Anyway, congrats to all the contestants! You may not have won a medal but your very healthy and fit body is a prize in and of itself. Plus, you get this nifty NPC dog tag to wear at the gym, increasing your bragging rights tenfold at least.
The night show is always more fun than the morning prejudging because unless you are in the top 5 of your group the pressure is completely off. That means you really aren’t stressed out anymore about tripping on stage, and you hypothetically went to, oh I don’t know, Fuddruckers, for lunch (they really are the World’s Best Burgers…) and then took a nice long nap between shows coming off your prejudging adrenaline rush and aforementioned hamburger bun carbohydrate coma. But I digress…
Backstage was pretty fun. The bikini babes overtook the lighted dressing room. It was an explosion of hair spray, make up cases, curling irons, bags of rice cakes and water bottles that remained largely untouched.
Before walking on stage everyone went to the band room where the Tan It All gals had tents set up for spray on oil. They also had this stuff called Bikini Bite, which is special glue you put on your bathing suit to make sure you don’t have any “wardrobe malfunctions” onstage.
Not everyone uses/likes the spray on method. Some contestants use their own products or hire their own vendors. I saw one couple backstage pouring baby oil on each other and rubbing it in like sunscreen. This person is having it wiped on with sponges.
The people in the red event staff shirts were the people running the process backstage. They had clipboards and Excel spreadsheets galore. The order of the show (which changed from the prejudging order to confuse everyone on purpose) was tapped to the wall.
The woman in charge of everything backstage was Wendy Martin. If you lost your number between shows she could magically get you a new one. She also had all the bikini gals line up and face the back wall for a bathing suit booty check. (If the suit was too short you would be disqualified.) It kind of brought back memories of my Catholic school days where we would have our skirt length checked by the nuns…
Anyway, everyone (contestants included) was really friendly and helpful, which was nice because there were a lot of people there last night doing their very first show. (Extra kudos to all the newbies!!)
Moving into another section backstage you will find people trying to make the most of their muscles before going on. If you are in the bikini division that means practicing your poses in front of the dressing room mirrors or friends from your training team.
If you are in men’s bodybuilding or figure/physique women’s divisions that means you will start pumping up. There was paper taped over the floor to prevent slipping on all that spray on oil and over that were sections of carpet.
As bodybuilding is very focused on form, there were mirrors all over the pump up section.
And then the big moment! Wendy calls out your division and you line up.
She checks your number to make sure you are in order. You are then lead backstage. There is a backstage crew running the light and music cues. Kevin Martin, the NPC Texas Expeditor, is waiting in the wings and will tell you how many poses, if any, you will do for the night show. This basically depends upon time. If the show is running well you get to do your full posing routine. If it is running late you just get to walk on and do one front poses.
Only the Top 5 contestants in each division get to do comparison poses.
And then the judges do their calculations and the winners are called in reverse order, saving the best for last.
Photographers take pictures! The crowd goes wild! Months (years?) of eating clean and training dirty have paid off. Here are some of the winners from last night.
Congratulations to everyone! Enjoy your cheat meal dinner and see you at the next show!
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