think. And then there's another thing - except for in (excellent but) short Instagram clips, her camshows are the one time you really get to see her flex her lovely muscles. I'd hate to be deprived of that pleasure.

Congratulations Aspen!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

FMS @NPC USAs 2017: Melissa Fanning


Runner-up, Heavyweight

We've featured the mighty Melissa Fanning before, two years ago after she impressed at the NPC Nationals with both her shape and size now and her transformation from the shape and size she had been - a whopping 127kg - that's 280lbs! Back then she was saying "it's not all about chasing the elusive pro card" thing. However, after being 4th, 3rd and now 2nd at her last three national shows, it is perhaps still "not all about" the pro card, just a little bit more about it.

I am one step closer to 1st place and a pro card; so there's no slowing down now! she said afterwards. Time to focus on what needs improving and show up at the next show 100%. The Nationals perhaps? I do hope so. I'm almost as happy to see Melissa again as she was to be back on the stage after taking 2016 off. Being on stage is truly my happy place, she told her Instagram followers, next to a picture of her beaming and flexing during her routine. Even though the show is over in a blink of an eye; the adrenaline I feel when I'm up there is totally worth all the long hours of hard work.

Back in 2015 we noted she'd been up for "The Most Under-rated Amateur Female Bodybuilder in the Country" on Promoting Real Women in 2014. The spectacular package she showed off here should bag her another nomination or two.


Monday, 28 August 2017

FMS @NPC USAs 2017: Kathy Garza

This week on FMS, a rather tardy look back at this year's NPC USAs, which took place in Las Vegas at the end of July. It's a contest which hs given us a lot of pleasure over the years, and been introduced to some spectacular women. The 2017 version of the contest was no different in some ways, but quite different in others and we'll get into how later in the week. But for today, and at the risk of going too sexy too soon, let's find out how one of your highest 2017 Hot and Hard 100 new entries got on.

Runner-up, Physique Class C

This time last year, Kathy was finishing 4th and lighting up the fan forums. She's got a few posts on her Instagram, we noted at the time. And star quality. She's got a few more posts there now, and she certainly hasn't got any less gorgeous, has she?

It took me 3 years and 3 shows and this weekend I earned my pro card by placing 2nd at the USA Championships, Kathy told those Instagram followers as she posed beaming with her trophy. She wasn't happy about being the runner-up, but, she adds, I will say that there is not even one thing that I would have done differently.

Kathy's Insta clips have been cut into a number of YouTube compilations - the longest of which you can find here. And there's also a rather odd one that dubs her "The Sandra Bullock of Bodybuilding" because of her resemblance to the Hollywood star. Don't see it myself. Yes, Sandra is quite pretty and all, I suppose, but to compare her to Kathy...

Sadly none of Kathy backstage was captured by NPC News Online this year, so instead, for today's NPC USA tube, how about checking out the woman who won the class she competed in? Christina Thome was for a few years a Bikini then a Figure competitor before packing on the Physique muscle in 2015. I reckon she wears it well.