Never thought I’d be so happy to see the back of Steve Weinberger’s head in a contest shot. Of course, having the judges’ heads lurking in the foreground of your shot is an occupational hazard of shooting from the press pit, and Steve, who’s often in the head judge’s center spot, is a frequent uncredited guest star. Today, as I open to Roland Balik’s photos from the women’s prejudging this morning, it looks like home.
In women’s bodybuilding, as the above back shot of the first callout indicates, there was a whole lotta muscle onstage at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. And that was before Lisa Aukland was called out. Dayana Cadeau was smaller and tighter, which is the way I prefer her physique. She had a problem onstage (dehydrated perhaps?) and didn’t make it through to the final callout, however.
The first callout: Debi Laszewski, Iris Kyle Dayana and Yaxeni Oriquen. Though the other three looked amazing, as frequently happens, Iris was in a class by herself.
Clearly the panel was not interested in any of the “smaller” bodybuilders onstage, who were relegated to the third and fourth callouts. I liked the looks of newcomers Alina Popa and Elena Shportun, however, and hope they’re going to stick around.
The last callout saw Iris with Yaxeni and Lisa center stage. Did Aukland knock Laszewski, who may have been at her own all time best, out of a top-three spot?
We’ll see shortly.
Find all the prejudging photos in our gallery.