Mr. Olympia 1999

The prejudging of the 1999 Mr. Olympia was held on Saturday afternoon at 1pm, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The event was sold out, although not every seat was taken throughout the venue, but there was more people at this prejudging than any other that I had been too.

It is here at this event, where one can judge the competitors, without the lights, without the music, without the hype, Just the competitors in front of you with a black drape behind them, so that you can't be distracted by anything. The first part of the prejudging was the introduction of the athletes, in which all of the athletes came out and stood side by side, all sixteen of them. Then they are divided into two groups (1-8), and (9-16), and asked to do quarter turns in these groups so that the judges can assess and view all sides of the competitors.

Once both groups have done their quarter turns, you begin to sense which competitors will be in the top six, and which won't. But the judges have the hard role of actually placing them. Thus, the judges start to compare three competitors at a time, doing quarter turns, for actual points, and placings . The order of the callouts were as follows in round one.

Chris CormierRonnie ColemanFlex Wheeler
Chris CormierPaul DillettNasser El Sonbaty
Kevin LevronePaul DillettNasser El Sonbaty
Ronnie ColemanShawn RayFlex Wheeler
Nasser El SonbatyShawn RayKevin Levrone
Nasser El SonbatyFlex WheelerRonnie Coleman
Shawn RayLee PriestDexter Jackson
Mike MatarazzoLee PriestDexter Jackson
Kevin LevroneChris CormierPaul Dillett
Kevin LevroneNasser El SonbatyPaul Dillett
Pavol JablonickyMilos SarcevMarkus Ruhl
Dexter JacksonMike MatarazzoMilos Sarcev
Ernie TaylorMike MatarazzoMilos Sarcev
Ernie TaylorJay CutlerMarkus Ruhl
Jean Pierre FuxJay CutlerMarkus Ruhl
Kevin LevroneLee PriestShawn Ray
Lee PriestDexter JacksonPavol Jablonicky

Within every callouts, the audience reacts wildly to their favorite competitor, as this is what they come to see. The best of the best competing for the crown of the bodybuilding world.

Round Two is the individual round, in which each competitors comes out, and does seven mandatory poses, which are in order, Front Double Biceps, Lat Spread, Side Chest, Back Double Bicep, Lat Spread, Side Triceps, and Abdominals & Thighs. The order of the competitors was chosen randomly before the contests, and the competitors came out as follows:

Pavol Jablonicky, Jay Cutler, Nasser El Sonbaty, Mike Matarazzo, Chris Cormier, Jean Pierre Fux, Ronnie Coleman, Dexter Jackson, Flex Wheeler, Markus Ruhl, Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray, Lee Priest, Ernie Taylor, Milos Sarcev and Paul Dillett.

It was in this round that the competitor had his own time to make the crowd react. Some competitors did a good job of getting the audience involved, others did not. I considered Chris Cormier the best poser in this round, playing to the audience, and making them want more, while Ronnie Coleman made sure that everybody saw how great his glutes looked, as well as his back. Ernie Taylor had the largest triceps I had seen in a long time, with the ability to swing them as if they were rubber and harden them at an instance.

While all this was going on, the judges were evaluating their decisions for the second callouts. The order of the callouts in Round Two were as follows:

Chris CormierRonnie ColemanFlex Wheeler
Nessar El SonbatyShawn RayKevin Levrone
Shawn RayKevin LevronePaul Dillett
Dexter JacksonLee PriestPavol Jablonicky
Mike MatarazzoJay CutlerPavol Jablonicky
Nasser El SonbatyChris CormierKevin Levrone
Ronnie ColemanFlex WheelerKevin Levrone
Dexter JacksonPaul DillettMarkus Ruhl
Mike MatarazzoPavol JablonickyMarkus Ruhl
Dexter JacksonMilos SarcevLee Priest
Kevin LevroneShawn RayChris Cormier
Mike MatarazzoErnie TaylorMilos Sarcev
Pavol JablonickyErnie TaylorJean Pierre Fux
Flex WheelerNasser El SonbatyRonnie Coleman

After the callouts, Round Two was over, the prejudging was over. We would have to wait until the evening for Rounds 3 & 4. The prejudging was a little longer than normal, running about 2 1/4 hours, but it looked like many people were satisfied. Shouts of Ronnie, Flex, Nasser, and of course, the newcomer, Markus Ruhl were heard all over as people left the venue, and went streaming into the Olympia Expo to check out the latest supplements and performance drinks in the industry, and to meet more of their favorite bodybuilders, fitness competitors, and legends.