Your week–or perhaps month– is now complete. “The Experts” Mr. Olympia predictions video is up on www.ironmanmagazine.com. And, just putting this project together was much more difficult than trying to figure out who the top six will be at this year’s version of the ‘0, now less than two weeks away.
The weekend of the Europa Supershow (August 10-12) would be the last time that the “The Experts”–yours truly, Ron (Yogi) Avidan and Isaac Hinds–would be together at the same place before the Olympia Weekend; thus, we had to get the taping done prior to heading back home.
At that time it was seven weeks out from the Big Dance and, although we saw defending champ Jay Cutler at the USA and knew he was in great shape, we didn’t have much else to go on regarding Mr. Olympia’s major contenders. Still, with our unmatched reputations on the line, we were not going to let that stand in our way.
It was a long, hard weekend in Texas for all of us involved in the project–the above mentioned “Experts” and our main man with the video camera, Strollin’ Roland Balik. I emceed five–count ’em–five contests over the weekend (four pro shows on Friday night and the huge NPC Europa on Saturday night) and hosted all video wrap-ups on the contests. Additionally, I did several video interviews taped for Bodybuilding.com by both Yogi and Isaac.
Yogi and Isaac shot all weekend–both pictures and videos–for Bodybuilding.com and the NPC News, and worked around the clock. Roland’s trip began on a sour note, with bad weather forcing him to drive from his Delaware abode to the airport in Philadelphia in order to make the weekend festitivites. But, that didn’t deter him for shooting all four pro shows and manning the camera on all the videos.
We ended up shooting the Olympia predictions video on Sunday morning on the rooftop of the host hotel, the Hyatt. It was well over 100 degrees, and the humidity had reached at least 90%. The three of us in front of the camera were dead tired, hungry and thirsty–on the brink of passing out, actually, actually– since we only had about 10 hours sleep total during our Texas frolly and didn’t have time to eat breakfast before shooting the final video. As you can see, the subtitle for this video is “Refugees on a Rooftop” and this isn’t a joke, for once.
Take that into consideration when you see where Lift Studios left Victor Martinez out of his top six, perhaps the worst prediction of all time. But, when Isaac was refreshed and fed (two weeks earlier, in his blog on bb.com), he did get the top five, in exact order, for the Men’s finals in Texas. And, I had to buy him dinner when Silveo Samuel made weight in the 210 and under class. Isaac cheated, of course, having inside info, but I paid up like the class act I am. Why I had to pay for Yogi’s meal, as well (along with the five other people who made their way to our table) is another matter.
Roland seemed fairly refreshed in the beginning, but was weakening by the minute after carting around all the camera equipment before we as we eventually made our way to the top of the mountain, er, the hotel. And, after putting up with our antics and warped humor the previous two nights during our round-up tapings, John Balik’s son deserves a Purple Heart for just showing up Sunday morning.
But, our job is to bring you the action, period, and to tell you how it’s gonna be before it even happens. As usual, my picks will probably be the most accurate. Yogi says the Swami’s hat should be sitting on his head after the strong ’07 season he’s had with his prognostications; Hinds has been on a tear of late and probably did deserve the crown before he came up with his off kilter pics for this one.
View the video (our aim is to entertain), and tell us what you think. Amazing how amazing we still are even with such horrific distractions, eh, gang?