2007 NPC USA Review: Another One In The Books!

Things kicked off on Thursday night with weigh-in/height-check at the host hotel. Holy smokes... there were a ton of people waiting... Here is a review of the competition and who the winners were!

This was one show for the record books. Over 400 competitors took the stage in Las Vegas, Nevada. Promoter Jon Lindsay has to be happy about those numbers. Each year there are favorites going into the show who deliver and their are favorites going into the show that fail to match the hype. This year was no different.


Thursday Night

Things kicked off on Thursday night with weigh-in/height-check at the host hotel. Holy smokes... there were a ton of people waiting to get into the check-in area. Everyone was trying to get a glimpse at some of the favorites and how they looked.

    View Pics From The Athletes Meeting Here.

I had just finished with three photoshoots and was more interested in finding some food than what a competitor's glutes were looking like. Despite my hunger I managed to say a few hellos, snap a few candid shots and get a look at a few people.

I knew when I saw him that my pick Robert Hatch wouldn't be victorious, he has a tremendous upper body but his wheels fail to match.


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Robert Hatch At The 2007 NPC USA's.
View More Pics Of Robert Hatch Here.

Jerome Ferguson was another one people had hyped up and from my vantage point it look like he was going to be disappointed again.


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Jerome Ferguson At The 2007 NPC USA's.
View More Pics Of Jerome Ferguson Here.

Peter Putnam was in good condition and looked to be the only competitor with pre-show momentum living up to the buzz.


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Peter Putnam Weighing In.
View More Pics Of Peter Putnam Here.

Adorthus Cherry, another one of my picks for a pro card looked flat and not nearly as big as he had in the past. Ah well, what would a show be without me having wrong predictions.


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Adorthus Cherry At The 2007 NPC USA's.
View More Pics Of Adorthus Cherry Here.


Friday

Friday I headed to the Gold's Gym on Flamingo Drive and met up with Team Universe winner, Chris Faildo. When Chris and I shot in New York we were only able to shoot for about 10 minutes before we were booted from the gym. This time, we'd have plenty of time and space to work with.


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From The Chris Faildo Photo Shoot.

Chris looked every bit as good one week after the show as he did one day after the show. We managed to take a ton of photos and nabbed some pretty sic shots of his conditioning. When we had finished it was a quite the scene at the gym.


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From The Chris Faildo Photo Shoot.

There were a number of pros and amateurs all working out and taking a glimpse at the 168lb champion. Look for a few of our photos be in the industry magazines in the upcoming weeks.

I then had lunch with the lovely Dina Al-Sabah and we caught up on things. She joined me in what was supposed to be a simple trip to the airport to pick up my fellow "experts" Ron Avidan and Lonnie Teper.

Lonnie & Dina
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Lonnie Teper & Dina Al-Sabah.

Little did I know the two had been swooned by Pinnacle's Sherry Goggins to drop her off at her hotel. No big deal, right? So we thought. A long story short - over an hour and a half passed before we finally dropped Sherry off at her hotel. It was quite the adventure. Note to self - make sure when doing favors for people that they have the right directions and address to their hotel.


Prejudging & Finals

The prejudging went by quickly and there were a number of great competitors that took the stage. I definitely would not want to be a judge at this show. The figure women took the stage after the men. It looked like it was Ben White's show with Deshaun Grimez picking up the other pro card.


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Deshaun Grimez At The 2007 NPC USA's.
View More Pics Of Deshaun Grimez Here.

When the finals rolled around those predictions were proven correct. I disagreed with my fellow experts who both thought Peter Putnam would win his class. I like Peter, nice guy and all, but his glutes and hamstrings were not as crisp as they should have been in order to win the class, at least in my opinion.


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Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC USA's.
View More Pics Of Peter Putnam Here.

I was wrong and Putnam went on to win his class but failed to snag a pro card. Look for Putnam back on stage at this year's Nationals.

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Jerome Ferguson was a bit of a poor sport when his name was called out 4th at the finals. He just stood there like he couldn't believe what he had just heard. That's fine and great but to stand there for nearly 20-30 seconds is disrespectful to the audience and the other competitors.

One guy to keep an eye on is Branden Curry. At 24 years old this guy has a bright future ahead of him and will do well on the next level once he puts it all together.


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Branden Curry At The 2007 NPC USA's.
View More Pics Of Branden Curry Here.

I was blogging my thoughts as the show went on and you can check them out on the BodySpace Blog. I was writing as I saw it at that moment.

I caught some slack from a couple figure competitors on what I wrote, but hey what's a show without a little controversy? Telling everyone they look great and they are all winners is fine and dandy but it won't help them improve for their next show.

I thought the judging was pretty much spot on when it came to the figure classes. I often get asked, what are the judges looking for, I don't get it?! One thing is for certain, if you show up looking unhealthy, too muscular and more ripped than the female bodybuilders, you most likely will not win.

There are a number of things that come into play with figure and it isn't just any one thing that makes you victorious over someone else.

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This was another good show with some great competitors. The strongest showing came from the figure competitors. This was definitely the toughest line up of the year for these women and congrats to the six new figure pros. The men's show was good but their failed to be anyone who WOWed the crowd with their conditioning.

The female bodybuilders were a solid group and the judges went for a smaller more streamlined winner for the overall vs. the mass and superior conditioning of the heavyweight class winner.


Sundays

Sunday I met up with Ron and Lonnie again for a few more videos and we did a bit of the behind the scenes action with J.M. Manion's photoshoot with the winners. I shot a number of competitors throughout the day and had a good time with all of them. Make sure you check out my blog to see some of the photos from the weekend.

Also click on over to the video section from the USA's to see a number of amusing videos from the weekend.