2005 USAs Figure and Female Bodybuilding Review
The hot and humid Las Vegas was again the scenario for the USA's. Held in UNLV once again at the Artemus Hall where the stage visibility is great. The promoter wasn't too nice regarding cameras as I saw heard few people complain about it. Promoters who limit the coverage of the events are limiting the number of people who may compete in it, it's simple math.
This time there was figure instead of fitness making this a larger show than last year's. Going first for the figure we had several competitors who had been gunning for their cards since last year. Jodi Miller was back with a vengeance after placing 12th at Jr. Nationals. Jeannette Freed in Class B was there again and hoping to get that pro card. Other familiar faces were Danielle Hollenshade, Grace Rivera, Stephanie Collins, Zhanna Rotar, Alexis Ellis and Shelly Taucher.
Class A was a tight race without notable Karen Zaremba and Susi Oatmeyer out of the lineup it was up to Andrea Dumon, Angela Komis and Jodi Miller to snatch that card. In the end Dumon with her calves and looking much tighter than at the Emerald Cup won the class. Jenn De Hoya who had made some noise at the Ironman did fairly well at this show placing top 10.
Class B by far Michelle Flake looked the most complete, symmetric, tight but softer than at Jr. Nats in 2004. She easily took the class and Jeanette Freed was one more time very close to her pro card. Brooke Paulin came in very close and she continues to amaze people in figure and fitness. A notable 5th place came to Karen Mullarkey from Arizona it seems her first National she did look amazing and was trained by Ernie Villegas from Arizona. Courtney Morley and Lisa Bickels' physiques were placed top 10 but it seems their muscularity wasn't awarded by the judges.
Class C included the great Zhanna Rotar and again she looked amazing almost unbeatable. But the judges gave a very tight Bernardette Galvan who had placed 11th at Jr. Nats the first place. Michelle Anderson came in 2nd after having won her class at the Emerald Cup. Michelle came in much softer this time. Enji Khoo is rather unknown to many but she is making solid improvements every year. Another notable was Jesse Ferguson who's abs rocked the stage, this young competitor will soon get her pro card. But perhaps the most impressive physique in this class aside from Rotar was Melissa Degasis who showcased a pro physique among amateurs. Degasis' muscle tone, hard glutes and overall shape was totally overlooked. She hasn't competed in 2 years but now she is back and will not be overlooked.
Class D was taken by newcomer Gina Aliotti who looked much differently than Danielle Hollenshade. Aliotti seemed much softer and her lower body seemed closer to Erica Davidson's. Danielle and Shannon Roberts both seemed to be more conditioned in the quads. Abby Eyre will probably get her card soon but she was brought softer due to judges recommendations. Natalie Verges who had placed 11th on the one piece was placed 5th on the two piece something some people thought as an interesting move upwards.
Class E was taken by Amanda Savell who has been taking first places all this time. Newcomer Rebecca Slatt stormed the house with a second place. Rebecca continues to come in with an excellent shape and great looks. This time Traci Redding who had come in softer placed 6th and was not overlooked this time. Shari Yates came in her first National show and impressed with her midsection. We hope to see more of Shari in more shows her muscle maturity can be an advantage to her.
Class F was a bit confusing as Taucher and Douglas looked very different from each other and then came Ali Metkovich, MJ Cooke and in 5th well conditioned Maria Corsaro. Taucher was told to come in softer and she did and won her pro card. But Ali looked really good as always, perhaps the judging could be clearer on what they are looking for. Alexis Ellis was totally ON but came in softer which in most cases the best physiques look better hard. This softness didn't seem to help her but luckily wasn't placed too low.
Michelle Flake won the overall and was well deserved in my opinion. But most people have judged Flake's physique as being too muscular compared to some of the other recent pros.
The lightweights seemed to point to Pam Shealy given the 20% IFBB muscle reduction. But Barbara Fletcher who was the most ripped lightweight took her class. Tricia Travis from Arizona came in third and was looking hard and well conditioned. Ann Dana who had shown a classy physique at Jr. Nats placed only 7th.
The middleweights went to Britt Miller a smaller but very well conditioned competitor. It seems that the NPC/IFBB had forgotten their own reduction rule. Tracy Mason who looked great at Jr. Nats only managed to place 6th. Miller was indeed the youngest and the classiest physique up there, not the most muscular by any means. But she is young and will continue to improve if she is patient.
On the light heavy weights most eyes were set on Elena Seiple to win the class. When all athletes in that class stepped on stage the majority of people were thinking a clear win by Seiple. Then the callouts came and Elena came in 4th. Amanda Dunbar with her small waist and symmetry impressed many people. Her and Angie Salvagno sported the thinner well conditioned physiques. Christine Sabo, Norma Nieves and Debbie Bramwell were the other more muscular physiques but didn't fare as well. What people kept on talking is why did Angie place 3rd when she looked more like Amanda Dunbar. And it's true if you look at photos Elena given the new IFBB reduction should have placed even lower and Salvagno taken 2nd. It was a tough class to judge.
The heavy included two competitors who everyone knew would go at each other Sherry Smith and Heather Policky. Sherry was more ripped and had already impressed last year. Heather hadn't competed last year due to personal issue and was now back. Heather's routine hair and presentation were some of the best I have seen on stage for FBB. Her routine was very classy and showcase her incredible striated quads.
Amanda took the overall and some people will think this is a statement from the IFBB, it may or may not be we will surely see at North Americans and Nationals in Atlanta.