The Phil Heath-Kai Green showdown stole the show at the 2012 Mr. Olympia – so much so that, nearly a week later, we’re still talking about it. Here, in a special edition of View From the Judges, IFBB Judge Steve Weinberger gives his view of the two-day battle and breaks down the matchup pose-by-pose.
“When they first walked out on Friday night, I thought Phil was going to win the show. But as the night went on and we had that last callout, I felt Phil faded and Kai really tightened up – he tightened up throughout the prejudging. So that last callout was Kai in my opinion. If the final results would have been on Friday, I would have had Kai winning.”
“When he came out for the posing routine, I thought ‘Wow, Kai looks amazing. He’s gonna win the show.’ I don’t know if it was because he’s a better poser and presented himself better, but he looked better on his own than Phil did.
In the comparisons, especially in that last comparison, Phil dominated the stage and that helped him tremendously. Phil came out like a pit bull ready to take someone’s head off. Kai came out like a hound dog. It was definitely not a knockout, Phil was vulnerable. But in that last callout Phil didn’t just hit his poses, Phil destroyed his poses. He tore everything out of his body that he possibly could. That’s where Phil ran away with the show.
It was almost like Phil knew Kai was on his ass – but Kai didn’t put any more pressure on Phil. Phil came out and was like ‘No – you’re not taking this from me.’ And he fought for it. His stage presence was as good as stage presence could be. And Kai, who hits his poses beautifully, his stage presence didn’t have that extra punch.
Phil flattened out on Friday and looked like Kai did on Saturday when doing those mandatories. It was very exciting. There has to be a winner and there has to be a loser and unfortunately for Kai, Phil was the winner. But it was very close and I do believe if Kai wouod have done a few things differently, he could have been closer or possibly could have won.”
POSE FOR POSE BREAKDOWN
FRONT DOUBLE BICEP
FRONT LAT SPREAD
REAR DOUBLE BICEP
BREAKDOWN: Push … with a slight edge to Phil but very close. I think part of the reason was his shoulders made his back look a little more impressive. Just a little push to Phil but if Kai would have opened his back up a little bit more he maybe would have won it. Because Kai’s middle back and lower back is a lot better than Phil’s when he hits it correctly. But we can only judge what we see, and I don’t think he was hitting it correctly.
REAR LAT SPREAD
BREAKDOWN: Phil’s back is good but it’s not as wide and thick in the middle as Kai’s is. Kais is so full right down to the glutes. Kai’s hamstrings were amazing. Phil’s were good too, but Kai’s were amazing. He’s just so full down to his lower lats and glutes, and that’s what gave him this pose. Phil’s got a really good upper and upper middle back but his lower back is not as developed as Kai’s. Kais’s back is one of the most – if not the most – complete back in bodybuilding. That’s one of the reasons why so close.
AB AND THIGH
BREAKDOWN: Phil’s traps and shoulders are just so big and full – his traps and shoulders are just amazing.