(Dexter Jackson, Mr. Olympia)
Wow! What a weekend! This is not what I ever expected. I entered the contest simply for more face time to let Canada know I would like my IFBB Pro card in fitness - I guess I got what I asked for...and then some.
I won the 2009 Bodyspace Spokesmodel contest - I will be at the Bodybuilding.com booth for the Arnold Classic this year, and at the Olympia in September.
Quick recap of the week's events:
Wed - travelled to LA - met some of the BB.com staff, checked into hotel. I met one half of the contestants - Pete - from Toronto Canada. He was on my flight so it was easy to meet him. Nothing much happened the first day - I was so wiped from traveling and a 3 hour time change - ready to go to bed.
Thurs - Went early am to gym (5am PST is really 8am EST) so it was not early for me. Met DebraAnne - a mom of 2 children and entrepreneur - she has her own clothing line, we both chatted about the contest, what is expected of us, and well, worked out.
Went back to room, got ready for the photoshoot - with Michael Neveau. (how cool is that???)
During the photoshoot I met 3 other male contestants - Anthony - premed student goes to school in Pennsylvania, he was only 19 , so we called him 'kid' the whole weekend; then there was Chad - a personal trainer who was ripped - and this was basically his shape all the time - had a great story of triumph and overcoming obstacles through training and good nutrition, and lastly Peter - was in our group too. He was a 23 year old engineering student who is a champion eater.
I was thrilled to learn that Michael Neveux was shooting. I have loved his shots for sometime. It was great to meet him too - he is like a big teddy bear.
We also took turns interviewing each other for the video interviews on Bodybuilding.com - it was a lot of fun, and everyone did great work.
Pretty tired by the end of the day, so we headed back to the hotel. The other contestants (whom I did not meet yet) were all planning to go out at 10:30pm at night - a meet and greet - and well I skipped out on that as the time change, and getting my sleep was important. We had a 10am call time next day, so I wanted to make sure I was rested.
Fri - We all met at 10am - the remaining contestants were - Kim, a mom of 2, whose husband was kind enough to come along for the trip; Norma - another mom of 1; Jason - whom I have been talking to on Bodyspace since we found out we were finalists; Sean - a trainer; and lastly Paula - a trainer from Alaska.
We all were off to Universal Studios as we were going to be put in groups of 5 (one girl, one guy) with a laptop and get people to sign up their emails to become a bodyspace member. The judging was on our crowd interaction. Unfortunately, it was raining pretty hard, so we all (all 10 of us), stood under a section that had an overhang, and ambushed people to sign up their emails. We were only there for about an hour - as it was pretty cold, and wet - even for California.
After that we had the rest of the day off.
Debra did not arrive with a suit for the stage presentation so I hung with her in the afternoon. We did walk a lot but managed to find a suit. Do you know that a swimsuit is considered 'seasonal' in California - who would have thought? After shopping we were both pretty tired, and had an 8am call time on Saturday so headed home.
Sat - In the morning we all were working the Bodybuilding.com booth, it was busy but not as busy as an Arnold. It was more of a west coast style show - laid back, but the booth was really busy, compared to other booths.
At around 5pm we all went back to the hotel to get ready for the night show.
I had hired a makeup artist for the night - Liza Macwaili - who is amazing! I did my tan, and revamped my hair - competition style. Anyone who has even done a show knows that you go all out for stage, bigger the better, and well my hair felt big but pictures don't show that.
When we arrived at the show, we had about 5 mins to get the final preparations done. Mrs. JanTana herself did my oil - I was thrilled. Then we all waited to get on stage for out individual interviews with Bob Chicerillo and then posing.
The other 3 girls (Debra, Paula, Kim) went before me. Norma ended up being sick so she did not do the night show. Then I went last. I felt my interview went well. You can see it on the video coverage of the Ironman Pro - on Bodybuilding.com - it would be near the end of the show as we were close to the final pose down. We did our quarter turns, and then got off the stage for the guys to have their turn.
After the guys, all of us, went on stage for the announcement of the winners - they announced me, and I was very shocked. Each contestant was worthy of the title - but I am very proud to be apart of the Bodybuilding.com family for the Arnold and the Olympia (I have never been to the Olympia).
To celebrate - we all went out to IHOP - yes exciting isn't it? Went to bed at around 1am, as I had a 9am flight the next day with 12 hours of traveling.
I want to thank everyone who has voted, as I could not be here without you.
Thank you for putting up with all my emails, and taking the time to vote.
Here are some pictures from Bodybuilding.com
Here are some pictures of the weekend - I will put more on facebook.
(Paula, myself, Kim, Debra)
Jerome Ferguson - aka Mr. Hollywood
Me, Jason Phillips
Kim, me, Paula