Muscular Development, Vol 14, No 5, Page 20, October 1977
THIS YEAR'S MR. AMERICA Contest was an extravaganza! A very colorful event, it was also a very successful one as the auditorium was "jam-packed" at both sessions.
To get things rolling for the big event, a parade was held about noon on the day of the contest. A Lot of bands and performers took part but the "hit" of the parade was the musclemen who rode atop elephants ala Tarzan style. Among these men was Ken Waller who pleased the crowd by flexing his biceps and lifting his chest as he paraded past the throng-filled streets. A float with a banner heralding Gold's Gym was also lined with musclemen and a few shapely females.
by Dave Sauer
1977 Mr America Winners
Best Abdominals - Teufel
Best Arms - Perry
Best Back - Johns
Best Chest - Johns
Best Legs - Platz
Best Poser - Perry
Most Muscular - Dave Johns
The Grand Marshal of the parade was Bert Goodrich, and he was followed by another car with Dan Lurie and his wife, then a Santa Monica official followed.
The parade continues for well over two hours and terminated at the Santa Monica Auditorium where the prejudging was scheduled. By this time the doors of the auditorium were already opened and much of the crowd who came to see the prejudging was already in their seats.
The place was filled to near capacity and it took about three hours to complete the prejudging. It was a fine performance, however, and it was quite obvious that those who attended appreciated the efforts of the men who were being judged.
The stage was huge and although the lights were specially set, they were not as good as expected. Many of the contestants moved too far front and got into too much shadow, although the two lower lights did silhouette the body somewhat to give a fine outline. Not all the poses, of course, were suited to this type of lighting, though occasionally one of the posers struck a compatible pose and he looked especially impressive.
Yet the overall effect was often lost because of the lighting. I mention this only because a number of people discussed the lighting with me, thinking I had something to do with it. A few didn't mince words either, and when they found I had nothing to do with it, then they became even more expressive.
On the whole, however, the idea for the evening performance was excellent! The same type of lighting was used but this time there were three men on stage at a time - one was in the spotlight and the other two remained ready in the darkened areas.
As soon as one man completed his poses, the lights were doused over him and an introduction was given to the man who was waiting for the spotlight to hit him...and best of all, an orchestra was on stage playing accompaniment as the man posed. A lot of credit must be given to the director because he tried to set his tempo to the way the man posed and sometimes he had it down so well that it seemed as if they had practiced for a long time in order to perfect it. Yet, it was all done on the spur of the moment!
The evening performance started on time and played to a full house, 3500-plus...there were very few (if any) empty seats in the auditorium that night.
The thirty-odd contestants were all presented on stage and then, they were brought out individually although, as we said, there were always three men on stage at all times. This contributed to things running so smoothly and there was never much of a lull.
At one point a break was given, however, and the handbalancing team of David and Goliath was presented. These two have had a very impressive handbalancing act for years but in this case the lighting was not what was expected and the effect they presented was not as dramatic as usual. Moreover, they were not accustomed to the stage and Goliath, the bottom man, wasn't as secure and stable as he has been in the past. Nevertheless, the exhibition proved to be a big success with the crowd.
Unfortunately, however, there was one sore spot in the event. Serge Nubret who made the trip from Paris as a guest poser was not permitted to pose. The Pro Mr. Universe titleholder appeared to be in hard, muscular condition and was prepared to present his posing routine...but at the last minute was barred from doing so. At the AAU/IFBB meeting the next day certain facts were brought to light about Nubret doing an expose about the IFBB. So, it was clear to all who wondered why Nubret did not appear and when the meeting was over, Nubret filled everyone in as to why he thinks he was barred. But knowing how the IFBB operates, it figures!
Getting back to the contest itself, however. The MC did a fine job throughout the evening but in his haste to introduce Mae West he forgot to announce the winner. He only called the third place and second place men up but most people correctly concluded that the winner was Dave Johns.
He also failed to announce who won the Most Muscular and the subdivisions...but I can understand his position. As Mae entered she got a big hand, and since he was trying to give her a complimentary introduction, his mind forgot the details.
Yet, because of Mae West, Dave Johns' picture got worldwide coverage. We salute you Dave Johns and we hope you wear the crown well!
- Dave Johns, Mr. America for 1977 gets the once over from Mae West, the fabulous "come up and see me sometime" gal.
- Manuel Perry, one of the favorites, placed second in this fine competition.
- Rone Teufel, who placed 6th in last year's competition at Philadelphia, squeezed ahead among some top names to gain a 3rd this year.
- The winner and runners-up. On left is Manuel Perry who got 2nd; and Dave Johns the Mr. America titleholder, and also the Most Muscular Man in the contest. Far right is Ron Teufel who took 3rd, beating out a number of "big names" in the competition.
- Some of the contestants vying for the Best Abdomen award during the prejudging. The prejudging was done during the afternoon and to a rather full house. Interest was high!
- Clint Beyerle looked and was impressive in this contest.
- A casual show of the contestants in the smaller classes as they stand ready to be called out for the prejudging. Most of these men were well-muscled with good definition - as you can see from this photo.
- Some of the top men in the contest: Lively Dr. C. F. Smith; Muscular Lary Gordon; Massive Peter Grymkowski.
- Doug Beaver, a muscular physique champ who has competed in several Mr. America contests and always placed well in these events.
- Ron Neff; Dave Rogers.
- Mae West on stage with some of the musclemen gives her nod of approval to the mass of muscle around her. Mae, who is in her mid-80s, appeared well-preserved and here appearance belles her age. Her appearance contributed a lot and the crowd enjoyed seeing her.
- Andrea Cahling; Dave DuPree; Tom Platz.
- This fine pose of Dave Johns, the newly crowned Mr. America for 1977, is a fitting climax to this fine array of pictures of the Mr. America contest.
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