I still can’t believe it’s over. I prepared for the show this past weekend for months and it went by so quickly. I am so grateful for my amazing friends and boyfriend who endured the long road trip to Albuquerque to support me all weekend! I really couldn’t have gotten up on that stage this time around without such a strong support system!
To give you all an overview of what a show weekend really looks like, it all started Friday night with the first coat of tan. Again THANK YOU to my amazing boyfriend for helping lather the layers on bringing me closer and closer to another race. And yes, those are puppy potty pads we are using to avoid destroying our kitchen floor…
My show was on Sunday which is abnormal; they’re usually on Saturday, but we were able to roll with it. So Saturday morning we woke up at 6 to reapply another coat of tan before we left. Once we had finished up, it was time to meet up with my friends who were generous enough to drive! We left town with a car full of all the gear and food I would need for the weekend around 7:30am. On the 6.5 hour journey to Albuquerque, I sat in sadness eating my saltless (aka flavorless) tilapia and green veggies while everyone else enjoyed gordita supremes and doritos tacos from Taco Bell… Talk about implementing some self restraint! But I had my eyes on the prize and knew all my hard work would be worth it!
One of the highlights of the road trip was definitely when I was attempting to drink out of my gallon water jug at the same time we happened to hit a pothole…If you’re unfamiliar with the tanning process of getting ready for a show, it’s SUPER dark and does in fact streak if you get wet. So I am sitting in the back seat looking like an oompa loompa who just got stabbed while everyone else in the car stares at me in horror. Thank goodness we were coming upon a town! We ended up reapplying my tan in a McDonalds bathroom–gotta do what you gotta do, right?! Anyway, I survived and surprisingly got on stage streak-free!
Once we got to Albuquerque, I headed to the host hotel to check in and get my polygraph test done. What I didn’t realize is that I was supposed to choose a song for my final T-walk. Oops. So I chose a song off the house playlist that sounded upbeat and sufficient. We later realized it said F*#$ every other word in the second chorus…ugh. It didn’t matter anyway though because the MC got all panicked during the show and didn’t play anyone’s music they had requested.
Next was the polygraph test. I hate these. Not because I am using anything illegal or that it costs $50 for no reason, but because this is the atmosphere… sitting in a metal chair with a heart rate monitor around your chest and two of your fingers. There is a massive man alone with you in a hotel room asking you questions with dramatic pauses at the end as he waits for your heart rate to change. There is a camera to your right side and you are directed to stare at the door straight ahead the entire time. It’s super awkward and uncomfortable and the man is making $50 EVERY 10 MINUTES. *eye roll*
We head over to our hotel after this to get situated and ready for dinner (which I knew I wouldn’t actually be able to eat). Then the last coat of tan! Or so we thought… We then meet up with a friend who is also in town and head over to a BBQ joint. Don’t worry though, I brought my bland tilapia and veggies! The BBQ looked amazing and my amazing boyfriend even ran across the street and broke into a closed hotel cafe to microwave my fish for me! Once we were finished with dinner, we headed to a brewery down the street that was really rustic and funky looking, but of course I didn’t actually get a drink (not even water at this point). It was still great to get to sit and chat amongst friends!
After we left, we headed over to our friend’s Hilton hotel to find some space for me to practice posing in an effort to calm my nerves before the big day! We crammed ourselves into a small conference room and moved all the chairs so we could have a little room! Shoutout to my pro photographer boyfriend who wasn’t afraid to get into some risky positions for a good shot.
After a little posing, it was time for bed! So I laid down the black sheets I brought with me just in case any of my tan were to rub off, and ate some steak and four plain rice cakes… blech! What seemed like minutes later, I was up at 5am for my first meal: eggs and rice cakes. After finishing breakfast, I quietly began to get ready. Priority was given to the makeup since I had to make sure it matched my crazy dark tan! I have an airbrush makeup sprayer that is a lifesaver, but this time is was having a rough time and kept streaking. The makeup application took 3x longer than it should have been, so good thing I was up at 5am I guess! Next was the hair! Thankfully I got it highlighted while I was home a couple of weeks ago so it was looking fresh and blonde! The hair was easy; all I did was straighten and tease it. And now it’s 8:30am and I am completely ready… but still have an hour until the competitor meeting at the venue 5 minutes away. That means NAP TIME! So I took a 30 minute nap and then got up to head over to the KiMo theater in downtown Albuquerque.
The competitor meeting was surprisingly not very informative. The host of the show must have never had a public speaking role before because she just preached about respect for 40 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, respect is important, but this spiel about respecting the judges, venue, each other, our hard work, the carpet, specks of dirt on the stage (okay, she didn’t go this far…) was a bit much. Finally one of the judges cut her off and reminded her to tell us about required poses, order of the show, where to pin our numbers etc. Anyway, we finally got through it!
After this very thrilling meeting, I went back stage to start getting dresses. Once I saw the other girls beginning to do the same, I realized I was WAY too light and needed to figure out how to darken my tan asap. So naturally I frantically called my bestie to grab all the tanning stuff from the hotel and to meet me in the bathroom once she got to the venue. It was like the McDonalds adventure all over again! So we claim the handicap stall in the bathroom blatantly labeled “NOT FOR COMPETITORS” since it was bigger and yolo (you only live once), ya know?
Now I am looking better! Still not as dark as the other girls, but there is a pre-show top coat to put on yet and it’s super dark. So I eat some more rice cakes to help absorb any remaining moisture, and get the finishing touches all in place before show time! I thought we were running a lot closer to my time on stage, so I had one of the other bikini girls help me put on the top coat and then reciprocated the favor by buffing out her pee streaks on her legs…no I am not joking. Now you want to do a bikini show don’t you?! Haha
Right before I walk on stage I am supposed to eat 2 large pieces of fruit, so I grab my bananas and head backstage to wait for my turn on stage! The idea behind the bananas is to fill out the muscles right before I go on stage, so I eat them and get lined up for bikini class A! We all walk out together but without much instruction, so come to find out this was the novice class, not the open class I am actually in. Thankfully I am on the end, so it’s not horribly embarrassing when the stage manager grabs my arm from backstage to tell me this isn’t my class… oops.
So an hour later it’s actually time for my bikini open class A. Yes, there were THAT many bikini girls. It look 15-20 minutes per class, and there were 4 classes. By this point, I am feeling bloated from the 2 bananas (I hadn’t had fruit in 3 months before this) and tired from standing backstage in 5-inch heels for over an hour. Good thing my time of stage was brief…NOT. We were out there holding our poses for 18 minutes, and my back is still tight from all the arching! The goal is to hold your most flattering flexed poses while making it look effortless. Because there were so many of us out there at one time, they moved me and other girls around to be next to different competitors for comparison. It was a series of half turns, so to front, back and then walking forward and backward over and over again. 18 minute later, we were finished with pre-judging!
Now it’s time for intermission, so I change my shoes, put some pants on and head out to the audience to meet up with all my friends! They are all so amazing–they had taken TONS. The promised 45 minute intermission was (of course) and hour and 20 minutes and just like with pre-judging, bikini goes last for finals too. I decided to hang out in the audience for awhile to watch all the men perform their final T-walks and receive their awards, and once they get to women’s figure I headed backstage to make sure I was ready to go!
Another hour after I headed backstage it’s time for the bikini open classes! I was #96, so I am standing in my place in line and see #93 come off stage and then head my name being announced…hmmm I guess it’s a good thing I am paying attention! Keep in mind, this is the same host who couldn’t seem to gather enough words for the competitor meeting that same morning. So this super slow, depressing song comes on for me to walk out to but I don’t let it phase me. I strut my stuff on stage and completely disregard whatever funeral music they have playing in the background, which is absolutely not the song I chose at check-in…
I am toward the end, so they finish up pretty quickly and then it’s award time! I assume because our class was so huge, they decided to only bring back out the top 5, which wasn’t me apparently. I was shocked to say the least to have not made top 5, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. Game over, and it’s time to meet up with my friends for FOOOOOOD!
My friends were all equally as shocked and angry, but I am so happy to have the pictures showcasing all my hard work and couldn’t have asked for a better support system to be there with me that weekend! My boyfriend even ran (literally) all over town trying to find me flowers for after the show. He finally found some in a tiny Asian market and had to tear apart multiple small bouquets to make his own flower arrangement, and it was BEAUTIFUL! We took some post-show pictures and then headed to a Mexican restaurant for a well-deserved post-show indulgence! Oh, did I mention none of my friends had eaten since breakfast and it was then 6pm? Food wasn’t allowed in the theater…
We bee-lined it to Sadie’s for some highly-recommended New Mexican-style Mexican food! It. Was. Amazing. And overwhelming and emotional…I really missed real-people food! I got a combo plate with a chicken enchilada and a tamale. It was so delicious, but I felt like I hardly made a dent! There was also sopapillas and copious amounts of chips and salsa, so we were stuffed. Once we got back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit, I decided we should probably also get pie. There was a Village Inn in our hotel parking lot, so how could we resist?! After some apple pie a la mode, I was stuffed and ready for bed!
Overall, it was a wonderful weekend with equally as wonderful company, but revolving your entire life around a goal for months and then to have nothing to show for all the hard work really stinks. Good thing I have another show in 4 weeks! I am working harder than ever and intend to give these remaining few weeks 150%! Let’s see what I can bring to the NPC stage on April 14th!
Source: MJ Fitnatic