2009 Mr. Olympia Judging Review - It's Between Dexter And Jay!

Get Myron's thoughts after the Mr. Olympia Prejudging round at the Orleans Arena Friday night. Will it be Dexter or Jay for the win? Get the scoop here.
It's Between Dex and Jay!

The 2009 Mr. Olympia is a very close race as Jay Cutler is challenging Dexter Jackson and wants his title back! Here's a quick rundown of the judging.

--> What if?

    While I was waiting for the judging to begin, I happened to think of a quote by ex-Dallas Cowboy, Don Meredith, when he guest-starred on the TV show, King of the Hill. He said, "If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'll all have a Merry Christmas!"

    As every bodybuilding fan knows, there were many ifs and buts leading up to this year's Mr. Olympia. If Dexter looks the same again, will he win two in a row? But, if Dennis Wolf comes in at 280-plus pounds this year, can anyone stop him? If Phil adds another 10 pounds of muscle, will he win? But what about those narrow clavicles? The list of "ifs" and "buts" was almost endless this year.

Toney Freeman: Phil Will Lose If
He Adds Too Much More Weight.

Click The Play Button To Start The Video.

    I'll admit that I haven't been this excited about a Mr. Olympia in a very long time. In fact, it might have been all the way back to 1983 or 1984 when Bannout and Haney were both in the mix. Back then, several guys had a chance at winning the title. 1998 was another year that the field was wide open because Dorian Yates decided to retire, but everyone sort of thought Flex Wheeler would become the next Mr. Olympia until that Coleman guy decided to win eight straight titles.

    This year, however, outshines all those other years because there were at least five guys who could legitimately win the title this year. Ladies and gentleman, that made for an exciting show - the most exciting ever!


I narrowed it down to six questions I was seeking answers to this year. Even though the finals won't be held until tomorrow night, and the biggest question of all - who is going to win? - will be answered then, my other five (5) questions were answered after the judging.

Question Number One:
Will Dennis Wolf surpass the look he brought in 2007?

    Dennis made a huge impact on the crowd at the 2007 Mr. Olympia and instantly made droves of fans. With eager anticipation, fans waited for the Wolf to really howl in 2008, but instead he came in depleted. Chad Nichols had been assuring everyone that mistake would not be repeated.

Dennis Wolf At The 2009 Olympia. Dennis Wolf At The 2009 Olympia.
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Dennis Wolf At The 2009 Olympia.
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Well, Dennis Wolf wasn't depleted this year and he was heavier as promised, but not in a good way. Dennis looked puffy and last year's graininess was gone. I don't know, maybe the low-carb diet might be a better approach again next year.

Question Number Two:
Will Phil Heath again make dramatic improvements to his physique?

    When Phil "The Gift" Heath came out for the individual poses, I thought he would be in the running for the title. He had dialed it in and showed great muscle control. Everything flowed beautifully. I didn't think he was much bigger than last year, but his conditioning was superb.

Phil Heath On Mr. Olympia
Symmetry And Conditioning.

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Question Number Three:
Will Jay Cutler look closer to his 2001 or 2007 form?

    Jay Cutler said on his Facebook page earlier this week that he fully expected to be 271 pounds on stage this year. That made me think we'd have a repeat of last year's water problems, but a small photo showed his legs were extremely dry and he said he had more drying out to do.

Jay Cutler At The 2009 Olympia. Jay Cutler At The 2009 Olympia.
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Jay Cutler At The 2009 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Jay Cutler At The 2009 Olympia.

    Jay hit the mark again this year and this was one of the best looks I've seen Jay Cutler bring to the stage. I liked this look better than 2006. I wasn't at his mythical showing at the 2001 Olympia so I can't compare except from the videos.

    Jay really had a streamlined physique. His legs were shredded and his waist was tight and he still looked huge.

Question Number Four:
How will Kai Greene stack up against the very best in the sport?

    Kai Greene held his own against the best in the world. He made the first callout in his first Olympia. It's hard to judge his condition against the Arnold Classic this year when the lighting and conditions are different, but I thought he was a bit sharper at the Arnold Classic finals and about the same as the Arnold judging. I thought Kai would be around fourth place based on tonight's judging.

Question Number Five:
Will Victor's legs be on par with the other competitors?

    Victor Martinez's quads were not up to par. They were off the mark. It didn't help him by having Branch Warren be the first competitor. Branch set the standard for legs right out of the gate. Victor was clearly not at his best. He might even place out of the top six.


Dexter "The Blade" Jackson is one of the most consistent bodybuilders of all time. He looks nearly the same at every show he competes in. In pre-contest interviews Dexter said he'd be a little bigger and sharper this year, which would be more like his 2008 Arnold Classic showing.

Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia. Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia.
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Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia.
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Dexter came out and looked sharper than he did last year. I thought he looked a little bigger in the upper body and his legs were about the same. My first impression was that he would repeat as Mr. Olympia. As Dexter was compared to the other competitors he still looked like a champion and could win the title again tomorrow night. I don't think he ran away with the title because Jay was definitely putting up a good fight.

Jay Cutler and Dexter were in the final callout. They will most likely be in first and second place. Dexter had Jay in a few poses and Jay won a few of the poses also. Dexter has incredible shape and looks great and aesthetic just standing there - especially his upper body with his incredible delt and arm separation. Jay, however, outsizes him and his conditioning was spot on. Jay's legs beat Dexter's from top to bottom and front to back. Dexter has that tight symmetrical six pack of abs, but Jay's side tricep outshined Dexter's.

Phil Heath came out very strong and was shredded and full and was sporting a little more size. As the judging progressed, however, Phil started to fade and he didn't seem as full. He was still conditioned, but seemed smaller. Maybe it was just me or an illusion, but that's what I saw.


[ Click here to learn more. ]
Phil Heath Interview!
Discover what is on the mind of IFBB Pro Phil 'The Gift' Heath and if he believes he can take the Olympia crown?
Myron Mielke

Kai Greene was shrouded in mystery these last few weeks as he and Oscar Arden were secluded in their Vegas hotel room, which was converted into a makeshift monastery. With all the positive thoughts these two were harnessing, it seemed the results would be no less than extraordinary. Well, Kai looked good, but I don't think he's going to win the title on his first attempt.

Branch Warren clearly had his best Olympia to date. When Branch took center stage, it was obvious he was going to be in the running for a top spot. His legs looked incredible, of course, but everything else was incredible too. He's brought his back up, but it could still use a little more detail. Overall, Branch surprised me by how good he did look and if he lands in the top four, I wouldn't be surprised.

Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia. Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia.
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Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia.
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With all the garbage Victor's been going through in his personal life, I was eager to see if he would be able to focus and bring it all together. I think he did very well considering the circumstances, but his legs weren't ready and he was smooth compared to previous Olympia showings.

Ronnie Rockel really looked impressive in this lineup. It's his best Olympia showing. Through all the callouts and comparisons, if Rockel lands in the top seven or even the top six, it would not surprise me.

Toney "The X-Man" Freeman came in full and he lost his conditioning because of it. He was bigger and the extra size on his frame looked good, but he needs to dial it in at that size too.

Bottom Line

This was the most competitive lineup I have seen. This wasn't an easy task for the judges. Many comparisons were made and many callouts were conducted. The top six or seven stood out, but as to what order they should be placed, well that's another story, At one point, I wasn't sure where to place any of these guys. At first, during the intro round, I thought Jay should be in first and then I saw Phil and thought the same thing and then Dexter came out and, you guessed it, I thought the same thing.

After all the comparisons, I narrowed it down. I saw Jay and Dexter battling it out for first place and the $200,000 prize money that goes with the title this year. Third place might be Phil, Branch or Kai. Sixth place might be Victor or even Ronnie Rockel.

There is definitely a high probability that the judging is not over and tomorrow's finals will have a big impact on the final placings. Things are way too close to call and that makes for a fun show tomorrow night as well.