2007 Keystone Pro Classic Review & Top Five Breakdown!

Many people had Branch pegged as the favorite going into the show considering he was coming off the big win in New York. Here is my review of the Keystone Classic and what who ended up in the top 5. Read on.

A number of IFBB pro bodybuilders headed to Pennsylvania to do battle in one of the largest purses of the year. The show took place on May 26, 2007, two weeks after the New York Pro where Branch Warren was victorious.

Many people had Branch pegged as the favorite going into the show considering he was coming off the big win in New York. It was a controversial win, but aren't all wins controversial to someone on the pro level?


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Branch Warren At The New York Pro.
View More Pics Of Branch Warren Here.

The only person missing from the top five from New York was Dennis James who was waiting to compete at the Colorado Pro show the following week. That left a hungry Dennis Wolfe and the new fan favorite Kai Greene as potential threats to claim victory.


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Dennis Wolfe & Kai Greene.
View More Pics Of Dennis Wolf: Finals - Prejudging
View More Pics Of Kai Greene: Finals - Prejudging

You couldn't count out Desmond Miller and Silvio Samuel who both finished in the top five at New York. Additions to the line-up and considered threats to challenge the top placings were Darrem Charles and Johnnie Jackson.


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Desmond Miller & Silvio Samuel.
View More Pics Of Desmond Miller: Finals - Prejudging
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel: Finals - Prejudging

I covered the show for FLEX magazine and was joined by friend and writer, Allan Donnelly at the show. We took the trek from the host hotel which was in Allentown, PA and found ourselves lost a few times. Lehigh Valley was not the easiest town to get around.


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Darrem Charles & Johnnie Jackson.
View More Pics Of Darrem Charles: Finals - Prejudging
View More Pics Of Johnnie Jackson: Finals - Prejudging

There was an amateur NPC show held in conjunction with the pro show, which was at the Stabler Arena/Lehigh University. We arrived right as the NPC prejudging was finishing up and had a chance to chat with some of the pros backstage.

Silvio Samuel was confident and ready to take the stage, despite the drama around his former trainer Milos Sarcev that was happening on getbig.com. He informed us he was now working with Charles Glass and was every bit as ready as he had ever been. Dennis Wolfe was getting his last bit of tanning on from his wife and looked great.

The prejudging was one of the longest but definitely the best I had been witness to. The judges compared all of the top 10 guys a number of times and gave the fans a ton of callouts. At first it looked like the show would be between Dennis Wolfe and Darrem Charles as they were the two most conditioned guys on stage when they first took the stage.

As the comparisons went on Darrem faded and others rose to the top. I hadn't seen Kai Greene compete since the 2006 Colorado Pro show and he is without a doubt the most improved bodybuilder in 2007.

We left prejudging not having a clear idea who would win much less who would end up in the top 5. Fans were left wondering who would be victorious and this was a great move on the judges part as you had to come back to the finals to see who would prevail.

At the finals the lighting was much better than in prejudging and all the competitors looked significantly better. I don't know if it was because of the lighting or they got harder as the day went on. Some of the routines left a bit to be desired however Kai Greene showed he is the new master of posing.


The Top 5 Breakdown


1. Dennis Wolfe:

    This guy has tremendous potential and looked great. I had no arguments with him being in first. I had him or Kai Greene as the potential winner and when he was announced as first, it was well deserved. If he adds a little bit more to his back and brings up his calves look out, this guy will shake up the ranks at the Olympia.


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Dennis Wolf.
View More Pics Of Dennis Wolf: Finals - Prejudging


2. Desmond Miller:

    I didn't have Desmond in my top five. This was the surprise of the show for me. He has incredible wheels but his upper body doesn't match his lower body. I didn't feel he deserved second place at this show. Closer to 6th.


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Desmond Miller.
View More Pics Of Desmond Miller: Finals - Prejudging


3. Kai Greene:

    Kai has incredible potential and has really come into his own this year. He was straightened from head to two and some of the sickest tricep detail I've seen. His back looks great and his conditioning continued to improve as the night went on.

    I look for him to be a top contender at the Colorado Pro show. Fans will be seeing a lot more of him at shows as he'd be my top pick for guest posing if I was a promoter.


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Kai Greene.
View More Pics Of Kai Greene: Finals - Prejudging


4. Branch Warren:

    Branch was noticeably off, especially from the back. He was clearly disappointed when his name was announced as fourth. He has some of the thickest legs you'll ever see but when you turn him around his back needs some work. Branch is a mass monster and doesn't have the most pleasing physique but a top pro none-the-less.


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Branch Warren.
View More Pics Of Branch Warren: Finals - Prejudging


5. Silvio Samuel:

    Silvio found himself in fifth again. I think he looked his best at the IRONMAN but he still did very good at this show. Silvio has full, round muscle bellies and his only glaring weakness is his posing.

    If Silvio can team up with someone to help him on his posing, he will present himself much better. Especially his back double bicep shot is where he lets his right arm down a bit and it doesn't properly display his biceps.


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Silvio Samuel.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel: Finals - Prejudging


Conclusion

Darrem Charles faded as the day went on but was much better at the night show. Johnnie Jackson was way off and his legs were smooth. We'll see if he can tighten up in the next show. Trevor Crouch has one of the biggest backs you'll see but his upper body dwarfs his lower body. This guy's back is out of this world though. George Farah looked improved and was in good condition but was smooth in the glutes.


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Trevor Crouch & George Farah.
View More Pics Of Trevor Crouch: Finals - Prejudging
View More Pics Of George Farah: Finals - Prejudging

The show was poorly attended which I attribute mainly due to the timing. It was held on Memorial Day weekend, which left a number of fans on the beach instead in the seats. Bill Grant served as the emcee of this event, which was the first I had seen of him at the mic.

He tried a little too hard to make himself the show and mispronounced a number of the names throughout the night. After the show I uploaded photos for Flexonline.com and then grabbed a bite to eat with Allan and Silvio.

Silvio is a nice guy who has a number of things going for him now. Look for him to continue to improve in the coming years. Props to the judges for the best judging of the year in what turned out to be one of the toughest line-ups to date.