My first reaction as the results of the IFBB Europa Super Show pro competition started coming last evening: L.T. must be plotzing. Cedric McMillian, the bodybuilder my IRON MAN colleague had picked to do well at this show—in his pro debut—and then possibly do some damage at the Mr. Olympia, had taken fourth. Don’t take it too hard, Coach. No swami could have predicted that Essa Ibrahim Hassan Obaid, Mark Alvisi and Bill Wilmore would come in beyond sliced any more than he or she could have predicted the outcome of the Super Show women’s competitions. Any of them. Fitness, figure and bikini were on the program, and all three contests produced first-time winners.
Biggest surprise—bikini. Okay, I admit I assumed this would be an Olympia-preview mashup between late-spring bikini sensation Nathalia Melo and the jewel of July, Ali Rosen, both of whom, incidentally, are members of the growing-by-leaps-and-bounds Florida bikini brigade. Amanda Latona, who had been laying low since her third-place finish at the Musclecontest event in March, was a good bet for third.
Wrong, wrong, wrong—not about Rosen, who is on a roll and got second, but definitely about Latona, who did a divide-and-conquer on her competition and pulled off the win. Also about Melo, who had to settle for third.
What’s that about? From the photos, I can see it: The competition was very tough, and Nathalia wasn’t as round and curvy from the front as she was from the rear. One instant message I received from the press pit last night was that the results were “strange.” As I wasn’t there—a real disadvantage when you’re handicapping a bikini contest—I can only wonder what my friend meant by that.
As for Amanda, who I recently learned is originally from my hometown, Pittsburgh, there’s only one thing to say: Younz looked great, girl!
Rounding out the top five were Bianca Binno, fourth, and Jennifer Dietrick.
Bit of a shock—figure. Don’t know why I didn’t see Terri Turner’s win in the Super Show Figure event coming. Not that she didn't look good—and hasn't all season. Second at the New York Pro, third at the Europa Show of Champions in Connecticut last month, she was kind of due for her firsts win, but those patterns don’t seem to be holding this season. Except when they do.
The judges turned in a perfect score for Turner, with Alicia Harris looking fine and finishing second and Teresa Anthony leapfrogging from 11th at the Jacksonville Pro two weeks ago to land in third. I thought fourth-placer Monica Mark-Escalante looked swell, with her tiny V-tape set off to advantage, although she appeared a little softer than Harris and Anthony. The conditioning of the top women did vary somewhat, but no one looked sloppy
As the top three were previously qualified for the Figure O (Harris was second in Jacksonville, and Anthony took third at the post-Olympia ’09 Kentucky Pro), Monica got the sliding qualification; so it’s all good.
Josie Zamora finished fifth, with a couple of already–Olympia–bound competitors, Gina Trochiano and Phoenix Pro winner Mindi Smith earning the sixth and seventh spots, respectively.
A little surprising—fitness. Bethany Wagner’s first ever pro win at the Super Show Fitness competition wasn’t a shock. The high school science teacher and gymnastics and track coach from New Jersey is always a presence—in the physique round as well as the routines—and she was more than due. But so was Myriam Capes, who’s always tops in the routines and has really worked to her streamline her physique. Shannon Meteraud looked fabulous at the judging—balanced, with just enough muscle and conditioning and no bodyparts sticking out. As I knew her routine would be good enough, I though maybe Shannon would take it. Once again I was wrong.
A win in the physique round and a tie with Shannon in the routines gave Bethany a five-point advantage in the final tabulations. Capes and Meteraud were tied for the runner-up spot, but the panel broke the tie in favor of Myriam, who was number one in the the routines, and Shannon got the third spot. Not bad for a gal who was one of the original fitness competitors back in the day.
Regiane Da Silva took fourth, and Alison Ethier rounded out the top five.
Also looking good—and not just good for someone who hadn’t been onstage in three years (or competed in fitness in six), but really good—was Alti Bautista. In fact, she looked good enough to take second in the body round and sixth overall. Kinda makes you wonder how far this shapely competitor might have gone if she’d taken to the stage more often over the years.
Photos (from top): Amanda Latona, Terri Turner and Bethany Wagner.