2006 Europa Super Show's Female Friday!

All too often the women take a back seat to the men in the industry - but not at this show. See who my top picks are for women's bodybuilding, fitness, and figure! Read on for more!
Ed and Betty Pariso, the promoters of the 2006 Europa Super Show, have done a tremendous job of attracting some of the IFBB's top female talent.

What Does IFBB Stand For?
IFBB stands for the "International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness". Visit their website at http://www.ifbb.com/. (The IFBB is for professional competitors.)

One of the only shows to hold female bodybuilding, it promises to live up to the show's namesake. Not only will some of the top female bodybuilders take the stage, the fitness and figure pros will also get a chance to nab an Olympia qualification.

All too often, the women take a back seat to the men in the industry - but not at this show! Sure, we could go on and on about the prize money and all that, but let's focus on the positives going into this show.

I trained legs today with the 2005 NPC Colorado overall figure champion, Jennifer Schumm, and while I won't be competing in any world's strongest men contest, I can hold my own when it comes to training legs. So you trained with a cute figure girl, right? Well, my point is anyone who thinks figure competitors don't train hard is simply full of sh!t.

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I got my @ss handed to me and I'd encourage any keyboard bandit to train with a figure or fitness competitor, they are no joke and deserve some props for training their asses off.

Okay, now that I'm done ranting about females training just as hard as men, let's get into an overview of the women set to compete on Friday. Things kick off at high noon in Dallas for the women.


Women's Bodybuilding

At the time of writing this, there are 25 female bodybuilders set to take the stage. Many female bodybuilders you may be familiar with and a few others you haven't heard or seen of in some time. There are a few favorites that I can see in the top 5, but you never know who will be the surprise of the show!

The X-factor in this show is going to be Colette Nelson. I don't think she will be in the top spot, but she could find herself in the top 5. If she is in good condition, which is always her downfall, she will be a threat. She has tremendous shape but can she dial it in? We'll see this Friday. Sarah Dunlap is also a contender for the top 5, as she was third in the Charlotte Pro and 4th in the New York Pro in 2005.

So, all things considered, what are my picks for the top 5 in female bodybuilding? Glad you asked...

     5. Antoinette Norman

    The last couple of years, Antoinette (Toni) Norman has faired well in the smaller shows. She took 3rd in the Lightweight at the 2004 Night of Champions, 1st at the 2005 Charlotte Pro and 2nd at the Lightweight at this show last year (the 2005 Europa). Toni has some crazy hamstrings and usually in top shape.

     4. Heather D. Foster

    Heather Foster, who took the 2000 NPC National Championships and won the 2001 Pro Extravaganza, will be knocking on the top 5 door. Like Colette, I don't see her winning this show, but I can see her battling it out for an Olympia qualification.

Heather D. Foster
Heather D. Foster.

    She was in 5th place at this show last year and looking to improve on that. She's consistently in the top five and look for her to be here again in Texas.

    Note: This is Heather D. Foster, not Heathre Foster (the NPC figure competitor).

     3. Marika Johansson

    Marika Johansson took 4th at this show last year and could slip into the 3rd place slot this time around. Lonnie Teper did a video interview with her a couple weeks ago (see below) and she looked on track. I could be a bit generous in the third place prediction here but a top 5 slot is in the cards.

Click Play To Start Video.
Video courtesy of Lonnie Teper, Bill Comstock,
and GraphicMuscle.com. Used with permission.

     2. Kim Perez

    Kim Perez took second in the Heavyweight division last year to eventually winner Bonny Priest. Kim has some monster delts and should do well in this show with her shape. I see her definitely in the top three and a contender for the top position.

     1. Gina Davis

    This could be a total shocker - or I could end up completely off base. I am going with Gina Davis to take the whole show in her pro debut. Gina was the overall and Heavyweight winner of the 2004 Nationals.


Click To Enlarge.
Buff & Beautiful Gina Davis.

    I saw Gina at the USA's and she looked great. Will she have rookie jitters or will she take the stage by storm? This Oklahoma City girl is my top pick.

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Fitness

Twenty-one IFBB fitness pros will take the stage on Friday. For the last couple of years, the winners have tended to carry a bit more muscle then other show winners. Tracey Greenwood and Mindi O'Brien have both been victorious in the past in Dallas.

Tracey Greenwood Tracey Greenwood
+ Click Image To Enlarge.
Tracey Greenwood.

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Bridgette Newell is always one of the most entertaining women when it comes to the routines, but falls short in the physique rounds. Fans will be certain to see another tremendous display of skill from her yet again, however.

Bridgette Newell
+ Click Image To Enlarge.
IFBB Pro, Bridgette Newell.

Okay, on to my top 5 Fitness predictions...

     5. Bridgette Murray

    Bridgette C. Murray turned pro last year and has competed once thus far in her rookie season. She has a strong gymnastics background, which is apparent in her routines. Her routines are definitely her strong point. If she can come in a bit leaner than in the past she will do very well here.

     4. Stacy Simmons

    Stacy Simmons has some of the most baffling moves you will see in a fitness routine. With a very strong gymnastics and dance background, it shows throughout her routines. She placed second at this show last year and is looking to improve on her 10th place finish at the 2006 Fitness International earlier this year.

     3. Angela Monteleone-Semsch

    Angela Monteleone-Semsch has been a consistent top five competitor over the past couple of years. I look for her to move up into the third place slot and secure an Olympia bid at this show. She's has a great look and some incredible strength moves.

     2. Tanji Johnson

    Tanji Johnson should battle it out for the top slot in this show. She is coming off a victory at the 2006 All Star Pro Fitness earlier this year. Tanji is a solid competitor and don't be surprised if she collects another first place trophy at this show.

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     1. Julie Palmer

    Julie Palmer
    + Click Image To Enlarge.
    Julie Palmer.

    Julie Palmer is consistently in the top 5 and looking to add another title to her resume. She won the 2005 Charlotte Pro last year and the 2004 NY Pro Fitness. Will she add another victory in 2006? We'll find out Friday!

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Figure

There are a number of solid competitors in this line up. There are 25 competitors scheduled to compete in the IFBB Figure division.

Christine Wan will be quarter turn'n her way towards a top 5 placing. She is definitely capable of being there and was close in the Motor City show. Another competitor who is one to keep your eye on is Erica Davidson.


+ Click Image To Enlarge.
Erica Davidson.

She's a beautiful competitor with an amazing physique. The question is will she be conditioned enough to crack into the top 5? She is certainly capable of it.

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My top 5 Figure predictions:

     5. Natalie Benson

    Natalie Benson is my surprise pick for this show. The vast majority in attendance at this year's 2006 USA competition thought she deserved the Overall title. None of that matters now that's she is in the big leagues of the IFBB. She is a gorgeous woman, with a super tiny waist and incredible delts. Look for her to be the break out competitor of the year.

     4. Latisha Wilder

    Latisha Wilder is one of the shorter IFBB figure competitors but that doesn't stop her from having a tremendous presence on stage. She has a great physique and has placed in the top 3, twice this year.

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Who Do You Think Will Win The 2006 Europa Figure Title?

Pauline Nordin
D.J. Wallis
Amanda Savell
Christine Wan
Latisha Wilder
Kirsten Nicewarner
Erica Davidson
Natasha Brown
Natalie Benson
Michele Adams

     3. D.J. Wallis

    D.J. Wallis is coming off a second place victory at the Motor City show (the Motor City Pro Figure Show in Dearborn, Michigan, held on August 12, 2006) and will look to stay at the top of the pack. She has a great look and was absent from the stage until this month. A welcome addition to the line up, unless you're competing against her...

     2. Michelle Adams

    Michelle Adams has yet to grace the stage in 2006 but look for her to come out with a bang. She'll be coming in looking to qualify and should do so at this show. She hasn't placed above 3rd in a Pro show but I look for her to do so this time around.

     1. Amanda Savell

Amanda Savell Amanda Savell
Click Image To Enlarge.
Amanda Savell.

    Amanda Savell was the clear cut winner last year and is looking to repeat in 2006. I had a chance to speak with Amanda at the USA championship where she was working for her sponsor, Pinnacle. She looked contest ready there and no doubt in my mind she will hold onto her title on Friday evening.

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Conclusion

It will be an interesting show, and I look forward to seeing how this show is run. I've heard nothing but great things about the venue and the promoters in their efforts. Safe travels everyone, and remember - no liquids in your carry on luggage!