The fourth anniversary of Bikini International at the 2014 Arnold Classic started with a bang. Glamorous competitors took the stage to show off their fit, feminine packages for the judges. Last year's winner India Paulino came to Columbus with the goal of becoming the first-ever repeat winner of Bikini International, but 15 other hopefuls are also poised for a chance to win the show.
Based on the judges' callouts, it looks like India's repeat win may not happen. Every single competitor stepped up her game and brought fierce determination to win. Here's what happened during prejudging:
Audience members screamed out the names and numbers of their favorites as the judges reviewed the beautiful physiques in front of them. Amanda Latona, Nathalia Melo, Stacy Alexander, and Justine Munro were among those the crowd cheered for the hardest. When it came to callouts, the judges showed some agreement: Yeshaira Robles, Nathalia Melo, India Paulino, Stacey Alexander, Amanda Latona, and Ashley Kaltwasser made the first callout. After some rearranging, it was clear that Ashley, Yeshaira, and Amanda—who were constantly moved towards the center of the lineup— were the three favorites.
New York native Yeshaira Robles was the first to be called out. The Olympia runner-up looked well conditioned and stood out in her sparkly red suit. She hit her poses with an air of confidence. If today is any indication of how she'll place tonight, she'll likely be moving up from her fourth place finish last year and land in the top three.
Ashley Kaltwasser and Amanda Latona were also among the judge's favorites. Both ladies came in tight and toned. Ashley brought forward a well-balanced physique. She just has that bikini "look" the judges love. Amanda brought a great package and knows how to show it off. She wore a red bikini, and finished her presentation with her signature wink, smile, and wave.
Las Vegas native Stacy Alexander, a newcomer to the Bikini International, looked flawless in her red suit and matching red lipstick. She competed well against this tough lineup of great physiques.
Defending champ India Paulino also made first callout. She looked a little softer than she has in past competitions, but stood out in her bright yellow bikini. She definitely brought some sass to the stage, finishing her presentation with a quick booty shake.
Nathalia Melo rounded out the top six. She looked great, but may have come in a little too hard to break the top three.
Janet Layug kicked off the second callout. While she's relatively new to the NPC scene, Janet Layug's taller 5'8" stature commanded attention. Her upper body was fuller, an improved look from her Nationals presentation. While a high placing at the Arnold won't be as easy as has been at smaller shows, she proved she could hold her own against some big names.
Nathalia, who was called out again, was clearly the front runner of the bunch. At her sides were India Paulino and Courtney King. Courtney King looked gorgeous, and showed off an itty-bitty waist. She may have been a little shaky with her posing, but her improved look helped her ascend the ranks. The Icelandic beauty Margret Gnarr rounded out the group of five.