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Romero, Romero, Wherefore Art Thou?

More doings in Culver City last weekend. In addition to the pro bikini competition held on October 22 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Jon Lindsay staged the first ever NPC Titans Grand Prix. The biggest divisions seemed to be bikini and men’s physique, with the former being won by the Spanish-born Ingrid Romero, who’s had an interesting year since she played Wonder Woman at the Iron Man both at the Los Angeles Fitness Expo last winter.

We loved Ingrid, thought she had great potential and were not surprised when a month or so later she won the bikini division at the IFBB Amateur Arnold, which, theoretically, enabled her to put in for pro status. Instead, Romero jumped ship, as they say, switching to an upstart organization that shall remain nameless, where she was on her way to being a star when, whoops, a few weeks ago I noticed on Facebook that a certain friend of mine (who shall also remain nameless) had “liked” Ingrid—a signal that Romero was no longer playing for the other team. Later came a public denunciation of the other team by Ingrid, followed by lively Internet discussions that included some nasty name calling on a radio show by another friend of mine (who should be ashamed of himself).

I admit, I have not spoken with anyone, including Ingrid, about the facts of why her journey went the way it did since the Fit Expo. Neither have I expressed an opinion—and I’m not expressing one now, although I have enjoyed the lively Internet discussions mentioned above. Since there is nothing new about this story except the name of the other organization, I suspect that Ingrid’s reentry fee to the NPC/IFBB included a letter of apology to officials and the need to requalify for pro-qualifying competition. Hence her appearance at the Titans, where she was clearly on another level from the rest of the lineup.

Anyone predicting a quick trip to the pros for the comely Ingrid should note that it won’t be all that zippy. NPC national shows, like the Nationals, coming up in a few weeks, are out, as she is not a U.S. citizen. Reportedly, she’ll be eligible for citizenship sometime next year, but until then her option is to go back to the Amateur Arnold and score a repeat victory. Not making any predictions on that, but as I so often say in this industry, nothing would surprise me.

Also at the Titans amateur show. The bikini competitions included one division for which the results had me and anyone else who had not been to the judging rubbing our eyes. The gal who was the clear winner got second, while the first-place trophy went to the next best competitor. Later one of the judges related that the better gal had lost points due to an overenthusiastic posing style. Apparently, she had bent over backward (wink, wink) to display her assets.

The move was gone by the night show, but the votes were in. As we’ve discussed in the past, there’s a fine line between sass and crass when it comes to bikini. The pros don’t cross it, as a rule, and neither do the women who get to the pros. We can only hope that this competitor, who really was pretty good, figures it out before she gets onstage again.

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