The 2006 Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic Preview!

The skeptics cried it couldn't be done, especially in Denver, Colorado. Shawn Ray and Jeff Taylor are putting on a show... In this preview I will discuss some of the huge prizes for the visitors and what pros should earn top spots. Check it out!

Harry and Lloyd embarked on their trip to Colorado in the movie Dumb & Dumber. The two were an odd pair, one classic conversation from the movie reads...

"I expected the
Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this."

- Harry.

"I was thinking the same thing...
That John Denver's full of sh!t man."

- Lloyd.

When Shawn Ray told the world he was going to promote his first professional bodybuilding show and would be teaming up with the Rocky Mountain NPC chairman, Jeff Taylor; many thought this was bodybuilding's version of Dumb & Dumber.

The skeptics cried it couldn't be done, especially in Denver, Colorado. Shawn Ray and Jeff Taylor are putting on a show living up to and surpassing the height of its Rocky Mountain setting. Dumb they are not and the competitors and fans will see why on May 12 & 13th.


What Makes The Colorado Pro Show Different Than Other Pro Shows?

This is a loaded question. For starters, the show offers more in prize money than any other show (aside from the Olympia and Arnold). This includes the men's professional bodybuilding and the professional figure competition. On top of the prize money 3 Olympia qualifying spots are up for grabs.

One lucky "poser" will walk away with a handsome reward to the tune of ten grand. The show will be held in the brand new Denver Convention Center, which is about as good as it gets to venues in any genre. It's held in Denver, which is one of the fittest cities in the nation.

One lucky fan will drive away in a 2006 H3. Yes, A FAN will be the owner and not a competitor. This hasn't been done before at a bodybuilding competition and should attract a number of people for this reason alone. On top of the monster H3 prize, there are loads of other prizes fans can win.


One Lucky FAN Will
Drive Away In A 2006 H3.

-> Additional Prizes For Visitors & Fans:

Flat screen TV, VIP tickets to the Olympia, laptop computer, CD player, cell phones, gift certificates and more. A FREE Fitness & Strength EXPO will run Friday afternoon/evening and all day Saturday. YES - FREE. Why free? Why not? This is a great opportunity to get people in the door and introduce them to a world they have never heard about or considered before.

There will be a submission grappling contest and a strongman contest being held as part of the weekend festivities. ESPN ZONE will serve as the official restaurant of the fitness weekend. Replays of Friday night's pre-judging and Saturday night's finals will be shown at the ZONE.

Bodybuilding.com will be broadcasting the show live via the web.

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Body Rock Productions, known for their amazing shows, will be putting on a first class production for this show. Pro Bodybuilding Weekly will be doing something unique by commentating on the show live. There will be an NPC competition that will have around 75 total competitors.

As if all that wasn't enough you can also meet UFC pros like Joe Riggs and Josh Koscheck. Word is that one Mike Nickels from "the Ultimate Fighter 3" will be on hand. You can meet NAL World Arm Wrestling Champion Travis Bagent and try your hand at beating him in arm wrestling.

"Marvelous" Melvin Anthony will be showing off his posing skills on Friday night at the prejudging as a guest poser. Laura Mak and her "Groove Attack" dance team will be on hand busting out their dance moves. A Karate Demo team will perform on Friday evening. Richard Sandrak aka "Little Hercules" will be signing autographs and taking photos with fans at the Free Expo.

Saturday Morning will feature the Ms. Darque Tan Model search where the winner will walk away with a cash reward. For a complete list of happenings on the schedule and for times click here.


The Competitors & Predictions

The show started out with Vince Taylor announcing his triumphant return. Vince entered the Australian Pro in April and followed it up with his announcement of joining the PDI. Considered one of the best posers ever to take a pro bodybuilding stage, he could have won $10k from the Best Presentation Award and likely place in the top 5.

The only man standing in his way would have been Darrem Charles. Others sent emails and gave verbal commitments to compete but for whatever reason chose not to compete. Enough of those who won't be part of the show, let's get to those who are ready to battle and make a few predictions.


-> Men's Bodybuilding

1. Phil Heath.

    Phil's used to people doubting his abilities as a bodybuilder. People thought he was all hype going into Jr. Nationals, his first national show. He proved he was no joke when he swept the show. Many thought he still needed to prove something and when he took the Overall title at the 2005 USA's, he did just that.

    Now similar things are being murmured... "Oh sure that's great and all but he has yet to stand on a pro stage. He lacks the muscle maturity, conditioning and stage presence of the veterans in this sport. He should wait and put on more muscle."

    Mr. USA Phil Heath
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Mr. USA Phil Heath.

    The list of why not's goes on and on. I've been fortunate to see Phil compete in every show he's ever done and without question he can more then hold his own on a pro stage. The guy is only 26 years old, currently weighing 225 but looking 240.

    People will see an improved Heath from USA's, full muscle bellies, fantastic conditioning and the future of bodybuilding. His only downfall comes in his inexperience on stage, but the more he poses the bigger he looks. I'm taking Heath as the winner of this show.

2. Darrem Charles

    Darrem is a seasoned veteran and without question one of the best posers to ever grace a bodybuilding stage. He is a lock for the best poser award - that is if Ken Jones doesn't come up with a new Michael Jackson routine that blows the judges away. He comes in crisp and sharp with great conditioning.


    + Click To Enlarge.
    Darrem At The 2003 Olympia.

    Darrem won the New York Pro and the Toronto Pro last year and many feel he will take top honors here. When comparing Heath to Charles, Charles will expose his weaknesses, particularly from the back and his lower body.

    Darrem is on a mission to show the fans that his wins last year were no fluke and looks to take top honors in Denver. I'm confident Darrem will be one of if not the best conditioned competitor on stage but will find himself in the bridesmaid spot here.

3. Troy Alves

    Troy through his name in the ring late into the game but feels he's ready for Colorado. Troy had the hype going into the IRON MAN earlier this year but fell short of his goal of champ. He went on to compete at the Arnold Classic and again fell short of top honors.

    Troy Alves
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Troy Alves.

    Troy has a very balanced physique and if he can keep his glutes and hamstrings from smoothing out he has a shot at taking top honors here. He's out to show every one why he's been deemed "troymendous."

4. David Henry

    David will have one of if not thee best back on stage. He owned Lee Priest from the back at the IRON MAN but fell short when it came to other comparisons. Henry went on to compete at the Arnold Classic where he was muscled and wasn't in the same condition he achieved at the IRON MAN.


    + Click To Enlarge.
    At The Gym Before The '04 San Francisco Pro.

    He's put on a good deal of size since turning pro and has a fantastic physique. I don't think he'll be able to match up in the comparisons of the three previously mentioned competitors if they are on. He bested Troy because he was off in Pasadena but I don't see it happening twice.

5. Eryk Bui

    Bui is my dark horse in the Colorado Pro show. If he can nail his conditioning like he did at Nationals when turning pro, we'll see him in 5th place.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Eryk Bui.

    He proved he can hold his own in Pasadena and could have easily been a couple places higher. He slipped a bit in San Francisco but will look to redeem himself in the Mile High City.

-> Others Outside Of The Top 5:

Two rookies making their pro debut along with Heath are Bill Wilmore and Marcus Haley. This is the first time the winner of USA's, North Americans and Nationals have all been on the same stage for their pro debut.

Marcus Haley
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Marcus Haley.

Wilmore is a big cat with an amazing back. His weaknesses are his wheels comparative to his upper body. He will place in the top ten but where will be the question.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Bill Wilmore.

Haley's Comet will be interesting to watch. When he's on he's good and can hold his own but when he's off he fades away. His conditioning is usually the x factor and we'll see how he dials it in for his pro debut. If he can come in conditioned he will be a contender.

Jason Arntz - the man with huge delts. He has a good physique but often doesn't get the callouts and get compared to the top guys. He can hold his own but we'll see how the judges call him out. The great return of Gary Strydom will take place in Denver.

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He was good but at close to 50 years old can he hold up with the young guys? If he remembers how to dial it in for show time he could be a top contender but I don't see it happening.

George Farah found his way to the Olympia stage last year so can't be counted out of the top line up here. He should be in the top 10 but top 5 will require others to be off, but hey stranger things have happened. How will "The Texas Tornado" look this time out? He has yet to do any damage on the pro stage but the fans can count on being entertained any time Frank Roberson is on stage.


-> Figure Pro

1. Jenny Lynn

    Jenny fell ill at the Arnold Classic and will be taking the stage at the Pittsburgh Pro a week prior to the Colorado Pro. She has amazing stage presence and terrific posing. Her back is her best body part and her legs have always been her weakness.


    + Click To Enlarge.
    Jenny Lynn.

    She showed at the Olympia that her legs can and did improve. She is the odds on favorite to add the Colorado Pro to her list of victories.

2. Christine Pomponio-Pate

    Hometown girl who is drop dead gorgeous and while being one of the shortest competitors on stage, more than holds her own. She changed up her one-piece suit at the Arnold Classic and it cost her a top 5 spot.


    + Click To Enlarge.
    Christine Pomponio-Pate.

    She won't make the same mistake twice and will find herself posing for top honors. Her color is always spot on and stage presence is great, always smiling.

3. Valerie Waugaman

    Valerie placed out of the top 5 at the Arnold Classic due to a considerably softer physique. Look for her to come in harder then she did in Columbus and battle Jenny and Christine for top honors. Her stage presence is mesmerizing when she is on but in Columbus it didn't work as well due to her being off in her conditioning.

4. Tara Scotti

    Scotti won the Toronto Pro show last year and has yet to take the stage in 2006. She placed towards the bottom of the pack in her Olympia debut and will be looking to show the Mile High City how a New Yorker struts her stuff on stage.

    IFBB Pro Tara Scotti
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    IFBB Pro Tara Scotti.

    If her conditioning is on and her upper body doesn't over power her lower, she will be in the money this show.

5. Andrea Dumon

    Andrea has no pressure going into this show as she has already qualified for the Olympia by placing 3rd at the San Francisco Pro. She has a lot of muscle but carries it well.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Andrea Dumon.

I would NOT want to be a judge for this figure lineup. For the 5 women I listed there are as many if not more that could easily place in the top 5.

-> Others To Look Out For

New Yorker, Jeanette Freed is making her pro debut in Colorado and looking to make a statement her first time out. She always beings a balanced physique to the stage and if she is conditioned she will be battling for the top 5.


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Jeanette Freed.

Like any other rookie though, the judges haven't seen her on the pro stage and right or wrong it can work against a new face like Jeanette.

Also making her pro debut is California's Alexis Ellis. She's one of the taller and more muscular women in the figure ranks. She will either be at the top of the ranks or the bottom with her physique. Her height allows her to carry all the muscle she does but we have yet to see how she compares to the pros. We'll see Friday night in prejudging how she compares.

Zhanna Rotar placed disappointedly low at the Arnold Classic but rebounded in San Fran to place in the top 5, she will be a contender for a top 5 spot here as well. Debbie Leung found herself on the Olympia stage last year and has been clawing her way up the placing's this year.

Mirroring Rotar's situation she placed low at the Arnold but jumped into the top 5 in San Francisco. Alana Hernandez earned her pro card at last year's figure Nationals and will be looking to crack the top ten at this show.

Jennifer Becerra and Carla Sanchez both competed as Fitness pros and due to injuries have decided to try their hand at figure. Jennifer won the short class at the 2004 Nationals and has yet to take the stage as an IFBB pro.

Carla last competed in the 2005 Arnold Classic and many thought it was the last time we'd see her on stage. She was good in fitness but I think she will be disappointed in her figure placing. Pauline Nordin, the Swedish sensation didn't fair too well in her first figure show and will look to improve on her last show.

For the complete competitor list for men's bodybuilding and figure click here.

For information on all of the other events click here.