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The 2006 Europa Super Show
Europa ShowImagine the situation. You and a bunch of friends sit down at a Texas steak house and all order the same meal. But when your food is served, you notice all the steaks display a remarkable inconsistency. Some are fatty slabs, others are lean, whilst others are just a composite of both extremes. This best describes the overall judging criteria that were handed out over the weekend at the Texas Super Show. In the women's bodybuilding category held on the Friday night, a soft but muscular Heather Foster took home victory whilst Marika Johansson was so ripped to the bone that even her rival competitors were scratching their heads over why she wasn't requested until the fifth callout. According to Quincy Taylor, these abnormalities spilt over to the men's bodybuilding competition held on the following evening. "I could've easily come in bigger like I have in the past, but that appearance has always gotten me overlooked. This time I did exactly what the judges asked from me and brought my striated glutes, a ripped and bigger back and desert-dry conditioning, but they screwed me. They tell me they want me 5 Ibs heavier for next weekend's Montreal Pro Show," said a very unhappy Q.T., who was handed the runners-up card. I'm not sure if Quincy was ripped off, but he was definitely ripped. At 6'2", he is a daunting eclipse but his short clavicles at that height make him look slightly narrow when standing next to some of the top-tiered athletes. One such person who did this was eventual victor Toney Freeman. Toney was even wider than in the past and his quads displayed more flare than a pair of Levi's from the 1970's. He was sharper than in past showings and the judges took note of this in awarding Tony his first Pro win. Rounding out the top three was home town hero Johnnie Jackson. A considerable amount of Texan prime beef has been added to Jackson's wheels that in the past had been the subject of debate. His calves are still a weak point, but his rugged upper body's fullness more than makes up for this. He was a lot sharper than in his earlier contests this year, which proves that you don't need a diet guru to control the nutritional aspect at this level of competition. If JJ had been a shade tighter, many predicted that he could've been a deserved winner. Contest favorite Darrem Charles was shocked with the announcement that he wasn't going to make the top three on the podium standings. Again Darrem was hard from the front but was caught faltering from the back. This was a repeat of the Denver and N.Y. shows earlier this year, but this has got progressively worse as contest fatigue has started to rear its ugly head. Charles will always be judged on past condition and if his condition barometer isn't up to his highest altitude, then the judiciary will let him fall like a lead balloon. Art Atwood hasn't got the prettiest physique and his symmetry is as far out as a Cheech and Chong movie, so there were many gasps heard when he was requested to join the first of the symmetry callouts. To give him his due, Art was in great shape and has appeared to make attempts as of late to tone down his physique. But with the genetics he has been handed, this will be an uphill struggle for the Canadian. Fifth place for Art was a generous gift especially when you have guys like Silvio Samuel snapping at your heels. Apart from the coat of Dream Tan that Samuel painted onto himself backstage, he was a hard athlete to fault. He was the most balanced competitor in the field and his muscle bellies were at bursting point. After the show he told me he had shaved off an additional 5 lbs of fat since the N.Y. Pro, which in turn made him look like he had added 5 lbs of muscle. Silvio will be a force to be reckoned with if the judging panel decides to stick to the revised mandate. In conclusion, the show ran without any hitches and entertainment was top-notch with Lonnie Tepper handing out laughs all weekend as the show's MC.