The inaugural Europa Battle of Champions is less than 24 hours away and many of the top IFBB Pros in the world have descended upon Hartford, Connecticut looking for a check and a trip to the Olympia in September. Rx Muscle will be there in full force with stage video and photos, video interviews, and a live play by play with yours truly, Jeff the Producer, and Aaron Singerman. The action starts at 6pm Eastern on Friday and we will be live in the middle of the action.
To kick of the show some predictions are in order and this was no easy task. The line-ups are deep and just one week after the Tampa Pro I expect most competitors to be sharp and improved. Without further adieu, the Rx Muscle Predictions-by-Committee:
by Aaron “Jewbacca” Singerman
1. Ben White: I just left Ben’s hotel room and he is better than last week in Tampa…For the doubters (Chris Aceto), I put Ben on the scale at the 202 weigh-in… Ben weighs 258.2lbs with his sweats on.
2. Troy Alves: Ben is just too much bigger than Troy. It’s as simple as that.
3. Johnnie O. Jackson: I still think Troy’s condition is still too much for JOJ to overcome.
4. Michael Liberatore: I expect Mike to bring in a more separated dryer physique than in Tampa.
5. Ed Nunn: He tells me he’s harder this week and dryer. If he really is, I can see him possibly higher.
by Aaron “Jewbacca” Singerman
1. David Henry: I saw David weigh-in. He barely made the 202 cut-off, and he is granite hard and super round. I only saw from the back, but I think this is a very safe prediction… Henry wins.
2. Jose Raymond: I’ve been staying at Jose’s house (Thank you, Jose), and I can tell you, he is way improved since last week .
3. Guy Cisternino: I’ve seen pictures of Guy’s back… His condition is SICK. He will beat bigger guys because of it.
by BIG J1
1. Brigita Brezovac: Unless I were to put Tazzie in this position it is an easy pick...same judges...one week later...unless
2. Cathy LeFrancois: Her falloff in Tampa was all in the midsection area and I believe it is a fixable situation even in one week...if she can, she will contend for the title...She is still the bomb...
3. Tazzie Colomb: I am going out on a limb here and slotting Tazzie in ahead of Helen Bouchard and Nicole Ball. She is a force of nature and a threat in any show she enters
4. (TIE) Helen Bouchard and Nicole Ball: Separated by one point in Tampa..I am picking a tie here between these fabulous Canadians
5. SEE ABOVE
6. Debbie Bramwell: She was in peak condition in Tampa...should place the same order
By Sean Andros
With 25 competitors on the card, it’s another large figure competition but for the second time in three weeks, I don’t expect it to be all that deep. There will be a group of 4-5 girls battling it out for the win and remaining Olympia Qualifications and there might be a couple of surprises fighting for 5th- 7th, but after that the quality will be lacking.
First and second will be batter between the 2008 and 2009 NPC JR National Overall Champions, Julieann Kulla and Terri Turner good friends, and have similar physiques.
1. Terri Turner: Coming off a second place finish at the NY Pro, Terri is poised to get her first pro-win.
2. Julieann Kulla: In her last show she grabbed second (2009 Kentucky Pro Figure) and solidified herself as one of the ladies to beat. I haven’t heard anything about how she is looking in 2010, but I sure don’t expect her to go backwards.
3. Gina Trochiano: After placing 6th in her pro-debut at the NY Pro, the nerves should be gone and condition even better. Gina has one of the best structures of the rookie pros and I expect it will earn her an Olympia bid.
4. Marcy Porter: She’s solidified herself as Top-5 competitor and this week will be no different.
5. Monica Mark-Escalante: After a disappointing pro-debut, I expect this 2009 Team U. overall champion to come in tight and show off the look that made her a pro.
By Sean Andros
One week after the Tampa Pro we again have only 10 competitors, but with less than two years of amateur competitions the pro-ranks still aren’t stocked. The great part is that the quality is there and all 10 ladies will be close. Also like last week, I’m expecting a pro-debut champion coming from Team Bombshell. And if you haven’t heard, three-time Figure Olympia Champion Davana Medina has pulled out of the show after announcing this to be her bikini debut.
1. Jessica Jessie: 2010 NPC Jr. Nationals Champion makes her pro-debut and she has a presence that is tough to match. I also hear that she’s tightened up significantly and if that’s true she will be near flawless.
2. Jalena Abbou: We saw her in Bikini and Figure already this year and I think she made the right choice coming back to bikini. Gorgeous smile and I expect improved stage presence.
3. Dianna Dahlgren: Young and fresh…if she can work the stage she will make the top-3.
4. Jessica Lawrence: A late entry to the show; tall and striking she can’t be missed. If she can loosen up on stage and show her smile she can push for an Olympia bid.
5. Janet Harding: Week in and week out this lady shows up with her big smile and keeps trying to move up the ranks. A recent coaching change has reformed her entire look and posing and she will finally crack the top-5.
6. Kat Holmes: Kat brings a look that can’t be forgotten, but she hasn’t quite dialed in her legs enough to earn a top place. She does seem to improve with each show and I expect the same here.