Adela Garcia hasn't finished lower than third in the last 8 years. She hasn't been defeated in fitness in more than 5 years. The looming question on everyone's mind is can Adela be beaten?
Sixteen women will all attempt to topple the champ in Columbus. Here's the 411 on each competitor and who has the best chance at dethroning the queen of fitness.
2012 Fitness International Competitors
Boom! Boom! Here comes Boam! I'm a fan of this little Canadian; she loads the stage with potential. Jodi's strength is in her routines. She's a character and it's entertaining to watch her perform. You can tell she loves to entertain on stage.
If she can add in some more strength moves and dance a little less, she will be in the money. I liked her New York Pro Fitness routine the best; I think it was her showing off her strength more than dancing around.
She'll be in the deep end of the physique pool here, but her routine could pull her up in the money.
Mimi was a little off in her physique at the FLEX Pro earlier this year, but she was on the money in the routine round. I loved the routine she brought to the Flex Pro and if she does the same one here, they crowd will eat it up.
She needs to be a little tighter in her physique but she's had two weeks to dial it in. Look for Myriam to finish in the top spots.
Regiane is like a Tasmanian devil when she performs her routine. I've photographed her routine a number of times and it's a workout.
She will be in the middle of the pack with her physique but look for her to be in the mix when it comes to her routine. She's got crazy flexibility and without a doubt one of the more entertaining routines.
The Zumba queen has a rock'n physique and her routines have steadily improved over the years. I like Durkin for a top spot in the physique round and if she can nail her strength moves I like her chances for a top-6 finish.
Last year she incorporated her love for Zumba (she's a zumba instructor) and we'll have to see what she brings to the stage this year.
Allison competed on this stage as an amateur and got off to a bumpy start here in her pro debut. She's polished her routine since then, but still struggles to come in tight enough in the physique rounds.
She got a warm-up at the FLEX Pro and if she comes in a few pounds lighter and tighter then she'll move up. She's got her work cut out for her to crack the top-10, but if she does, she can consider it a victory.
What can you say about Adela that hasn't already been said? She's the most consistent competitor in the division. She showed she could overcome what many thought was a career-ending injury. I had Adela second in the physique round and third in the routine round at the FLEX Pro but the judges saw it differently.
The one thing Adela brings to her routines that many others don't is an onslaught of strength move after strength move. The judges love to see it and she's rewarded because of it. She also doesn't gas out at the end of her routines like so many others do. The judges like to see a strong finish and not just a strong start.
Count on some Latina flare once again from the queen of fitness.
Oksana improved her physique over the years and brought it in line with what the judges look for. She came in way too hard in the past and was marked down because of it.
The biggest challenge Oksana faces is her physique posing. She struggles to present her physique in a manner that showcases her strengths and hides her flaws. If she can present her physique better she'll move up. Her routines are second to none (well, in the fans' eyes they are).
On the judges' scorecards she's often second or third. Look for her to be in the top spots here and if you're watching her routine for the first time, you're in for a treat. The only thing that can be a bit distracting in her routine is her hair flying around like a head banging rock-n-roll star.
Tanji took a couple steps back for the first time in a couple years. She wasn't at her best in the physique round at the FLEX Pro and she did nearly the same routine as last year's Olympia.
Many people loved her STOMP routine but the "SAVE FITNESS" routine left a bit to be desired. I believe she was nursing an injury, so it could have something to do with her FLEX Pro performance.
She'll need to come in sharper and return to the routines of old to give Adela a run for her money.
Diana took top honors at the 2011 Arnold Amateur Fitness and wasted no time jumping into the pro ranks. She finished second at the FIBO Power Championships and ended up in 11th at the 2011 Olympia.
She packs much muscle and will get marked down for it if she hasn't shaved a bit off for this show. She has good strength moves and will have a tough time in this lineup to crack the top-10 but it is possible.
Julie Palmer should be considered the one to watch in this show. Julie hasn't competed since the 2010 Fitness International, where she placed second to Adela. Look for her to give Adela a run for her money in her comeback.
She took 2011 off with the birth of her first child. The time off likely did Julie's body good and don't be surprised if Julie is standing next to Adela in the comparison round. The telling part of this comeback story will be in her routine.
She typically placed lower in the routine rounds, but if she can nail her routine, look for her to be in the mix.
Kayde has been living on a piece of cardio equipment for a few weeks. Will she have enough energy to bring her best to the stage? We'll have to see if she can dial it in for this show. She has the ability to pull a good routine with solid strength moves.
Her challenge will be placing high enough in the physique round to put herself into contention for the finals. Let's hope she's not wielding any swords in her routine this time around.
Camala has the potential to be a contender, but we have yet to see the best Camala she can be. She wasn't sharp enough in the physique round at the FLEX Pro and will need to come in sharper for this show in order to hang in the top-5 spots.
Her routine is still a bit clunky at times. She has the strength and the skills; her routine just needs to be choreographed better. The other thing I hope Camala can overcome is her nervous smile. She got braces last year and it shows that she is self-conscious while smiling; she tries to cover them up.
If she doesn't overthink things, goes out there with confidence she'll hold her own.
Danielle took top honors at the 2011 IFBB North Americans and has a solid routine. She has a gymnastics background and it shows in her routine. I like her look and she could be the dark horse to shake things up in her pro debut.
Keep your eye on her as one to make an immediate impact in the pros.
Kizzy has performed brilliantly and brought the crowd to its feet with her routine and then she's done routines where you're left wondering, 'what the heck was that?' She has the most insanely flexible body in this lineup; count on seeing her do some crazy moves to display it.
She'll need to have more than crazy flexibility to hang in the top spots with this lineup. She will be toward the bottom of the pack in the physique round, so she'll need a solid routine to move up.
Sheri got the pro debut jitters out of the way at the FLEX Pro and while it wasn't her best showing she'll be able to build on that showing and make the necessary changes here. She needs to come in a bit tighter in her conditioning and have her routine flow a bit better.
She has a nice look and the potential to hang, but we'll need to see the Sheri who took top honors at the Team U for her to do that here.
I think Bethany has one of the best physiques in this lineup, if not the best. She's balanced and has a nice look. She'll be in the top spots for the physique round if she brings the same look she did to the FLEX Pro. The question is, 'where will she land in the routine round?'
She has the gymnastic background and it's easy to see she's able to perform gymnastics with ease. If she can up the entertainment and energy in her facial expressions she'll fair better.
- Adela Garcia
- Myriam Capes
- Julie Palmer
- Oksana Grishina
- Tanji Johnson
- Tina Durkin
The physique round counts for 1/3 of the final score and will be judged Friday at noon on the Expo Hall stage. The routines make up the remaining 2/3 of the scores and will be judged at the finals Friday night.
The routines are always a highlight of the weekend and this year will be no different. If you can't witness these amazing performers in person then tune in for the LIVE, FREE Arnold Webcast here on Bodybuilding.com.