The 2010 New York Pro added the bikini division to it’s event and resulted in a field of 22 women, the largest showing to date. I’ve received a number of emails asking my thoughts on the show since I was front and center for the event. Here’s my opinion on the competition for what it’s worth. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me remind you that this is MY OPINION and you can agree or disagree it doesn’t matter to me.
My breakdown of how I saw it from the press pit in NYC. Shown in the order they appeared on stage.
1.) Jelena Abbou – Jelena made the switch to bikini from figure and it suits her much, much better. Her body is curvy and which lends itself to doing better in bikini than figure. While she may have been outside of the top five this time I don’t see that being a position for her at future shows. If she shows a bit more personality on stage and perhaps just a bit tighter from behind, look for her to be in the mix. The challenge she has it not getting too hard in the abs while bringing in a tighter lower half. I like her look and hope to see her in future bikini shows.
2.) Missy Coles – The thing that separates Missy from most of the other competitors is her presentation. She engages the judges and audience when she poses and projects positive energy when she’s on stage. I’d like to see her pose her physique a bit differently from the front and show more flattering angles. By that I mean popping her hip to the left and back as it would create more curviness than to the right and straight on. She’s solidified herself as a top five bikini competitor come Olympia time at this point.
3.) Michell Gullet – Physique needs to be tighter to hang with the top girls especially from behind. The presentation of her physique needs improvement and if she brings those two things together she’ll move up. The suit choice wasn’t the most flattering and would like to see something with color on her.
4.) Janet Harding – This was the best suit choice and presentation I’ve seen her bring to the stage thus far. She seemed to be having more fun and it showed on stage. I would have her a bit higher in the placings than where she finished. The one knock could be she gets a little too vascular in her upper body.
5.) Angela Harrell – I’m sure this was a look that was great for her but she lacked a “wow factor” that separates her from the others. When she takes the stage you don’t get a feeling of a confident woman who is stoked to be there. If she works on her presentation she might move up in future contests. Again it’s the presentation that is lacking while on stage.
6.) Kat Holmes – She continues to improve and brought in a tighter physique at this contest. Kat tends to have a pissed off look on her face when she’s on stage and almost scowling. If she can get in the zone, smile and present her physique better it would help her.
7.) Melinda Jamiszewski – Appeared a bit too lean in the upper body and it didn’t match the lower body. It was her first time on stage so likely had some debut jitters. If she changes up her suit and gets comfortable posing on stage she could move up. I’d like to see solid colors on her and more relaxed on stage.
8.) Tabitha Klausen-Leandri – She’s a tall drink of water and has tremendous potential. I’d like to see her present her back poses just a bit better and possibly look at different suit and one with some color. a colored suit. Definitely one of the women who stood out on stage. I can see her moving up in her next competition. Count on her to improve the more she competes, she’s only done a couple shows in her competitive career.
9.) Jessica Lawrence – Jessica presented a better overall package. She ditched the matching lipstick to the suit she was wearing. Now if she can smile and have a bit more fun on stage it will help her.
10.) Stefanie Lindsay – An improved presentation from before and needs to bring more booty to the stage.
11.) Dayna Maleton – She appeared a bit too muscular when she presented. If she can make herself look curvier and bring her legs down a bit she’ll move up. She was more relaxed at the night show and it showed. Look for her to move up with improved stage presence.
12.) Alicia Marie – Probably didn’t get the results she was hoping for in her bikini debut. It may sound weird but her hair was distracting. Bikini is a better fit for her than figure though.
13.) Christie Marquez – A bit tighter and improve the presentation. She comes across as nervous and lacking self confidence when presenting.
14.) Kristal Marshall – Nice physique but it was lost in this show. Needed to have some color to her physique and a different colored suit. Everything blended in from head to toe on stage. There was almost a sense of arrogance in her presentation… it came across like… Hey I’m here give me my trophy. Had she a different suit and darker color/tan she would have likely moved into the top three. Fourth in her pro debut was great but not where she felt she should have placed. She announced on her facebook page that she was leaving the IFBB for another organization. That’s too bad because she had potential to do well in the IFBB bikini ranks.
15.) Shay Monroe – Shay brought the sassy hair to match her personality which was great. I didn’t care for her pulling her hair up when posing from the back as it was a little much. Needs to be a bit tighter in the lower body to move up. Also would have liked to see a different suit color other than yellow on her.
16.) Shelsea Montes – I had Shelsea the winner. She had the most fun on stage, smiled non-stop, presented her body in a tasteful, curvy, sexy way and was MUCH improved from previous shows. She took the feedback the judges gave her from previous shows and put it to work. Best she has looked – even better than when on stage at the 2009 NPC JR USA where she won the overall.
17.) Khanh Nguyen – She has a nice physique but looks down often when presenting. Would like to see her project better energy on stage. She’s one of the shorter competitors and her breasts are distracting and take away the balance of her physique.
18.) Marzia Prince – She brought a better physique here than she did to Orlando but still lacks the same “wow factor” she has in her photo shoots. Her suit bottoms weren’t flattering from the front and her legs plague her from placing higher. I’d like to see her bring the package (including the same suit) she had at the NPC JR Nationals, where she won the overall. If she can channel what she brings to a photo shoot to the stage she’ll move up.
19.) Kira Rivera – Kira has a nice physique but gets lost in the comparisons. She needs to find a way to present herself in a curvier, sexier fashion. She has potential but it again comes down to the presentation.
20.) Sherlyn Roy – Obviously her best showing to date as she placed third. She ditched the flower and the matching suit. I think that helped her immediately. She had more fun on stage and at times maybe a bit too much. I didn’t care for the hands in the hair and on top of the head but that’s just me. Her presentation definitely helped her land in the top three, that and coming out sans-flowered.
21.) Alea Suarez – She brought a softer physique than in previous competitions and it was a better look for her. She continues to improve and if she lights up the stage a bit more with her presentation – she’ll move up.
22.) Tianna Ta – Tianna wasn’t the same woman we saw in Pittsburgh. She appeared nervous and uneasy on stage. She told me she changed her posing up a bit but didn’t feel comfortable. It showed on stage and dropped her to the tenth place. If she goes back to what worked in Pittsburgh she’ll place better.
All things being said it goes back to presentation, suit choice and the overall package. You can have a nice physique but if you don’t present it well you get lost. Yes it is a phyisque competition but bikini isn’t like figure or fitness, you have to really bring it to the stage if you hope to shine. If you’re not comfortable with your body and not thinking positive thoughts on stage it shows and usually magnified times ten. I’m not crazy about the legs apart and wider than shoulder length wide, with hands on hips or legs. It’s not a sexy pose and the same thing can be accomplished by bringing the legs in closer and then popping a hit to the side.
The standouts from this competition for me were Shelsea Montes, Jelena Abbou and Tabitha Klausen-Leandri. Shelsea is qualified for the Olympia and I can see Jelena and Tabitha on the Olympia stage as well. The complete scorecard from this event is available at IFBBpro.com.
The next pro bikini competition isn’t until July 16th at the Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships. The 2010 NPC Jr. Nationals will crown a few new bikini pros next month and we’ll see how well the amateurs present then.