Dec 17, 2020
Mr. Olympia 2020 Press Conference Transcript
Read the full transcript of the 2020 Mr. Olympia press conference from Las Vegas. “Mr. Olympia” is awarded to the winner of the men’s international bodybuilding contest at Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend.
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Speaker 1: (01:10)
Former two-time Rising Phoenix World Champion, Helle Trevino. Representing the Classic Physique Olympia, defending champion Chris Bumstead. Former two-time champion, Breon Ansley. Representing the Fitness Olympia four-time champion, please welcome back Oksana Grishina. Reigning champion, Whitney Jones. Representing the 212 Olympia, 2019 Olympia runner up, Derek Lunsford. Reigning champion, Kamal Elgargni. Representing the Bikini Olympia, three-time Olympia runner up, Janet Layug. Former champion, Angelica Teixeira. Welcome your reigning champion, Isa Pecini. Representing the Men Physique Olympia, defending three-time Arnold Classic Champion, Andre Ferguson. Reigning Olympia champion, Raymond Edmonds. Representing the Women’s Physique Olympia, 2019 Olympia runner up, Sarah Villegas. Reigning two-time champion, please welcome Shanique Grant.
Speaker 1: (04:56)
Representing the Bigger Olympia, former two-time Olympic champion Latorya Watts. Reigning three-time Olympia champion, Cydney Gillon. Representing the Mr. Olympia, the most decorated bodybuilder of all time, owner of 29 professional titles, including the 2008 Mr. Olympia, competing in his final Olympia, please welcome Dexter “The Blade” Jackson. All the way from Iran, last year’s third place finisher, please welcome Hadi Choopan. Former Mr. Olympia runner up, please welcome Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. 2019 Mr. Olympia runner up, William “The Conqueror” Bonac. Our next competitor won the Mr. Olympia title each year from 2011 until 2017. Please welcome back to The Olympia seven-time champion, Phil “The Gift” Heath. Our final competitor is your 15th winner of the title. Please welcome reigning Mr. Olympia, Brandon Curry. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage our moderators, Bob Cicherillo and Sean Ray.
Bob Cicherillo: (08:56)
How are we doing, everybody? I almost said, “How are we doing, Vegas?” but as you can see, things have changed a little bit this year. So how are we doing, Orlando?
Sean Ray: (09:33)
All right, it’s here.
Bob Cicherillo: (09:42)
Sean, we’re going to get to all these champs in just a moment, but we’ve got to cover a little bit of ground first. Folks, this is what it’s all about this weekend. The prestigious Sandow Trophy has been revised a little bit over the years, a little bit bigger, a little bit better, the names of the champions all engraved on there. Sean?
Sean Ray: (09:59)
Yes, and I’m seeing that they added Brandon Curry from last year.
Bob Cicherillo: (10:02)
Yeah, yeah. I don’t see Ray, though. I don’t see Sean Ray.
Sean Ray: (10:05)
No, I had a sniff. I was two inches away from catching one of those.
Bob Cicherillo: (10:09)
You and Dexter. Yeah, we’ll get into that in a little while, but we got all the champs.
Sean Ray: (10:15)
A long time ago.
Bob Cicherillo: (10:17)
These guys follow the internet, clearly. Yeah, there’s social media. Well, folks, on behalf of everybody at The Olympia, I want to say welcome. Needless to say, it’s been a crazy year, Sean. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, and we’re going to get into that in just a moment. I’ve got to give a quick shout out to Dan Solomon. Where’s Dan? Dan, stand, please. Dan is your Chief Olympia Officer. And let me tell you something, it was a scramble this year. People don’t really know how close this show came… Can I actually share some of this stuff, Dan? I know I’m just kind of spouting off, but is it okay? There was a lot of behind the scenes going on and a lot of scrambling. Jake Wood and his crew… Jake worked on… Jake, welcome to your own show. Jake Wood, ladies and gentlemen. And I want to welcome our worldwide audience, pay-per-view, Sean. We are worldwide, buddy.
Sean Ray: (11:12)
Yes, we are.
Bob Cicherillo: (11:13)
But I’ve got to share just for a quick moment the changes that occurred this year. I mean, everybody knows the COVID craziness and all that stuff. Well, beginning of the year, we wind it back to the beginning of the year, and we’re good. Listen, we’re in Vegas. It ain’t till September. This thing will be long gone by then. And then all of a sudden it’s like, eh, not so much, and then we got to scramble a little bit. And then the venue was going to be an issue. And then all of a sudden it wasn’t good. All of a sudden it was a very real possibility. Dan called me up, he said, “Bro, I’ve got a bad feeling about this. We got people on the inside. I’m not liking what I’m hearing. We got to make a move.” And Dan and Jake and the crew and Tamer all got together. They had to make a snap decision.
Bob Cicherillo: (11:54)
About six weeks ago, this show was going to be gone. It was canceled. Jake wasn’t going to let that happen. Jake wasn’t going to let a lot of things happen this year. The prize money, biggest in history, Sean. The lineup, biggest in history, Sean. The stage that you guys are going to see, which is absolutely… Where’s Tamer El Guindy? Where’s Tamer? Your producer, Tamer El Guindy. Martine, he’s in the back running stuff. Folks, wait till you see this. It’s the largest. Not only did we do things right, like, “Hey, we’re just going to get the show. We’re just going to put it on.” No, no, no, no, that’s not how Jake works. You’re going big, or you’re going home, and we’re gone big. Biggest stage in Olympia history on this, over 300 feet. Wait till guys see this stuff, phenomenal, Sean.
Sean Ray: (12:37)
The stage has to match the size of this trophy right here, for 56 years.
Bob Cicherillo: (12:41)
Well, listen, Dan, congratulations for all your work. Again, there was a lot of mad scram. I don’t want to get too much into the detail. Let’s just say Vegas wasn’t early welcoming us with open arms. Dan had to make a snap decision. They looked around at a few places that we could have The Olympia that could accommodate such a huge venture in history and all that. 56 years in the making, Sean, was not going to go down. A lot of sporting events have canceled this year. There was never in jeopardy with Jake Woods. Jake, thank you for everything you do. And Dan, we are here, and it’s Olympia time, brother.
Sean Ray: (13:11)
You know it’s Mr. Olympia time when you see Jay Cutler, Jay Cutler, four-time Mr. Olympia.
Bob Cicherillo: (13:18)
Yo, what’s up, Jay?
Sean Ray: (13:19)
One of our ambassadors and reps of the sport. We got a lot of comebacks coming up on this stage this weekend as well.
Bob Cicherillo: (13:24)
We do. We do. Listen, it’s going to be an exciting weekend, and we’re going to get to all these athletes in just a few moments. I got to put the mandatory shout out there because the Orlando Convention Center says we do. Folks, if you can help it, please keep the mask on as much as you can all weekend, especially when you’re around the hotel and the convention center. I know it’s a pain. We tried a muzzle on Sean. It didn’t work. We tried the mask; that didn’t work. We just figured give him a microphone, let him go.
Sean Ray: (13:50)
We’re going to make it happen.
Bob Cicherillo: (13:51)
Sean, it’s Olympia time.
Sean Ray: (13:54)
Yes, it is.
Bob Cicherillo: (13:54)
We’ve got some champs here, folks. Now, if you notice, we’ve got the biggest lineup in Olympia history. So you’re not seeing everybody, obviously, that’s in The Olympia. We picked out some representation from each one of the classes because over the years, as you know, we’ve expanded, and now we’ve got Bikini and Women’s Physique and Men’s Physique and Classic and all these new classes that we’ve added. So rather than the old days, for those who’ve been around a long enough that have been here like Big Steve and JM, who’s here for his hundredth Olympia. Where’s JM?
Sean Ray: (14:22)
He’s on record, his 41st year.
Bob Cicherillo: (14:24)
Where’s JM at? Is he working?
Sean Ray: (14:26)
He’s probably taking backstage shots.
Bob Cicherillo: (14:27)
Probably taking pictures. That’s what he does.
Sean Ray: (14:30)
That’s some kind of record, 41 years.
Bob Cicherillo: (14:32)
I knew we had some Manion somewhere. Would that be Manion Tyler? Welcome. Sandy, you’re no stranger to The Olympia. It’s only the best of the best when you get here, Sean. All these athletes are fighting for best in the world, so we get the best judges in the world. Okay? And that’s who we… [Castie 00:14:48], hey, thanks for coming out, man. Good to see you. Glad you could make it to Olympia. Very nice.
Sean Ray: (14:52)
The last time The Olympia was here was 1991 when history was made. A young man by the name of Lee Haney at 31 years old walked off with his eighth Sandow victory.
Bob Cicherillo: (15:01)
Well, history is made to be repeated, and we’ve got some titles up for grabs. This is a unique year because in almost every division we’ve got multiple Olympians going against each other. And we’re going to start that right off with a couple of gentlemen that we got right here. First word always goes to the champ, and give it up for your reigning defending Olympia champion, Brandon Curry.
Brandon Curry: (15:23)
Bob Cicherillo: (15:28)
Well, Brandon, you’re in unfamiliar territory. For the first year, you’re sitting in the position of defending champion. Great victory last year, well-deserved, had the whole family on stage. Your wife stole your check while we were on stage. She gave you the Sandow, which was nice, but that $400,000 check just, boop, gone.
Brandon Curry: (15:46)
Yeah, it’s gone.
Bob Cicherillo: (15:47)
It was very Debbie Manion. That was something you would do, no question about it. Brandon, you’re looking very Shaft today, very Richard Roundtree for those old enough in attendance to get that reference.
Sean Ray: (15:56)
Lex Miller called Soul Brother Number One.
Bob Cicherillo: (15:58)
Soul Brother Number… This is Mr. Olympia number one. What do you think about defending the title this year?
Brandon Curry: (16:04)
It’s truly a blessing, truly an honor to be able to defend the title against such great champions here today. Very excited to get this weekend started. I appreciate all the people that were able to come out and support the event and all you guys watching on the pay-per-view. Thanks for tuning in. Make sure you tune into prejudging and finals because we’re going to put on a hell of a show.
Bob Cicherillo: (16:26)
Well, Brandon, you took a little bit of flack last year, which I thought it was very unfair, because we did not have the full lineup as it was. We’re missing some names, some contenders. And you had to deal with some of that. Unfortunately, these athletes these days got to deal with social media, which is not something the past champs… Jay, I think you just kind of caught social media towards the end of your run, so you didn’t have to really deal with it a whole lot. But you guys do. And I thought it was unfair that you caught some flack for, “Well, you beat a subpar lineup. Well, all the names weren’t there.” What did you think about that after you won, you win the title? Listen, all you did is come and do what you were supposed to do. You came, you competed, you beat everybody you had the beat, you got the Sandow and the title. What did you think about that?
Brandon Curry: (17:07)
Well, my history in bodybuilding has been a one of a lot of noise. There’s been noise always around, no matter what you accomplish, no matter what you don’t accomplish. So, I won, and you hear a little noise, but the fact of the matter is I won, and I’m written in history books. So it’s a blessing. I don’t take it for granted. There’s nothing anybody can say or do to take that away from me.
Bob Cicherillo: (17:30)
Well, Sean, in lieu of this… I felt bad for you, Brandon. I really did. And I felt so bad that I thought to myself, you know what we got to do? We got to bring somebody back just to make Brandon feel a little bit better about the win and competing, so we’ve got this guy. He’s new to the stage. Please welcome Phil Heath. So, Brandon, just so you can feel good this year about competing and you’re going to try for that title, but we got seven-time Mr. Olympia looking to equal history, get number eight, put himself there on that pedestal with Ronnie Coleman and the great Lee Haney in the record books. $400,000 on the line, Phil. Did you need any more motivation to come back?
Phil Heath: (18:23)
How are you guys doing? I miss the hell out of you guys. None of that was why I came back. Yeah. Essentially I got into this sport for a reason, kind of like a lot of others that are sitting up here, and that’s to have a dream, being able to accomplish that dream, and to continue to be on that path for personal excellence. And along that journey, I learned a lot. The best thing that happened to me was actually losing in 2018. That was the best thing that happened to me. And then it’s taking a step back, getting recovered, and then being able to really focus on the mastery of myself as a man, not just the bodybuilder. When I was able to watch the show last year, I was able to find that spark, and that was something that I thought, wow, that’s all I needed. And then I realized that winning seven in a row, there’s only so many people that could say that, right? I mean, we already know this.
Phil Heath: (19:36)
But then I realized that winning eight is just something that only two other men can say they’ve done. And I just realized that there was some unfinished business. I wanted to get back in the gym as soon as possible and to put myself in a position to be at my all time best. And that is why I’m here is because I truly felt that I needed that time, I needed those situations to happen, and to be a living vessel to let everyone know that you can get knocked down and get back up, and you can come back better, not just with your muscles, but with your mind, body, and spirit. And that is why I’m here. And I’m so freaking excited.
Phil Heath: (20:17)
I’ve kept everything under wraps, but I am “The Gift.” So you know what’s going to happen come tomorrow. I’ll be able to show you what’s going on, because everybody’s been wanting to know what’s going on, and that’s what I’m here to do is to unveil that gift and to put on a great show. Everybody up here belongs here. They’ve all had a tremendous amount of adversity, and I will applaud each and every one of you, men and women, because training during a freaking pandemic, we all have had our share of craziness. But we’re here for all the same purpose, and that’s to walk away as a champion. And I’m here to walk away as an iconic figure in this sport that I love.
Bob Cicherillo: (21:00)
Now, Phil, if I’m not mistaken, I try to keep up on my homework and all, but isn’t it your birthday tomorrow?
Phil Heath: (21:08)
Bob Cicherillo: (21:10)
So you’ll be on stage on your birthday looking for number eight, looking to take this guy out and everybody else that’s sitting here. Now in all fairness, because I do my homework, Sean, unlike yourself, and I put some stats together. There is not a gentlemen on this stage or in the show who’s ever gotten one point off of Phil Heath.
Phil Heath: (21:33)
Dexter did, but that was 2009.
Bob Cicherillo: (21:35)
Yeah, but we’re not counting that, though. Don’t worry about that. That’s so old we’re not even going to go there. But we’ll get to Dexter in a minute. But you get the idea.
Phil Heath: (21:45)
Bob Cicherillo: (21:45)
So your back. Title coming? You going to put yourself up there with Ronnie Coleman and then Lee Haney? You taking these guys on, Phil? You’re not one short for words, brother. What’s coming?
Phil Heath: (21:56)
Essentially, I’m just here to be at my all-time best. I don’t really have to explain it very much. I’ve allowed myself the opportunity to be at my best. I’ve done that work. I’ve got seven freaking Sandows in my god dang house, and I want eight. And I’ve done something that no one else has ever done in the sport. I have three different types of Sandows. I have the original, I have the 50th, and I have that. And I look to be a Sandow collector for a long time. So yes, I put in the work. I don’t really have to talk much about it. You guys know what I’m about. I’m about that life, and I’m about this life and getting it done. I don’t want to get too excited because I’ve got to save some of this shit for tomorrow night.
Sean Ray: (22:39)
Well, let’s give some perspective, Bob. It started back in 2005 when it was the USA Champion. I believe that’s when Jay Cutler kind of pointed him out to us that this guy was special. 2006? It’s been 15 years since 2005. There’s some debate out there. Did you lose the Mr. Olympia, or did Shawn Rhoden win The Olympian? How did you economize that in the past two years?
Phil Heath: (23:05)
It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t matter what I think about what happened at that time. Judges made their call. Did I like it? Hell, no. I would not be the competitor I am if I was okay with it. But I had to look at myself in the mirror because one thing I have learned is that when you go outside and you start pointing fingers at people, like he fucked me. Excuse my language, but I’m going to be real. Can I be real with you guys?
Sean Ray: (23:27)
Phil Heath: (23:28)
Okay. If I’m out there pointing fingers, he screwed me, he did this, there’s three more pointing back at me. What can I do to get better? What can I do to be more accountable for my own actions? And is it political when you lose? Because it definitely sure ain’t political when you freaking win. So don’t be using those excuses. Just get fucking better, and don’t get bitter. And that’s what I did.
Bob Cicherillo: (23:58)
Well said, Phil. I got to get to the champ here, folks, because this is truly a historic event. We’ve got not one, not two but three. Mr. Olympias that will be onstage for the first time in history competing against each other for the title. But this man won it all back in 2008. He said sometime last year, “Look, I think I’m done here. I’ve done enough. I’m going out good. I want to go out on top and on the main stage.” And I think that’s great, Dex. What more can you say? Dexter Jackson, everybody. Well, Dex, we’ve been doing this a long time, my brother, and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way. You’ve earned, I don’t know, just a few titles, 29 titles. So if you were to win this Olympia, that would be number 30. I mean, listen, that’s not a record any of us are going to see broken. But talk to me about that, Dex. Talk to me about if you were to win… Let’s just go on a hypothetical road here, right? If you win, you’re on top, Dexter J, two-time, does that change anything at that point, or are you going on top?
Dexter Jackson: (25:07)
Mic drop, baby. I’m done, no matter if I win or lose.
Bob Cicherillo: (25:11)
So if you were to win, if you that name comes out, and it’s Dexter Jackson, and then the confetti comes down, you’re out. Listen, you can’t write that any better. I mean, if you could go out… Listen, you’re going out anyways. I don’t care whether your 10th, sixth, first, whatever, you’ve done stuff that nobody else has done, my friend. You’ve created records. Like I said, you’ve got almost 30, 29 victories. Again, we’re not going to see that broken in our lifetime. This is your 20th Olympia, I believe, Dex?
Dexter Jackson: (25:40)
Bob Cicherillo: (25:40)
Dexter Jackson: (25:41)
Bob Cicherillo: (25:41)
21st Olympia. 21 Olympia’s, think about that, folks. Dexter has competed in three different decades, three different decades of Olympia’s. I mean, it’s mind blowing. Sean, you obviously we’re right there with Albert Beckles. I believe you guys had the record for a little while. Your record was what, 12?
Sean Ray: (26:03)
Bob Cicherillo: (26:04)
13. Dexter is at 21, just to give you a reference between obviously the great Sean Ray and then Albert and that whole crew. So Dex, where’s the emotions going to be, man? I mean, this is it.
Dexter Jackson: (26:19)
I’m trying to keep it together.
Bob Cicherillo: (26:21)
You can’t keep it together, bro. I know you too well, bro.
Dexter Jackson: (26:23)
Let’s just move on with the questions, brother.
Bob Cicherillo: (26:25)
No, no, no, no. Listen-
Dexter Jackson: (26:26)
I’m telling you, man.
Bob Cicherillo: (26:27)
Listen, this guy eats, lives, and breathes bodybuilding. That’s what Dexter is. That’s who he is. Now, he may be retiring from the stage, but he ain’t retiring from bodybuilder. I can tell you that.
Dexter Jackson: (26:37)
Bob Cicherillo: (26:38)
But how special is it? I mean, I know you’ve got your family here, Dex. Where’s the Jackson five? We have we got? Bro, you talk about a special moment, your family in attendance, your last Olympia on stage, your competitors that are also friends of yours. You guys all travel together, do appearances together, guest pose at each other’s shows, that type of thing. You can’t get a bigger moment than this, bro.
Speaker 2: (27:07)
We love you, man.
Bob Cicherillo: (27:14)
I’ve never seen such respect, Sean, from other athletes that are going against… Listen, they’re competing against him. They know that. These athletes have such a respect in the fans for Dexter Jackson for all your years, bro.
Dexter Jackson: (27:27)
You know why? Because I show respect. You show respect, you get respect. You don’t hear me talking about nobody and running my mouth about people. I go out, do my job. If judges say, “Well, Dex, you you need to do this, you need to do that,” I respect that. That’s why you don’t hear judges saying, “I can’t stand Dexter,” because I respect that opinion as well. And I’m like that with everybody. You know what I’m saying? So you show respect, and you get respect.
Bob Cicherillo: (27:56)
Now, everybody knows how long you’ve been around. You’re 50 now, Dex? Is that right?
Dexter Jackson: (27:59)
Bob Cicherillo: (28:00)
51, even better. How about this? This guy is 51 years old. He’s got competitors up here literally half his age. By the way, thanks for shaving last night. You had that old man beard going. I’m like, “There is no way he’s going to go on stage with…” Dex is like, “Hell, no, man. I’m shaving all this shit off.”
Dexter Jackson: (28:18)
I looked like Reggie Sanford, man, with that beard.
Bob Cicherillo: (28:20)
Yeah, you did. (singing) Is anybody old enough here to know Sanford and Son? Have we got any? Thank you. Hey, where’s my over 50 people? Good God, half other audience going, “Who?” Well, Dex, let’s get back to the show. I mean, like I say tomorrow, you’re going to be on stage, final Olympia, call-outs coming out, you’re walking out there. Is it war? Is it going on, man? You’re not going out meek. I know that.
Dexter Jackson: (28:47)
Come on man. This is my last competition.
Bob Cicherillo: (28:50)
What you bringing, big man? What kind of Dexter are we going to see?
Dexter Jackson: (28:54)
I actually really dieted this time.
Bob Cicherillo: (28:58)
I’m glad after all these years you finally decided, yeah, maybe I better do 20 minutes of cardio.
Bob Cicherillo: (29:03)
… and you finally decided, “Yeah, maybe I better do 20 minutes of cardio on Tuesday.”
Dexter Jackson: (29:05)
I actually really put in a lot of work, did some different things that I’ll share with you guys in the future because, as you get older, you got to learn how to make adjustments to get better. That’s what I’ve been able to do. And like I say, I won’t be able to teach all you guys this in the future. This is my 21st Olympia. I could’ve did 22nd too, but I missed one. I can probably do another five more if I wanted to, but there comes a time when you know in your heart when it’s time to let go. It’s time, and I want to go out on top. So being up on stage tomorrow and Saturday night with these guys, it’s going to be a battle because I’m going to be at my very best. Okay? I’m not saying I’m going to be way back when I was like 2005, but you can take at least 10 years off. I’m telling you, I’m ready. I’m ready to get it on. You guys are going to tomorrow night.
Bob Cicherillo: (30:07)
[inaudible 00:01:09]. Quick question. All right. So everybody follows all the social media stuff, they see all the wars and the war of words, you and Shawn. So who’s bigger, you or Shawn? Let me taller. Taller. You know what I mean? There’s a lot of speculation out there, Dex.
Dexter Jackson: (30:25)
First of all, let’s clear the record between me and Shawn. I love Shawn like a brother. Okay? We’ve always gone back and forth doing this for many years. I just want to let you know, brother, that coming up through the through the ranks when I was a young kid, you were the one that I admired. You know what I’m saying? Yeah. And I know we have our wars when we go back and forth. He’s the only person I never beat.
Sean Ray: (30:56)
I remind you all the time.
Dexter Jackson: (30:58)
He makes me so mad because he throws that in my face every time. He retired before I could kick his behind.
Sean Ray: (31:03)
You’re part of the reason I retired.
Dexter Jackson: (31:07)
But man, I just want to tell you, there’s no animosity between me and you. I love you like a brother. We’re still going to be boys, no matter what.
Sean Ray: (31:15)
Well, you beat me to the punch because that leads me to this: as far back as 1999, 1998, Ronnie Coleman won his first Olympia. Your first Olympia was in ’99. That tells you how long he’s been on that stage. Ronnie Coleman’s been retired for many years.
Bob Cicherillo: (31:31)
You still had hair back then.
Sean Ray: (31:33)
Yeah, back in the day. I’ve got an issue, Bob. I’m shining it now.
Sean Ray: (31:35)
We’ve got an issue, Bob signing it now. But what you’ve accomplished on this stage, only every other bodybuilder can dream of. And that’s just a fact. Like you said, Bob, we’ll probably never witness with Dexter’s laid down and put before us. Naturally, it’s hard to look up to somebody that’s coming up from behind you. My idols were Lee Haney, Lee Labrada, the guys that were before me. But now, in retirement, sitting by the pool with a cocktail up, looking at what you’ve done is ridiculous. I don’t think it’ll ever be accomplished again. Phil Heath’s on the brink of history. This guy right here is on the brink of history if he finally beats Phil Heath. This guy, who’s the number one bodybuilder winning the Arnold Classic this year and a couple of years ago, he’s the guy to watch out for too. But what you’ve done will never be duplicated. And with that, I give you all my respect.
Dexter Jackson: (32:16)
Sean Ray: (32:17)
Thank you for the memories.
Bob Cicherillo: (32:21)
Love here at the Olympia.
Sean Ray: (32:23)
It’s unfortunate I couldn’t have the rematch, but I’ve been out for too long.
Bob Cicherillo: (32:25)
I can feel the love oozing from your suit. It’s excellent. Dex, congratulations. I can’t wait to see it myself and be a part of history. Give it up for Dexter Jackson, folks.
Sean Ray: (32:35)
That’s going to bring us to William Bonac. From the Netherlands, William Bonac, the new giant killer. William’s been quietly knocking people out and taking names. Our last year’s first runner up, our Arnold Classic champion in Australia and in Ohio, the Golden State Pro. You won several. I think you won over in Finland as well.
William Bonac: (33:00)
Sean Ray: (33:00)
You’ve made the rounds very quiet-like, and all the fuss is about these three gentlemen. What do you make of that? Is that motivational for you to come and upset the applecart this year?
William Bonac: (33:10)
Definitely. I let them do the fighting so I can sneak away with the trophy.
Sean Ray: (33:18)
That’s what little guys do, we kind of sneak in there. What do you got to do to hold these three cats off and get the judges to pay attention to what you’re bringing? Because you were right there, chomping at the heels a year ago.
William Bonac: (33:27)
What do I got to do? I think I’ve done enough. God’s will, I can show that tomorrow and Saturday. And I know these guys. They are champions, all of them. Phil, Brandon, Dexter of course. Even [inaudible 00:04:48]’s a threat. It’s his second year. So I know what I’m up against to, and I felt it last year as well. When I heard this year, “He’s coming back, [inaudible 00:34:01] is coming back,” so I got to step up my game, and that’s what I did this year.
Sean Ray: (34:04)
Back in the day, it was all about weight. Guys got really big. How much do you weigh, so people know what you’re up against with these guys?
William Bonac: (34:12)
Actually, last year, the last year I had a bit of an accident, let me say it like that, five weeks out. So last year, I was just 100 kg.
Sean Ray: (34:21)
Bob, you want to do the math? 100 kg, how many pounds is that?
William Bonac: (34:23)
I think it’s two and a half, [crosstalk 00:34:26] 220? Yeah.
Sean Ray: (34:29)
And this year?
William Bonac: (34:30)
This year, yesterday I weigh myself in the morning and I was 106 kg.
Sean Ray: (34:37)
235 for you, Bob. 235. He’s five foot nothing, 235.
Bob Cicherillo: (34:42)
You know better than anybody, bro.
Sean Ray: (34:46)
That’s a lot.
Bob Cicherillo: (34:46)
Listen, the strength of William is in his consistency. Much like yourself, I always give you a bunch of crap, bro, but I always got to give you props. Consistency’s the key. Nobody’s been more consistent than William Bonac. He follows in Dexter’s shoes. I got you, bro. Don’t worry. I can see your little look. I got the side eye, don’t worry. Dexter, his whole career has been consistency. You never see this guy ever show up out of shape and out of contention. William, exactly the same. Every Olympia we see him, every Arnold, he’s in shape. He always comes to play, he’s always in contention. I see the judges all nodding in agreement in the front. He’s always a contender, man, and that’s your strength, bro. That’s why you’re the conqueror.
William Bonac: (35:23)
Thank you, brother.
Sean Ray: (35:24)
Conqueror, the X factor.
Bob Cicherillo: (35:26)
Sean Ray: (35:28)
This is also an X factor. By way of Iran, the people’s champion, Hadi Choopan. You’re like the new shadow. He comes and he goes, he shows up.
Bob Cicherillo: (35:39)
I got to give a shout out. Before we get into Hadi, Hadi, congratulations for getting here. As most people know, Hadi’s from Iran. Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn’t have the best relations with Iran at this time and neither we did last year, so it’s a minor miracle that he was actually able to get here to compete. But Hany Rambod, I don’t know if Hany’s out here, he was a major, major contributor. The behind-the-scenes work Hany does, without Hany, Hadi’s not here this year. Okay? So big shout out to Hany Rambod out there. But Hadi …
Sean Ray: (36:11)
Absolutely. Both years, he came in at the very, very last minutes. Did you have a plan B if he wasn’t going to be able to make it coming this year? What would plan B be?
Hadi Choopan: (36:20)
Hadi Choopan: (36:20)
[Persian 00: 08:35].
Sean Ray: (36:36)
Bob, you want to translate that?
Bob Cicherillo: (36:38)
Yeah, I was going to. I got this. He says he’s ready.
Sean Ray: (37:46)
Bob Cicherillo: (37:48)
Hey, bro, help me out here.
I got you, Bob. No worries. First and foremost, Hadi said that he wants to truly thank all the fans for being here. It’s such an honor for him to be here. He wants to thank, of course, Hany Rambod, the [inaudible 00:38:05] brothers for doing all the behind-the-work scenes to bring him here, the IFBB, the NPC, the Mr. Olympia organization. He says that it’s absolute honor to be here sitting next to every gentleman here, as you heard him name, from William, Rami, Brandon, Phil. Who am I missing? Dexter. Every single one of them.
He says that this year, it’s going to be one heck of a competition that he’s happy to be here for. And he said that it was a really difficult 60 days to get himself here. It was a lot of trials and tribulations that we didn’t know until the very last minute how to move forward. When asked the question, “What was the plan B if you weren’t going to be able to compete in the Mr. Olympia competition,” he said, “There was no plan B. I gave it all to God. I was hoping that I would be here, and here I am.”
Sean Ray: (38:46)
Wow. Can you imagine training for this show, training for this competition, the amount of sleepless nights and the amount of sacrifice you make to get here, not even knowing if you’re going to come. So that’s huge for him.
Bob Cicherillo: (38:57)
Listen, the stress these athletes are under, especially our friends from overseas, especially this year with all the nuttiness going on and the COVID restrictions, flight restrictions, country restrictions, you just got to tip your hat that he’s got… Listen, it’s hard enough getting ready for a show. Most of the people that are here have been competitors, we’ve all done it. That’s hard. Getting ready for a pro show is a whole nother level. Getting ready for the Olympia is a whole nother, and then pile on top the fact that you might do all this prep, get all that way, and then be denied, it’s crazy to even think about that you could… We competed for years, Shawn. I can’t even imagine going through the entire prep of an Olympia.
Bob Cicherillo: (39:40)
Listen, Hadi could have got to the border. He did everything right. He had letters from the president and everybody you could think of. Hany made sure he had every paperwork he could possibly have, COVID tests. He could still have gotten here and they just denied him. That’s just the way it works. So thank God that all came through because this guy, he took third place last year in his debut. People’s champ. Don’t sleep on Hadi Choopan.
Sean Ray: (40:05)
Yeah. Representing the entire country of Iran and the people’s champ. It’s incredible. Welcome back.
Bob Cicherillo: (40:10)
Well, listen, we’re going to get into weights and measures today. All right. William, you were what, 235, I think, in pounds? Give or take?
William Bonac: (40:19)
Yeah, something like that.
Bob Cicherillo: (40:20)
Okay. We’ll go with 235. That looks good, without the dreads. Okay?
William Bonac: (40:24)
Without the dreads, [inaudible 00:40:25].
Bob Cicherillo: (40:26)
This guy’s 100 pounds heavier at 335 pound. Give it up for Big Ramy!
Mamdouh Elssbiay, Big Ramy: (40:32)
Bob Cicherillo: (40:35)
Ramy, you’re all business, man. I saw some leaked photos the other day. Luckily, in my position, I get to see some photos that kind of crept out there somehow, and you’re in shape, my friend. I know you’ve got a team you’ve been working with this year. You’re bringing it.
Mamdouh Elssbiay, Big Ramy: (40:52)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. First, I need to thank you for Mr. Germanian and Mr. [inaudible 00:12:01], Mr. [inaudible 00:12:04], Steve Weinberger to give me this opportunity to be here in this stage again. I know it’s hard. Everyone here know what has happened, and they gave to me that invitation to be here. I’m really thankful for that because I working very hard to be here this here. The situation is very hard for me this year. Arnold Classic, I tried to go Australia, I tried to go Arnold, Europe Pro. To many thing happen, but I’m here. Thank you, God. Thank you for everyone helped me to be here on this stage.
Bob Cicherillo: (41:48)
Ramy, I got to ask, okay? You got a full lineup here.
Mamdouh Elssbiay, Big Ramy: (41:52)
Bob Cicherillo: (41:52)
You got the champ coming back, Mr. [inaudible 00:12:55]. You got another Mr. Olympia on the other side of you, you got another Mr. Olympia right here who’s the current champion. You’ve got William and Hadi. There’s a lot of competitors, and a few we haven’t even mentioned that are all competing. Your name has been around for the last five years, six years as a contender. If Big Ramy shows up in shape, look out. He’s got the proportions, he’s a big man, he’s got the small waist. What is going to be different this year? Can you take the title?
Mamdouh Elssbiay, Big Ramy: (42:22)
Okay. I’m always asking the judge after the show what I need to do. Sometime, [inaudible 00:42:29] I’m not doing what they said, but I try this year to bring everything. In point, I working very hard, very hard with Mr. Chad and Dennis James-
Bob Cicherillo: (42:42)
Talking about Chad Nicholls and Dennis James?
Mamdouh Elssbiay, Big Ramy: (42:45)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I try to bring, I working very, very hard for that. It’s not for me now. Maybe when I start bodybuilding, I tried to be number one because Ramy, he needs to be number one [inaudible 00:14: 01]. It’s not about that right now. It’s about my fans. I have fans in my back from all the world, especially from the Middle East. He needs to see one from them to bring the title there, and I try to do that.
Bob Cicherillo: (43:15)
Well, we got judges. Tyler, what’s he got to do to win this weekend? He knows. Okay. Good answer. You’ve learned from the best, clearly. Who’s that contender down there, Shawn. I see somebody that doesn’t look like the regular part of the crew.
Sean Ray: (43:34)
This guy right here?
Bob Cicherillo: (43:35)
No, not him. Down more.
Sean Ray: (43:37)
This girl over here?
Bob Cicherillo: (43:38)
Sean Ray: (43:39)
Well, she’s only got a bunch of Sandows as well.
Bob Cicherillo: (43:42)
Clearly, you’re not in the Mr. Olympia. You’re in the wrong table. You don’t want-
Cydney Gillon: (43:48)
It’s nice to be down here with all the big boys.
Bob Cicherillo: (43:49)
Listen, just stay away from him. He’ll eat you alive, trust me.
Cydney Gillon: (43:52)
I can probably eat them under the table. I promise you that.
Bob Cicherillo: (43:54)
All right, you might. I don’t know.
Cydney Gillon: (43:54)
Sean Ray: (43:55)
[inaudible 00:43:55] your name, Bob. Just a little bit. This is a little bit right here. Cyd Gillon, everybody.
Bob Cicherillo: (44:02)
Three-time Olympia champion.
Sean Ray: (44:04)
And how do we make that four? What did you have to do in order to get the fourth one? What did you work on in this off season coming back to the Olympia?
Cydney Gillon: (44:15)
I think this is the first time… I’ve been competing for 15 years now and I’ve done at least two shows every single year for 15 years, so this is the first time that I’ve actually had a break away from the stage. That wasn’t intentional, no. But thanks to COVID, that actually gave me more time to rest, get my food extremely high, train, and then really just hone in on the things that we wanted to create with my coach, and really just create something, something new, something different, and bring something different to the stage, continue to improve and show why, show my love for the sport, show my appreciation for the sport, and continue to inspire people and show, just because you get a Sandow, just because you have a championship, that doesn’t mean anything. You have to continue to work, continue to keep your foot on your own neck. Don’t worry about anybody else and keep pushing to make sure you’re at your best at all times, because the second you take your foot off your neck, it’s over.
Sean Ray: (45:00)
Does that mean you got more conditioned, you got a little bit bigger, you got a little softer? What do you do from one year to the next?
Cydney Gillon: (45:07)
For me, I don’t really talk about the changes. I just show up in silence, and I pop up and just show what I’ve been working on. So I think everybody will see what I’ve been working on for this past almost year and a half come tomorrow.
Sean Ray: (45:21)
Well, I’m going to ask this question on your behalf because there’s going to be a big disparity in this. A lot of people want to know how small is your waist. Do you know how small your waist is.
Cydney Gillon: (45:28)
I will say it is smaller than last year, smaller than it’s ever been before.
Sean Ray: (45:31)
A lot smaller than Bob’s?
Bob Cicherillo: (45:35)
I would hope!
Sean Ray: (45:36)
I would say it’s like 18 inches.
Bob Cicherillo: (45:39)
Listen, if her waist is my waist on stage tomorrow, we got a new champion up here.
Cydney Gillon: (45:41)
I’m trying to tell you, exactly.
Bob Cicherillo: (45:44)
Cydney Gillon: (45:44)
That’d be really unfortunate.
Sean Ray: (45:46)
We got a statistician here [crosstalk 00:45:48] for 41 years. So one of the statistics is, if you happen to win, you will tie Nicole Wilkins-Lee, who retired.
Bob Cicherillo: (45:57)
Nicole Wilkins. Yep, yep.
Sean Ray: (45:58)
She just had a baby, right?
Cydney Gillon: (46:00)
Sean Ray: (46:00)
Yeah. [inaudible 00:46:01] has one it three consecutive years, so if you win, you actually will be-
Cydney Gillon: (46:05)
The first in history to win four.
Sean Ray: (46:06)
So there’s history being made on different fronts here, Bob.
Bob Cicherillo: (46:09)
Well, listen, I said at the top of the show, we’ve got one of the best Olympia’s of all time because we’ve got multiple Olympia winners competing against each other, including this young lady, who’s Miss Latorya Watts.
Latorya Watts: (46:23)
Yeah! What’s up?
Bob Cicherillo: (46:26)
Latorya Watts: (46:27)
How are you?
Bob Cicherillo: (46:27)
I’m good. You ready?
Latorya Watts: (46:28)
I’m so ready.
Bob Cicherillo: (46:29)
You look ready.
Latorya Watts: (46:30)
Bob Cicherillo: (46:31)
You look ready. Cydney’s down there… I know you can’t hear a lot. She’s talking mad smack about you.
Latorya Watts: (46:37)
Oh, my god! Cydney, what’s up?
Bob Cicherillo: (46:38)
Oh, yeah, yeah.
Sean Ray: (46:39)
She said her waist is smaller.
Bob Cicherillo: (46:40)
It’s Shawn, he inspires this in these people.
Sean Ray: (46:43)
She said she had a smaller waist.
Bob Cicherillo: (46:45)
Listen, Olympians facing against each other. You’re back for the title.
Latorya Watts: (46:48)
Bob Cicherillo: (46:49)
You’re not messing around. Now, I know you’ve had… well, tell you what, you tell the people. You’ve gone back and forth the last few years. I know you’ve had some issues and some obstacles that you needed to overcome. So people went, “Where’s Latorya?”
Latorya Watts: (47:05)
Bob Cicherillo: (47:05)
Where’s Latorya been?
Latorya Watts: (47:06)
Well, 2018, as I had mentioned before, I had to step away for surgery that I needed to have. That just gave my body rest, gave myself time to improve. I came back in 2019 and I felt like I brought the best package that I could bring. But there’s always work to do, and I wanted to improve that. So having Cydney at the top and having her have her three titles, she’s continuing to push me, push me to bring the best physique that I could bring. So that’s what I’m hoping to bring this weekend.
Bob Cicherillo: (47:36)
It’s got to give you some great incentive. You got a three-time Olympian, and again, you’re no stranger to the Olympia stage yourself with a few titles. It’s like a rubber match here, huh?
Latorya Watts: (47:44)
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Looking forward to it.
Bob Cicherillo: (47:46)
Well, we’re looking forward to it. Give it up for our figure Olympians.
Sean Ray: (47:52)
Bob, we’re going to move into the bikini. Miss Janet.
Janet Layug: (47:56)
Sean Ray: (47:57)
How you doing?
Janet Layug: (47:57)
I’m doing well, thank you.
Sean Ray: (48:00)
I asked this from Bob. I said, “What does a bikini girl do to get ready for a competition that’s different than a bodybuilder?” Are you doing pretty much the same thing that Bob and I used to do back in the day? Were you doing some CrossFit-
Janet Layug: (48:11)
Well certainly. We put in hard work.
Sean Ray: (48:12)
Hard work, Bob. That’s something that you’re not used to.
Bob Cicherillo: (48:14)
Ah, hard work? Let me …
Sean Ray: (48:16)
Tell us about your contest preparation getting ready for this.
Janet Layug: (48:19)
Well, this year definitely is unique. I think we all can contest to how hard it’s been, especially with the changes in the show and timing. We’re all facing all kinds of adversity, challenges, and been affected in some kind of way. But I’ve been really looking at the positive in everything and taking it on with the changes, the energies, just putting it in towards a positive movement for me. And I’m feeling that. I’m here in Orlando, pretty much my backyard. So I’m feeling great.
Sean Ray: (49:00)
A lot more mental preparation instead of physical, or is the physical on autopilot?
Janet Layug: (49:05)
Well, we may have been quiet, but me and my coach, Kim Oddo, we’ve been putting in the work. Obviously, with coming in as second place, first runner up last year, we’ve got to make the improvements, and I think we’re going to show that this weekend.
Sean Ray: (49:22)
All right, Bob?
Bob Cicherillo: (49:23)
Listen, clearly you picked that side because bikini was on that side. You don’t fool me any, all right? Ladies, I got two words for you: pose-down! We got to institute the bikini pose-down. Sandy, help me out here. Not a chance? Okay, thanks Sandy. Appreciate you coming. Bikini pose-down. Come on! I think it’s something we need to work on. But listen, when it comes to posing, and you’re right, Shawn, these girls, they don’t get enough due because general people out there, regular folks, they think, “It’s bikini. They don’t really train that hard.” I’ve seen these girls in the gym, I’ve seen them train. They train hard. This ain’t bikini from years ago when we first started and we were making our way and trying to figure out where the class was going, where the division was going. You girls train hard. You’re in the gym. You’ve got full-out pumping iron going on. This isn’t the bands and the balls and that type of stuff.
Elisa Pecini: (50:17)
First, I want to say high for everyone. Thank you for come here, everyone who is here and everyone watching at home, because this year was hard. Because the show is happen, and yes, we working hard. I don’t like training with bands. I train with [inaudible 00:50:43] real.
Bob Cicherillo: (50:45)
Well, first of all, congratulations on your English, which is miles ahead of last year. I know you worked very hard on it this past year. We talked about that. I had to actually translate last year and got a little bit of flack because I speak bikini.
Sean Ray: (50:58)
Bob Cicherillo: (50:59)
I’m very fluent. But congratulations. Like I say, you’ve done well. Defending the title?
Elisa Pecini: (51:05)
Yes. I work hard this year. I did my best every single day. I’m doing my prep. And this year was different because it’s the first time in my life I do only two shows in this year. Because I always competing a lot, a lot of times on stage. But I think this is good because I can take a break and improve my body, improve my mind. I’m happy to be here and I did my best every single day. I know this show is hard because it’s the best [inaudible 00:51:36] in the world here. But I’m doing my best.
Bob Cicherillo: (51:38)
Isa, what do you think about the bikini pose-down? Is that something we should put in, the pose-down?
Elisa Pecini: (51:42)
I like it.
Bob Cicherillo: (51:43)
Talk to Sandy, she’s in charge. I’m out of this one. Going to get myself in trouble. All right, Shawn, I’m going to work my way down here. We’re going save the guys for a second. We got to get to the ladies, [Raymont 00:51:56]. Sorry, man. But Shanique Grant, women’s physique Olympia champion.
Bob Cicherillo: (52:03)
Now, a lot of the emphasis this year, Shanique, has been on overcoming adversity. You are no stranger to overcoming adversity. I know you’ve had a whole bunch of… There’s a couple of years there just seemed like everything that could go wrong did for you. But you seemed to turn that around in record time. You seemed to turn around in time to get yourself a world title, Olympia title at that. And now you’re back defending that title again. You’ve got some great competition with Sarah. I’ll get to her in a second. But give me your story this year. Everybody’s got a story.
Shanique Grant: (52:32)
With the pandemic happening, the gyms closed down in Vegas. Of course, we don’t know what to do. I started using bands, weights at home. Not effective. Luckily, I was able to find in gym and just to get through it. Of course, mass, training in mass, that was hard. But you have to overcome things and push through it, be stronger than what we’re dealing with right now. I got to it. It was a very, very hard prep. It was about 14 weeks long, but we’re here, we’re one day out. I’m so ready for tomorrow.
Bob Cicherillo: (53:05)
Now, it’s got to seem like a walk in the park for you, considering what you had to deal with the last few years. So this couldn’t have struck you too hard. I saw the pictures online. You’re a cartoon. There’s just no way around it. Your proportions are just the tiny waist, the shoulders, the legs. Obviously, you’re going to be very hard to beat, but man, you’ve got some competition.
Shanique Grant: (53:27)
I keep my eyes on the prize, blinders on. I love having a push. I love the competition. That’s the whole point of it. Battle, battle, get first place. That’s always the goal, but I love the competition.
Bob Cicherillo: (53:42)
Well, you got it. Because you got Natalia, who’s not here today, but of course she’s here, ready to compete this week. And you’ve got this young lady who doesn’t get her fair share, I don’t believe, because I think she’s severely underrated. But she’s going to push you all the way for that title. Sarah Villegas.
Sarah Villegas: (53:56)
How you doing?
Bob Cicherillo: (53:56)
Sarah Villegas: (53:56)
Bob Cicherillo: (53:57)
I’ve been working on that.
Sarah Villegas: (54:00)
A lot better than last year.
Bob Cicherillo: (54:01)
I’ve actually pronounced it with the Ls because I’m from New York originally. So she’s like, “Yay. Like, yay. With a Y.” And I’m like, “Oh, okay. I got you, we got you.” Villegas.
Sarah Villegas: (54:09)
Bob Cicherillo: (54:11)
Is that better?
Sarah Villegas: (54:12)
Bob Cicherillo: (54:13)
Shanique’s tough to beat. She’s very, very put together. She’s the champ. But anybody who’s seen your pictures and video online know that, man, you’ve got it. You’ve got every tool that there is to push her all the way and to try to take that title. I know you’ve been working hard this year.
Sarah Villegas: (54:27)
I would have to agree with you. I have been working incredibly hard the last 14 months. Before I even go further, I’m just going to take a second, like everybody else, and just give a big, thank you to the folks at the Olympia for making this happen. I think everybody up here probably had their doubts as to whether or not this weekend would even happen, so we definitely recognize all the efforts that you guys have put in to make this happen. We will not forget it.
Sarah Villegas: (54:58)
But yes, like you said, I’ve had a little bit of extra time since last Olympia. Been putting in crazy amounts of work and I know what I’m bringing to stage. I’m very, very, very confident in the package that I’m bringing, and like I said, I would have to agree with you. I do think I have all of the elements that it takes to display a complete physique to win that title.
Bob Cicherillo: (55:22)
Well, bodybuilders, even though we tend to work on our own physique, there’s always somebody to target. Listen, the current champ has great shoulders. Well, of course that’s something you want to work on. Is there anything that you target? You see Shanique. You see the same things we do. We see the pictures, you see the video, you see the… Do you look at that and go, “Okay, I need to build this up a little bit to be competitive with her,” or is it purely just work on your own physique and that’s just the way it goes?
Sarah Villegas: (55:50)
I would say a little bit of both. Always you’re pushed by your competition, but last year, when I turned around from the back, it was obvious that I was clearly dominant, clearly dominant in the lower body. So you build on your strengths to make them even stronger because you want to flaunt your strong points. And then yes, of course, narrow the gap in the areas where somebody else might have a little bit more of an advantage. Because look, women’s physique, we’re judged by nine poses. We have four quarter turns and five other mandatories, so it’s not just the front or the back. It’s front, back, side, left, right. It’s all-around. So I’ve been perfecting all nine of those poses, working from every angle, the whole body, and like I said, just making my strong points even stronger.
Bob Cicherillo: (56:34)
Well, I believe you’ll that first call [inaudible 00:00:56:38]. If you’ve ever seen her conditioning, folks, it’s crazy. Off the chain. Right up there with Natalia and Shanique. You guys are all very similar in what you bring, but you all bring a 100%. Good luck, Sarah.
Sarah Villegas: (56:48)
Sean Ray: (56:48)
You got one more bikini girl down there, Bob.
Bob Cicherillo: (56:49)
One more bikini. We’ll get to her, don’t worry.
Angelica Teixeira: (56:54)
Don’t forget about me.
Bob Cicherillo: (56:55)
We talk about Olympia champs, and we’ve talked about every division having multiples of them. Angelica Teixeira, Olympia champion.
Angelica Teixeira: (57:03)
Hi, everyone. Hi. Thank you so much, everyone, for coming by today and everyone watching at home. Thank you so much. And I want to thank the Olympia organization and the IFBB pro league for making this happen to us. We are so grateful. Thank you so much.
Bob Cicherillo: (57:20)
Well, what’s it like coming? Now, you’ve been on both sides of the coin. Okay? You’ve been there as a contender, you’ve been there as a defending champion. You’re back to contender again. Is there any difference in your mindset of preparation? Is there a difference when you’re the champ versus chasing the title now?
Angelica Teixeira: (57:38)
Yes, yes. When I was the champion, was like, “Okay, I need to work hard. I need to keep this.” But I was always like, “Okay, they like my shape, they like what I bring, so I’m not going to work to bring many change.” So was always a super hard prep, but I knew what to do, and I always wanted to keep the same style. But once I lost my title, I was like, “Okay-
Angelica Teixeira: (58:03)
… in style. But once I lost my title, I was like, “Okay, this is the best opportunity.” Just like Phil said, I feel the same way. When he said he got my awards, it was the best thing that ever happened to me was losing my title because it gave me the opportunity to grow, to really look at this sport and see why I love it so much. This sport is my life. I love the bikini division. I love all the years that I was able to be the face of the bikini division, represent the sport and when I lost, there was like, “No, I need it back.” So, I was ready to fight for it. After, of course when I lost, I was devastated for a month and everything comes to your mind and you don’t know what to do. After a month, I was like, “No, I’ll get better. I’ll welcome the feedback. I would just improve myself,” and I just grew. I grew like as a person and it’s just like it gave me the opportunity to improve.
Bob Cicherillo: (59:05)
You learned a valuable lesson and now because we do appearances all year and we see each other a lot, so we got a chance to talk about this. The lesson you learned from what I could gather was that you don’t actually have to be, you don’t have to have the title to be a champion.
Angelica Teixeira: (59:19)
Bob Cicherillo: (59:22)
And something you learned as you were going on it, because you thought the earth was ending when you lost. You were done, you were finished, nobody’s going to care about you no more. You’re yesterday’s news. And what you found really quick was, the fans love you.
Angelica Teixeira: (59:33)
Oh my God.
Bob Cicherillo: (59:34)
The fans, they listen.
Angelica Teixeira: (59:35)
Thank you so much.
Bob Cicherillo: (59:36)
They didn’t care whether you won, you lost. It was you, it was Angelica. You’re still the champ there whether you had the trophy or not. And what a great lesson, but you took it, it raised your spirits, you embraced it and you stand here today now coming back for that title.
Angelica Teixeira: (59:50)
Yes. No, what do you say? Like even more in the last few weeks, the respect, the love, the support that everyone’s showing, I was like everything was worth it and I see that they still see me because my goal competing was always to be someone that people look up to. And after you know this last month, I see the support, I see how all the bikini girls not only [inaudible 01:00:22], so the pro level. They look up to me and they supporting me, they cheering me on and even girls that competing here this weekend, they like, “You know, I really wanted to get it. You are our queen.” I’m like to hear from them there, you’re our Queen. It’s like, “Oh my God,” you know, I’m humbled. I don’t like to say that, but it’s something that I always wanted, have people looking up to me and when they stop, the new generation.
Angelica Teixeira: (01:00:54)
They’ll have someone to like, “Okay, I want to be someone like this.” So this goal I have achieved and I hope to be able to come on stage and show my best this Saturday, I’m super excited. I work out super hard for 19 weeks. The first time I have a break for this long, but I had many setbacks. I had so many challenges. Like everyone else, it wasn’t easy for everyone because of the pandemic, but I lost my father-in-law. They was like a father for me and we were battling, battling cancer all this year. And in the middle of the prep I lost him and the most set backs. Before I started my prep that I had to stay like no training. Like can never did this before, but I had to stay like just rest for over a month and you know. So when they start this prep I was like, “Okay, I need to start before, work harder than ever.” So I’m super excited to come and stay Saturday and show my love for this sport and show you guys why I love this so much.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:02:02)
Thank you Angelica. That’s 19 weeks of prep and you just started cardio last Wednesday. What’s up with that?
I’m the Blade.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:02:23)
You are your truly the Blade. Hey listen, we’re going to get to our other athletes, but he’s not kidding. It was years before you ever did cardio. You were still eating cheeseburgers and stuff. Cutting them out maybe about two weeks before. “I probably better get ready, cut the salt out.”
Yeah, I never cut the salt though. I never used to carry meals with me because I used to eat my meals fresh, cook it, then eat it. Every meal I did it that way. So when I had to travel, I’m like, “Man, I’m not eating food cold. I’m not packing meals.” So I just go through the airport. “Oh, McDonald’s.” Get McDonald’s or get Burger King and it’s only two days. I can make that up and do 20 minutes twice a day and get on back home and get shredded again, so you know.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:03:08)
You are truly unique. First of all, I’ve never actually seen you finish a meal, that’s number one. Everyone thinks these bodybuilders [inaudible 01:03:14]. Listen, I’ve been with you a 100 places. Even as regular prep, he wouldn’t finish at all. Half of it would be left, he’d be like, “Eh, I’m good man.”
Yeah, I hate to eat, man. I really hate to eat.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:03:20)
You’re like the anti-[Rami 00:01:03:28]. He loves the list. Listen, he’ll eat you for lunch.
When I retire, I can’t wait. I mean I seriously can’t wait to retire so I could eat just like twice a day. All this six, seven meals a day man. Oh God, that’s what I dread the most to be honest with you, eating a lot of food.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:03:45)
It’s work. It really is for those who have-
It’s a job.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:03:47)
It is. It’s a full-time job. And for somebody who doesn’t like to eat, you’re in the wrong sport, man. I’m glad it worked out for you and all, but.
People see me in the airport and I’m like, eat again and…
Bob Cicherillo: (01:04:02)
Like swallowing vitamins and stuff.
I got to have water to get it down or I’ll chew on it for an hour.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:04:08)
That’s why I use the blade, right? Andre Ferguson, the champ. Andre, you’ve been waiting patiently, I see you’ve grown a beard while before we actually you were clean shaven when we started here. Dexter came in, he had the full beard, had the hair, the whole thing. He says, “Nah.” We keeping that on stage, bro? What are we doing?
Andre Ferguson: (01:04:28)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:04:29)
Nah, hell no. Hell no, you got to be pretty.
Andre Ferguson: (01:04:31)
Yeah, got to look the part.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:04:34)
You’ve got to look the part. Listen, you are known for putting a little spice out there let’s just say into the competition arena. So what message do you have for your competitors this year Andre?
Andre Ferguson: (01:04:45)
No message man, I think it’s my time. I’m bringing my best, shooting for a win.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:04:51)
It’s been a good year for you. I mean you had a real good year in terms of competition. You beat a lot of the main players and all that. You still came out on top. You got to be a favorite here.
Andre Ferguson: (01:05:01)
And then you tried to tell me at Tampa I really didn’t need that one. We need them all Bob, we need them all.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:05:08)
Well that wasn’t a really the context Andre, but the idea was that you, listen. You’re winning everything and that’s great and yeah of course, every win’s a win, but this is the Olympia, bro. Listen, all the Arnolds, all the titles, all the shows, they’re all great. They’ve all got their spot, but this is the Olympia.
Andre Ferguson: (01:05:26)
This is the one. It’s been elusive. It’s been elusive. I’ve been close, but.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:05:30)
What do you got to do?
Andre Ferguson: (01:05:32)
Oh, I just got to be a 100. I’m a 100% man, I’m golden.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:05:35)
How do you beat it Raymont Edmonds?
Andre Ferguson: (01:05:37)
He’s a tough competitor man. But we go, we flip flop this all day.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:05:42)
Andre Ferguson: (01:05:42)
So I got to be a 100. I say we’ll see how it falls out after that.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:05:46)
Now, much like I was asking Sarah in regards to Shenique you target, are you targeting this guy? I mean like [crosstalk 01:05:53] target.
Andre Ferguson: (01:05:53)
Oh, no. We-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:05:54)
What do you do?
Andre Ferguson: (01:05:55)
We actually have the same coach, but-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:05:58)
Andre Ferguson: (01:05:58)
… it’s two completely different physiques. I can’t chase that, he can’t chase this. He has to bring the best Ray. I got to bring the best Andre. Me trying to chase his or him trying to chase mine either way out of league.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:06:10)
There’s there’s no defense in men’s physique.
Andre Ferguson: (01:06:11)
Oh no, it’s all gas. Just all gas.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:06:15)
Now looking forward to it. Listen, we’ve got a good show down here folks. And for those who are unfamiliar, I mean you’ve been a perennial contender for years now, but you are the champ, [Sean 00:01:06:25]?
Sean Ray: (01:06:24)
Yes, Big Ray, Ray Edmonds.
Ray Edmonds: (01:06:25)
What’s up y’all?
Sean Ray: (01:06:26)
The men’s physique champion.
Ray Edmonds: (01:06:29)
How ya doing? How ya doing?
Sean Ray: (01:06:30)
How does it feel to be champion?
Ray Edmonds: (01:06:31)
Ah, it feels amazing man, you know.
Sean Ray: (01:06:33)
It seems like a common thread when the guys are getting second, it’s the best thing that happened. They can go back and reevaluate. You won.
Ray Edmonds: (01:06:39)
Sean Ray: (01:06:40)
What’d you go back and do?
Ray Edmonds: (01:06:42)
Well, I think I’ve been just like everyone else, facing COVID and everything. So what I did, it was just taking on, stepping up more, with my family, my mother. We lost my stepfather over the summer, so that was pretty rough. So I think just winning the title and being a champion, they put like the champion mentality on me all around the books.
Sean Ray: (01:07:06)
I mean this year is strange for everybody involved because typically you’d probably be traveling around the world-
Ray Edmonds: (01:07:10)
Oh yeah, heck yeah.
Sean Ray: (01:07:12)
… making appearances and things like that. So you had more time with your family. How did the training change?
Ray Edmonds: (01:07:16)
It was finding ways. I got buddies here. Pick up some of my Pittsburgh people back there.
Sean Ray: (01:07:21)
Pittsburgh. The Steelers.
Ray Edmonds: (01:07:24)
It’s my mom’s first Olympia by the way.
Sean Ray: (01:07:28)
Ray Edmonds: (01:07:29)
Yeah. But I got buddies. They turned their gyms into training facilities, offices. We had pull up bars and we just had to ride the waves out with the gyms and just get in where you fit in. When you really want to do something and especially being a champ, you got to find ways.
Sean Ray: (01:07:44)
Are you paying attention to the guys nipping at the heels, watching what they’re doing?
Ray Edmonds: (01:07:48)
It’s social media, so we see it.
Sean Ray: (01:07:49)
Are you following him on social media?
Ray Edmonds: (01:07:50)
That’s my guy.
Sean Ray: (01:07:51)
Ray Edmonds: (01:07:52)
I follow all these men and women up here.
Sean Ray: (01:07:55)
How’s [crosstalk 01:07:56] more friendly than the bodybuilding?
Bob Cicherillo: (01:07:57)
Well they got the same coach, how’s that working?
Andre Ferguson: (01:08:00)
We got the same coach. We got the same sponsors. We’ve got the same manager.
Sean Ray: (01:08:03)
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:04)
You can eat. Eat together, you know?
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:09)
There’s only one title, who’s that going to?
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:09)
What’d you say?
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:09)
There’s only one title.
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:11)
Yeah, I’m sorry man.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:12)
Can’t share that guys.
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:12)
I’m going home with that this year.
Andre Ferguson: (01:08:16)
Can’t share that, yeah. Look, we going to be one and two again, but I’m taking it home this time.
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:20)
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:20)
I don’t know Ray, he sounds pretty confident, man.
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:22)
He supposed to, man. He’s supposed to, he shouldn’t be here.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:25)
Does he have a chance?
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:27)
He got a chance, but.
Andre Ferguson: (01:08:29)
So you’re saying I got a chance?
Sean Ray: (01:08:31)
Bob, that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, man.
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:34)
He has a chance.
Sean Ray: (01:08:34)
What happened to the pose down for these guys?
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:37)
So let’s break it down, give me a percentage. When you say he’s got it, does he have a five percent chance? Does he have a 50% chance? Give me some stats.
Andre Ferguson: (01:08:44)
It’s been one and two, so we will give him 50/50.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:47)
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:48)
Oo, let’s go.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:49)
Andre, that’s pretty good.
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:50)
Andre Ferguson: (01:08:51)
I’ll go 50/50.
Ray Edmonds: (01:08:51)
I’ll take it.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:08:54)
Love these guys, love them. Folks, as I told you right in the beginning, history will be made once again on the Olympia stage as it is every year, but this year, a little bit more special, the return of the Miss Olympia.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:09:16)
Go Helle. Listen, World Champ, all right? We haven’t had the Olympia stage for what? Six years? Seven years? We’re back. You’re back on the Olympia stage. World Champion, great title. Jake Wood to put up a hell of a show in that rising phoenix every year now and it’s become one of the premier shows on the circuit in the IFBB Pro League, but there’s always been something special about the Olympia stage Helle and you’re back on it.
Helle Trevino: (01:09:41)
I cannot say how excited I am. Hi everybody. Thanks for coming out. It’s been a crazy year, so thanks for making it. Thank you also for anybody at home at pay per view, watching this and supporting bodybuilding. It’s been a crazy year and that this is the year of the return of the Miss Olympia is just, it’s fantastic. It’s the best thing that has happened to me this year because a lot of things have been really difficult. All gyms closed down in California. I had to switch gyms five times because they kept closing down, finding underground, undercover gyms.
Helle Trevino: (01:10:20)
But I managed and I’ve been training the whole time. A few days at home, but mostly at the gyms, but being back is I’ve been at the Olympia stage a few times before and being back is amazing. Especially also when the Olympia was on, was just when I was a rookie when I was getting started in the sport and I didn’t have the physique that I have now, but of course also I’ve always had the desire to win the MIss Olympia and now I feel like I have the physique that can win the Miss Olympia and that’s what I’m going to do.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:11:00)
Well Helle you’ve, on your Wings of Strength team, you happen to have somebody who is excellent for advice in this type of thing and I assume she’s still here in the front because I got lights, but where’s Linda Murray? Eight time Olympia champion Linda Murray. Listen, that’s a hard act to follow but listen, it’s great that you guys get to interact. You guys work on the same team, obviously all the Wings of Strength stuff and all that. So I know Linda is excited to be a part of this Olympia and the return of the Miss Olympia. But you’ve got competition.
Helle Trevino: (01:11:38)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:11:38)
You’ve got a lot of competition.
Helle Trevino: (01:11:40)
This is awesome because it makes it even more exciting.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:11:42)
Sure it does. Listen, you want the best of the best. Sugar Sean has seen the Olympia, man. Do we have any competition for Helle?
Sean Ray: (01:11:48)
You heard about this lady, the Marvelous One, Margie Martin. Yeah, last time I saw you we were at the Olympia Expo. We’re reintroducing our Olympians to the industry pretty much with some of our veteran Olympia winners. And you came out and just showed it all right there on stage because you were ready then. Are you ready now?
Margie Martin: (01:12:09)
I’m a 1000 times more ready than I was last year. And this moment is such an experience. When you are a fan of bodybuilding and you’re a fan of the Olympia, just like you’re sitting out there like I was in 2011 was my first Olympia, I got to see Phil Heath get his first championship, win the Olympia. And I said, “I can do that. I want to do that and I’m going to do that,” and it’s going to happen.
Sean Ray: (01:12:41)
Margie Martin: (01:12:42)
I’m so excited and you can do it too. Just believe in yourself, have the heart, have the fortitude to say it and make it and make that claim for yourself because everyone’s standing here has always got the strength from someone else. They always have someone to look up to, find that person, find that mentor and go for it and don’t stop until you get it.
Sean Ray: (01:13:05)
We had the Rising Phoenix just a week or so, two weeks ago and you weren’t there surprisingly enough.
Margie Martin: (01:13:10)
No, I only want one title.
Sean Ray: (01:13:12)
But did you watch it online?
Margie Martin: (01:13:13)
I did, I did because I love all those girls. I love all the women that compete there. Kudos to every last one of them for keeping women’s body building relevant, keeping women’s bodybuilding beautiful with shapes. I love every last one of them. Thank you girls for doing that.
Sean Ray: (01:13:30)
There you go, kumbaya. So that was motivational for you to get here watching them?
Margie Martin: (01:13:34)
Sean Ray: (01:13:35)
Margie Martin: (01:13:35)
The motivation was already set from the time they had announced that Ms. Olympia was back. That’s what I wanted and that’s what I’m here to get.
Sean Ray: (01:13:43)
Well, we can thank the Wings of Strength crew and Jake woods-
Margie Martin: (01:13:45)
Sean Ray: (01:13:45)
… and Linda Marina, Lena Popa too.
Margie Martin: (01:13:47)
Absolutely. It’s just one of those things that they set a statement that they were going to have Miss Olympia back and they didn’t stop. And with the pandemic going on, when there was just 20000 reasons to cancel, they said, “No, we’re going to keep doing this.” And I was trying to do every show that there was this year so I could show what I was bringing, but instead I got to rest a little bit. I created a gym in my living room and then I just said, “You know what? I’m going to move to Vegas because that’s where the best place to train,” and so that’s what I did. And so I’m so thankful and even though they moved it to Orlando and I’m happy because it’s warmer here and I get to show off his body even more, I’m so grateful that everyone just stood fast in their guts and kept it going, so thank you guys.
Sean Ray: (01:14:34)
Let’s address the elephant in the room. We’ve got 10 time Miss Olympia Iris Kyle coming back to compete on this stage. How motivational for you is that?
Margie Martin: (01:14:44)
It’s a motivation level to say that I’m happy that she’s here and I’m happy to put her back into retirement.
Sean Ray: (01:14:53)
All right, that’s Marvelous right there.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:14:56)
Sean Ray: (01:14:57)
It’s all about the mindset.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:14:58)
You’re going to call yourself Marvelous that’s the way you got to bring right there, okay? 10 times Olympian Iris Kyle-
Margie Martin: (01:15:03)
Well, the thing is that people don’t really retire until they feel like they don’t have any more to give and I want to be able to give her that, so [inaudible 00:01:15:12].
Bob Cicherillo: (01:15:13)
Sean Ray: (01:15:13)
Sounds like a rest in peace statement there. That’s shots fired Bob, that’s what that is.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:15:19)
The return of the Miss Olympia wouldn’t be what it would be if we didn’t have some champion, Yaxeni’s coming back, former Olympia champion. You got Iris, Marvelous Margie. You got world champs, you got Helle. Where’s Alina? I know Alina’s down in the front somewhere, Alina. There’s Alina Pope everybody, got to give a shout out to my girl, man. L.
Sean Ray: (01:15:39)
Might be a first runner up, Bob.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:15:40)
Should have had at least one Olympia title, but we’ll get into that later, okay? But the bottom line is welcome back ladies. The Miss Olympia is back on the Olympia stage where it should be. It will be well represented. It’s going to be a great show.
Sean Ray: (01:15:54)
Bob, you’re talking about [pistache 01:15:56] last year.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:15:56)
Sean Ray: (01:15:57)
It was like the difference between winning and losing.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:15:59)
That’s what won it. You won it by a mustache?
Sean Ray: (01:16:02)
Ladies and gentlemen, from Canada. You’re reigning, defending classic physique champion. Chris Bumstead, the Canuck.
Chris Bumstead: (01:16:13)
And might I add the stache is a little thicker this year.
Sean Ray: (01:16:15)
It does look a little thicker, yes. Very Freddy, the singer from Queen.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:16:21)
Well listen, we’re going to go a little back and forth here, we can’t let this moment go. I got [Brianne Angele 00:18:26] here, two time champion. He has no mustache, okay? Listen, please save it. He did not lose by the mustache and he’s going to prove it this year Chris.
Chris Bumstead: (01:16:37)
He can try.
Brianne Ansley: (01:16:41)
No and it’s no mustache, it’s no fro. It’ll be straight up physique and a complete physique for sure.
Sean Ray: (01:16:49)
Bob, this is the apples and oranges type of a thing because the physiques are not similar. They’re very different.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:16:55)
No listen and that’s what makes it tough for the judges because they’ve got listen, what’s classic? Is classic a look? Is it the physique? Is it a combination of both? Brianne, you got beautiful lines, man. Obviously there’s a reason that you won the title, but you’re right. Chris, he’s six inches taller than you, he’s got the mug, he’s got the hair working, the whole thing. It’s apples and oranges. What are you going to give to the judges that they can distinguish and get that title back in your pocket?
Brianne Ansley: (01:17:20)
I’m just going to out pose. It’s just, I’ll out pose Chris. It’s just not about my-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:17:25)
Where’s he weak? Where do you get the champ?
Brianne Ansley: (01:17:27)
I get him everywhere. I get them everywhere, everywhere. I’m more complete. I have a more superior physique from head to toe and it’s just about displaying it correctly. But first and foremost, let me thank, I would be remiss if I didn’t think Jake and Tamer and [Adopt 01:17:52] and the Olympia staff and committee. I know it was arduous, but yet courageous move to come into Orlando and I’m very grateful to you guys. Greg, very grateful to you, fans and supporters of following us here. You guys make us and you guys are everything to us. Thank you guys so very much and we get to display our hard work and we’re very grateful. I know all of us are to put it on display finally for you guys at the end of the year to finish this year off very, very strong. But back to you Dan, excuse me Dan.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:18:27)
Dan, Bob, whatever.
Brianne Ansley: (01:18:28)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:18:30)
We’re all in the same group.
Brianne Ansley: (01:18:32)
No, I don’t need to, it’s not a physique thing even though I improved in areas of my physique.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:18:38)
It’s not a physique? It’s the classic physique, what do you it’s not a physique thing?
Brianne Ansley: (01:18:41)
As far as me taking the title from him-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:18:44)
Why did he beat you last year?
Brianne Ansley: (01:18:46)
He beat me because, it was-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:18:50)
Because of you or was it because of him? Did you just [inaudible 01:18:52] off? You let the door open, he snuck in there or did he just take it from you? Come on, give me something.
Brianne Ansley: (01:18:57)
No, I will respect the judge’s decision and say that he beat me with probably three more poses that to my two.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:19:06)
Okay, that’s fair.
Brianne Ansley: (01:19:06)
And that’s what it all comes down to as far as the numbers are concerned, but I still feel my physique is superior. Again, my physique is more dominant and I have more of a complete bodybuilding classic physique.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:19:20)
Chris, he’s more complete. What are you going to do?
Chris Bumstead: (01:19:25)
When I came in last year and you asked me this similar question, I told you classic physique hadn’t found someone who had set the standard of what it was meant to look like. And my goal last year, I wanted to come in and I believe because it was such a new division, it was still searching for someone to be at the top, somewhat for the young kids coming up that they wanted to strive towards, that standard classic physique look. I showed that last year and I was young and I was not complete, I was not a 100%. This year I’m going to show an improved version of that, next year an improved version of that and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to show you guys what the standard of classic physique is and what’s going to be in the future and I’m going to set it.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:20:04)
Excellent, Chris. So Sean-
Sean Ray: (01:20:06)
These are the guys that aren’t on the stage that are going to be up there offering different looks as well.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:20:10)
Well, we’ve got a wrench to throw in there. Now even though we’ve got just a representation of the athletes here, we’ve got the top two. There’s a little wrench thrown in there this year and that’s Logan Franklin. Now I bring that up, I don’t know if Logan’s here, I hope he’s here, but Logan has emerged as a strong contender for this title, had a great year. Now the reason I bring this up, Brianna is you’ve be talking about apples and oranges and comparisons for the judges and all that, Logan Franklin is very, very similar to Chris. Similar height, structure, weight, obviously you guys got the parameters in which you have to adhere to with a height and weight for classic division. Are you worried about Logan Franklin? Because he does match up very well with the current champ?
Brianne Ansley: (01:20:50)
Not one bit. Not one bit, worried about-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:20:54)
Brianne Ansley: (01:20:55)
Not worried about anybody and I’m glad you brought that up because if you’re saying that the classic structure and the look is similar to Chris’s, that does not coincide with me losing by one point last year. That doesn’t coincide by a shorter competitor, Alex Kemper narrowly winning the Arnold classic. That doesn’t coincide with Terrance Ruffin coming second at the Arnold classic, a shorter competitor, shorter than me.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:21:21)
He’s shorter than Sean and that’s hard to do so.
Brianne Ansley: (01:21:24)
So for everybody out there talking about classic is going in a certain direction, taller direction, this and that? Think about all that. Think about all that and I want you to think long and hard about all that. And then the tides are going to turn again Saturday night anyway to a shorter classic competitor in Brianne Ansley, so there we have it, there we have it.
Sean Ray: (01:21:48)
Well Bob, let’s give the champ the last word because obviously-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:21:51)
Sean Ray: (01:21:52)
He’s the champion. You got two to your credit. Of course, Danny Hester won the first one. What did you do differently coming into this one to make sure you walk home with that trophy this year?
Chris Bumstead: (01:22:05)
First off, I’m just fired up to be here right now. I’d love to be stern like Phil. He’s over there just glaring into the crowd, but I’m too excited. I can’t help but smile and it feels good to be back as the champ. And I’m excited to be here in front of you guys in Orlando and I know we’ve all had some struggles, finding gyms around our city and whatnot, but no struggle compared to what it must have been like moving this entire show across the entire country. So I’m grateful for Dan and the Olympia team that we can be here right now, put on a show for the crowd at home on pay-per-view watching this. Super grateful for everybody and just really excited to be here to be completely honest. So I had to put that out there. You can’t have my smile right now, but different this year? It was just more work to be completely honest.
Chris Bumstead: (01:22:46)
Last year was a learning process for me and it was something I didn’t feel like I was falling into my groove quite yet, and this year I really found myself. I got some advice from the champ himself, [inaudible 00:01:23:00], and it’s exactly what I’ve been doing this year. He told me to get to know Chris the man, not Chris the bodybuilder. Exactly what I’d been chasing throughout the year. I’d gotten more in touch with myself, my mind, my mindset. COVID definitely helped with that, putting some focus on internal stuff rather than external and everything just falls into place after that. So it’s been something where I’ve been a lot focused on myself this year and my mental game and it truly feels like I’m coming in here, I’m not competing against anyone. Everyone’s here to compete against me.
Sean Ray: (01:23:25)
Spoken like a true champion right there, Chris Bumstead.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:23:26)
That’s why he’s the champ. Well Sean, before we round out our panel because we got some great champs to hear from, two things of interest. One, I want to give a big shout out to my man Tim Garner right down on the front row. Tim and I-
Sean Ray: (01:23:40)
Hey Tim, yeah.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:23:42)
Tim, I know it’s been a crazy year and all the shows seem to have all migrated to Florida and that’s your neck of the woods, but I know you’ve been instrumental in putting out a lot of these pro shows, helping other promoters put them on. Thank you bro, for everything you do. Tim’s also involved in the Olympia and that’s been really challenging this year because what Tim’s involved in is the most effected air because of obviously we can only have X amount of people and we got some restrictions and things, but thank you Tim. Much appreciated.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:24:07)
Folks, if you’re watching it at home, all right? And this speech is going out live right now, Sean, that people can watch just to kind of see what’s going to be coming this weekend, you’re seeing history in the making. Get the pay-per-view folks. Don’t be left out, all right? You still got time. You can go to Mr. Olympia, olympiaproductions.com, is that right Tim? Olympiaproductions.com for the pay-per-view. Folks, you do not want to miss history in the making. Dexter making his way for the last time. That’s going to emotional, I know you’ve got the family here Dex. Tears will be flowing, bro. I know you well, but it’s going to be a great Olympia moment. You got Phil coming back to try to get the title, you got Brianne trying to defend the title.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:24:47)
And we’ve got these champions right up here. We’d be remiss if we didn’t get to our two time fitness Olympia champion, Mrs. Jones.
Whitney Jones: (01:24:57)
What up? How are ya?
Bob Cicherillo: (01:24:59)
Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones.
Whitney Jones: (01:25:01)
Sing it, Bob.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:02)
We got a thing going on. Another one for over 50 people out there, thank you. The champ.
Whitney Jones: (01:25:08)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:09)
You’ve been the champ.
Whitney Jones: (01:25:10)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:10)
You have ruled that stage the last time, since that lady left the stage-
Whitney Jones: (01:25:16)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:17)
Oksana Grishina, we’re going to get to in a second. She’s back.
Whitney Jones: (01:25:20)
She’s back, yes.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:20)
She wants, you got what she wants.
Whitney Jones: (01:25:23)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:24)
She’s told you, look at. I’m not [inaudible 00:27:27]. Well she didn’t really, I’m just paraphrasing. She said words to the effect of ” I’m coming back for you, Whitney. I’m coming back to get what’s rightfully mine. You’ve been borrowing it for the last two years and I’m coming back.” It was something like that, right? Was that close?
Sean Ray: (01:25:39)
She speaks Russian bro. She’s speaking Russian.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:41)
Sean Ray: (01:25:42)
She didn’t understand you.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:43)
Oh, I thought you meant I’m speaking too fast. Russian? Anybody? Thank you, Tim. Appreciate that. Whitney.
Whitney Jones: (01:25:51)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:51)
You the champ, but you got the champ coming back.
Whitney Jones: (01:25:54)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:25:55)
Now we talk about the other athletes, we talk about whether they tailor routines. Now you guys actually have a physical, actual routine. Some [inaudible 01:26:02] the greatest routines in the world. Fitness, still one of my favorites, especially to push off any show because it gets the energy going. The audience loves it. Are you tailoring anything that you’re doing because she’s coming back?
Whitney Jones: (01:26:11)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:26:13)
Alrighty, thanks for coming. Whitney Jones, ladies and gentlemen.
Whitney Jones: (01:26:16)
The greatest thing about the fitness division though, is that you can bring your own style, your own genre and what’s great is we’ve both been champs, but we’re totally different in our style and our approach, but one thing that we are consistent with is the passion and the energy and let’s be honest, fitness needs to bring the fire and it, the music, the costumes and we need the crowd to feel our energy. Otherwise we’re not doing our job.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:26:41)
Now it’s been weird this year because we’ve had shows where there’s almost no audience.
Whitney Jones: (01:26:45)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:26:46)
It’s got to be weird for you guys because of all the athletes, bodybuilders can go out there and pose and that’s cool and all that. You guys, like I said, you literally feed off the audience and their energy. What do you do? How is it weird when there was five people in the audience?
Whitney Jones: (01:26:58)
Well honestly, prepping for this Olympia, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was going to-
Whitney Jones: (01:27:03)
This Olympia, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was going to happen. I really had faith, even if it was going to be in a parking lot. I knew that there was no way you guys were just going to let it not happen. So kudos to you guys, because this, everything we’ve seen so far, has been top-notch. And for the people who couldn’t make the transition to Florida, thank you for tuning in, because I promise you, it will be one hell of a show this weekend.
Whitney Jones: (01:27:24)
But as an athlete prepping, I do, I feed off the energy of the crowd and it’s something that just keeps you going. Two minutes on stage by yourself when you are just going at it, it’s tough, and the eyes are all on you and only you. So, you do feed off the energy. Knowing that, I had to prep as if it was going to be no one in the audience. And I went in with that mindset going, “Okay, I need to have the crowd in my own head.”
Whitney Jones: (01:27:52)
And the way I prepped, the way I would practice my routine was in that aspect. Now, if there was a crowd? Awesome, even better, but I had to prepare worst case scenario because you come, the Olympia, you come in on point. Every training session is to go in, for me, it’s to defend that title and to make it a three-peat. And so, I practiced every little detail as I prepped for this day.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:28:17)
Bob, I am looking forward to this showdown. And again, we’ve got some other great competitors who aren’t on the stage here today, but will be on that stage tomorrow when you guys are doing your thing.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:28:25)
Oksana Grishina, welcome back.
Sean Ray: (01:28:29)
Yes, from Russia, with love, a multi Ms. International, four time Olympian champion coming off of retirement. As a matter of fact, you were coming back out of retirement and you got injured.
Oksana Grichina: (01:28:40)
Sean Ray: (01:28:41)
And the Olympia got postponed?
Oksana Grichina: (01:28:43)
Sean Ray: (01:28:44)
And you recovered from the injury?
Oksana Grichina: (01:28:46)
Sean Ray: (01:28:47)
And now you’re going for your fifth title?
Oksana Grichina: (01:28:50)
I’ll do my best.
Sean Ray: (01:28:50)
Is this your fifth title?
Oksana Grichina: (01:28:52)
I’m going to do my best. I don’t know. Winning is not the point. Doing better than you have to ever done before, that’s the point for me. So, I want to do a better job. I want to do my best for you guys, and I hope you like it. I hope you will appreciate all this hard caliber job, caliber work, what they have done. So yes, and I just miss it. And it’s the first time when I feel relief. It feels so great to come back.
Sean Ray: (01:29:31)
You feel relieved with her hanging on to two trophies and defending the title? You’re relieved?
Oksana Grichina: (01:29:35)
I feel relieved because I’m here. I’m honored to be here. And honestly, Olympia is the best thing humanity does. It brings the world together. And this time it was tough. It was tough for everyone, for any country. I mean, this is difficult. And that’s why I feel relieved being here. And I think, it’s a huge celebration of sport where the best athletes of the best come in here from all over the world. It’s hard to get here. I mean, and that’s why I feel relief. It was it just-
Sean Ray: (01:30:13)
Well, it’s interesting because your story, your journey, is interesting. You left Russia, came to America with nothing, hoping to become a pro and you wind up four time Ms. Olympia champion. You showed us all the multiple personalities from the Joker, the Phantom of the Opera, Michael Jackson, what are we going to see this year? You got some surprises for us?
Oksana Grichina: (01:30:33)
Of course, you will see tomorrow.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:30:35)
Listen, she ain’t giving that up, all right?
Oksana Grichina: (01:30:37)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:30:38)
Now, Oksana, I got to go back to the last time you were on stage, because I called you out as I do, when I mistakenly said, “Five-time champion.”
Oksana Grichina: (01:30:45)
I remember that.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:30:46)
Now the question is, was is I just be in prophetic? Was it Bobstradamus?
Sean Ray: (01:30:50)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:30:53)
Is it going to be five time? Was I actually right, just a little bit ahead of myself?
Sean Ray: (01:30:59)
I promise, guys, I’ll do my best.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:31:02)
You’re so diplomatic. That’s why I hate the fitness chicks. They just, they love each other. They just, they do. Listen, they all do each other’s routines. They put routines together for each other there. Can you imagine Phil putting together Dexter’s routing for the final Olympian. “Hey, Champ, I was playing around with some transitions and I thought you.”
Bob Cicherillo: (01:31:23)
I’m not seeing that, but. Listen, this is going to be a great showdown with this fitness Olympia. And again, we’ve got multiple Olympia champions on the stage, which seems to be the theme this year, speaking of champs. Easy, easy there tough guy.
Kamal Elgargni: (01:31:38)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:31:39)
Kamal Elgargni, you’re 212 Olympia champion.
Kamal Elgargni: (01:31:44)
What’s up, everybody?
Bob Cicherillo: (01:31:46)
Now, Kamal, you’ve got an interesting story because you competed for years overseas trying to get to the IFBB Pro League, doing everything you could, wrapped up a lot on the politics back then and all that. We don’t have to go down that road, but when you finally made it here, you made the best of it. You won the title.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:32:03)
But you’re not the youngest guy here. I mean, you’ve got Derek, who is, I think, half your age. You’re?
Kamal Elgargni: (01:32:08)
To be honest, if I meddled a little bit, he could be my son.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:32:11)
He could be your son. I mean, listen, and Kamal takes great pride in this, because you’re what? 49?
Kamal Elgargni: (01:32:16)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:32:18)
49 years old. I mean, you talk about listen, whatever fountain of youth Dexter has, certainly Kamal found it. At 49, Shawn, to be the best in the world at anything, is a huge accomplishment. Listen, you could have taken a title and gone. I mean, and that’s it. But you came back to defendant title, especially against this guy.
Kamal Elgargni: (01:32:40)
And I’m going to show something different this year.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:32:42)
Is it like a third arm? What do you different? Like what?
Kamal Elgargni: (01:32:45)
Probably. Could be.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:32:47)
As long as it’s a big one.
Kamal Elgargni: (01:32:49)
It’s a message. To be honest. It’s a message for the old bodybuilders, the young bodybuilders, that they rush things up. We’re going to show them this year. Do not rush it up, because it’s not just a time of 10 years or 15 years. No, what’s after? I mean, I’ve been competing since, my first competition was ’94. So, if you count my competition, I can’t even count them myself.
Kamal Elgargni: (01:33:13)
So, guys take your time. And make sure you can be, and that’s a message here for maybe some crowd here, they’ll say, “Oh, we’re too old.” Never old. You could make it. And you could improve all the time. We’re talking about body building here. You see, bodybuilding is, it’s improved, and you’re going to see tomorrow night what’s the improvement I brought.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:33:41)
But the cool thing is Kamal, is your hallmark has always been your conditioning. You bring the conditioning, you’re always in shape. You never been out of shape in it for a competition, but it’s more the quality. You’re not the biggest guy in a 212. You don’t claim to be. You claim to be the best. And you were the best, last year.
Kamal Elgargni: (01:33:57)
Last year, I weighed 206 this year I weigh 211 point something.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:34:02)
Kamal Elgargni: (01:34:02)
So, you’re going to see some quality muscle, as well, not just the condition. Better condition with the more muscle that’s what we’ve been working since December last year. I remember last year December, Chris, my coach, he sent me a video, and I seen that video, which is in my room last year, one of the video he took and I said to him, “What do you think?”
Kamal Elgargni: (01:34:31)
He said, “Next year, bigger and harder.”
Kamal Elgargni: (01:34:34)
I said, “Let’s go. Let’s talk tomorrow.”
Kamal Elgargni: (01:34:36)
And we started since that day. And actually we brought that baggage. So, it proved, because what we say, everybody says, “What you going to improve? You’re too old. What are you going to do? What’s this condition?”
Kamal Elgargni: (01:34:53)
No, we’re going to prove you all wrong this time. And then you’re going to be, “Wow.” So, there is going to be a lot of old people going back to the gym and they’re going to train, so.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:35:03)
Attaboy, Champ. You inspire. Listen, best of luck. 49 years old, defending the title, he has no intentions of giving it up, but this guy right here, last year at the pre-judging was in the lead. Bro, you came out. Listen, I’m pretty close to you guys on stage, so I can see what’s going on. I’m like, “Oh wow. Derek brought it man, he’s.”
Bob Cicherillo: (01:35:24)
And all of a sudden it kind of started to fade a little bit and it was like, “Oh, Oh no. Derek, hang on. Hang on, buddy.”
Bob Cicherillo: (01:35:31)
But you were there and you had it. And we’ve talked about this before, but you had the formula, at that point it’s kind of difficult because you’re obviously there at the show, to make some minor adjustments, but you had it, man. You were right there.
Derek Lunsford: (01:35:44)
Yeah. Last year was good. We brought a better package from the year before, but I had a lot of learning to do, man. And so I thought about it. I took the feedback from last year on how we can improve our physique. And we definitely were very diligent day after day, week after week, to make sure that we made those improvements for this year, which we have.
Derek Lunsford: (01:36:08)
But I learned a lot about the fact that I actually don’t need my competition to motivate me. And there’s a difference between inspiring and motivating. These guys up here still inspire me, like day one, whenever I first started bodybuilding. I can look at their physique. I can look at their work ethic. I can see how they carry themselves and I can be inspired by that. And that can motivate me to be better day in and day out in the gym.
Derek Lunsford: (01:36:36)
But as far as getting that, I don’t know, that feeling inside of you of like, “Man, I got to beat this guy. I got to beat this guy,” I don’t feel that anymore.
Derek Lunsford: (01:36:47)
I feel what I think about is I just focus on myself. I’m obsessed with getting better. I’m being assessed with progression. So for that, I feel pretty unstoppable because as long as I want it, I’m going to keep going after it.
Sean Ray: (01:37:03)
And Derek, your last two first runner-ups, obviously, serves as motivation, but you’re also not long for this division. It’s a struggle for you to get down to the 212. Is this make it or break it for you and move up next year? Or, where’s your mind at with that?
Derek Lunsford: (01:37:16)
Look, man, I promised myself that I would not think about anything else from last year’s Olympia to this year’s Olympia besides me getting better. So, I’ve analyzed every single thing you can ask. My coach, he’s sitting right there, James Brown, JV Prep. You can ask my fiance, Jhelsin. I’ve talked to them daily. We’ve had considerable amount of communication back and forth on how we can be better. Whether it be my relationship with her or my relationship with my coach or whatever.
Derek Lunsford: (01:37:46)
So, when it comes to bodybuilding, like I said, “I’m obsessed with wanting to get better and progressing. And so I have just, literally, buried, you probably noticed that I wasn’t so outspoken on social media, as much. I did a lot of social media, did a lot of different platforms, but I wasn’t out there going, “I’m coming to win.”
Derek Lunsford: (01:38:05)
I mean, I think people already knew that I was working and they could see that I was working, but I just buried my head. And I felt like a Dorian Yates, almost, this year to where I just, I said, “I’m going to get better physically, but mentally and internally, I’m going to build this character up,” because like he just said, “Look, I’m coming for that title this weekend.” But, I expect many years here.
Sean Ray: (01:38:31)
And how old are you now?
Derek Lunsford: (01:38:33)
Sean Ray: (01:38:34)
One of the youngest guys in the show, Bob. He’s got a lot of time.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:38:36)
I’ll tell you what, and you’ve got, listen, you’ve got Shawn Clarida and you’ve got David Henry, former Olympia champ. So, the 212 is stacked up as usual. These guys always bring it, man. They are always in shape. Guy Cicsternino, I mean, there’s a whole bunch of names in there, but we got a circle around to the speed round.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:38:52)
Phil, you look pissed off, man. I got to be honest. You got that look like, ” I’m all business here, man,” like this is it. Correct me if I’m wrong, Phil, but you’ve got blinders on to what’s going on here. I’ve seen, we’ve been at many Olympians together, my brother, but you got that look, man, you got that look in your eye like, you know what? Like you just want to rip your stuff off right now and get to a posed on right here on the spot.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:39:25)
Now, I know we lost [Debo 01:39:26] this last week and which is inspiring enough for you. Our guy, but rest his soul, Debo.
Phil Heath: (01:39:31)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:39:32)
I know. But you got that look, man, I got to be honest.
Phil Heath: (01:39:38)
Well, there’s a reason for it. If anyone can put themselves in the mindset of attaining eight Mr. Olympia titles. I mean, just think about that. When I was Mr. Olympia, the first time there was only 12 at the time. I became the 13th. Now, there’s 15.
Phil Heath: (01:39:56)
At the end of the day, I have plenty to be thankful for. Job is just not finished. I’m just ready to get this shit started. I’m tired of the sitting here.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:40:13)
I appreciate it, bro. I’m being honest.
Phil Heath: (01:40:18)
I’m thankful for being able to come here and actually have a show to compete at and do my thing, but I’d be fooling myself, and I’d be dishonest, I told myself I’m going to be completely vulnerable and real with the fans when it was time. This is the time. I’m here, not to play any fucking games, I’m here to go get my title back. I’m going to do it. And that’s it. I don’t care what anybody has to say. I know what I want. I know I’ve done it before and I’m here to do it again.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:40:49)
Now, you see that man right there? Sharp looking suit, looking like a champ, well-spoken, well-read, right? Conducted himself all year as Mr. Olympia and did a hell of a job. Is that the same Brandon Curry you competed against a couple of years ago or is this a different guy?
Phil Heath: (01:41:09)
I have no idea. No, I’m being honest.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:41:13)
Do you care?
Phil Heath: (01:41:13)
I don’t give a shit. And that’s no disrespect to him. It’s just not about that. He did his job. He won. Congrats. But I don’t give a fuck. I want to go get my title back.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:41:31)
Is this destiny for you, Phil?
Phil Heath: (01:41:35)
Absolutely. I mean, when I decided to come back, I wouldn’t be back here unless if I was able to do what I do and that is bring the fricking pain onstage. These guys know what I can do. That’s why they all say the same thing. “Phil comes back, it gives me motivation to train harder.”
Phil Heath: (01:41:52)
We’ve all heard the same story. Right? We can all be honest with that. I’ve beaten a lot of guys along this journey. I beat a lot of legends along this journey. I think a lot of people forgot about that.
Phil Heath: (01:42:04)
There’s a gentlemen, Jay Cutler, in the audience. I remember when he lost and they wrote his ass off real quick. I remember chatting with him. He’ll tell you. I went up to Hani, I said, “Man, if you work with him, man, let’s see what he can do,” because I wanted to see what he could really do.
Phil Heath: (01:42:23)
And he kicked the shit out of all of us in 2009. And I was up on that stage, as well. So, I know what can be done. I know how fans can be emotional. I know how I can make mistakes. I know how I could take things for granted. And I know that I can grow from it. And I’m here to show that. And I’m thankful for that opportunity because a lot of people just didn’t, you talked about Brandon being disrespected and stuff like that, man, I’ve been disrespected a lot throughout my career.
Phil Heath: (01:42:57)
I’ve been discredited throughout my freaking career. And the only thing I can focus on is just win. You can’t win with that type of noise, it ruins the vibration within inside. So, you can do your absolute best on stage. You have to reduce all the noise. So, then you can focus on your energy. And that’s all I did over the past, however many years when I didn’t go on stage, but I knew when I get back there, I’m going to be a different person. And that different person is dangerous. And I think everybody’s waiting to see what’s going to happen tomorrow night.
Sean Ray: (01:43:29)
Bob, you had a good read on the look in his eyes. Tell me about the look in this guy’s eyes.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:43:35)
I can’t see his eyes. He’s got glasses on.
Sean Ray: (01:43:36)
Help him out here.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:43:41)
Sean Ray: (01:43:41)
What is he thinking right now? Because this is his title. A lot of people think it’s slippery. Lee Haney said, “There’s nothing more dangerous than a man with kids at home in defense of his title.” He had kids pretty much throughout his whole career. You got four. Are you hungry?
Brandon Curry: (01:43:57)
Well, I want to say, I really do appreciate Phil for coming back to the table. This is a dream come true. It’s an honor. It’s something I’ve been longing for a long time to be good enough to stand toe-to-toe with the champ. Honestly, I think we knew this was eventually going to happen. And I’m on cloud nine. It’s like I’m dreaming right now. It’s like I actually get this opportunity. It’s actually real, because I thought it was going to be a little elusive, because two years ago, a year ago, maybe not.
Brandon Curry: (01:44:29)
But when I got word that Phil was ready to take this title and come and challenge me, I was excited. I was very excited because like I said, I grew up coming up, looking up the field, watching him dominate the sport. And I’m like, “Man, when am I going to be good enough? When am I going to be good enough to stand toe-to-toe with Phil Health?”
Brandon Curry: (01:44:56)
And here we are. As the champion, I got a feeling he’ll be trying to take this title away from me.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:45:03)
Well, you’re 24 hours away from that dream matchup, Brandon. And I know when we talked initially, when Phil made the announcement he was coming back, you were very genuine in saying, “You know what? I’m glad he’s coming back.”
Bob Cicherillo: (01:45:14)
I mean, you didn’t miss a hitch. I mean, you said, “I want him onstage to prove, listen, this was no fluke last year. I don’t care who showed up at the line. It wasn’t my fault he wasn’t at the lineup, or this guy, or that guy. But I want him on stage to legitimize and I want to take him on.”
Bob Cicherillo: (01:45:32)
You were adamant, you loved the idea of him coming back.
Brandon Curry: (01:45:35)
I mean, how do you become great, right? You beat-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:45:38)
You beat got to be great, right?
Brandon Curry: (01:45:38)
You got to beat greatness. And Phil is a great champion. And like I said, it’s an honor to compete against a great champion, a legend in the sport, one of the greatest in our sport. And so, I came out to shine. I came out to show out. I’ve done my work, and God willing, we’re going to press him. We going to push him. And I’m going to come out with a victory.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:46:05)
I like it.
Sean Ray: (01:46:06)
History is going to be made. You can’t stop it.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:46:08)
Listen. Hey, listen, when you’re the champion, act like the champ. Okay? If he didn’t have that kind of an attitude, he wouldn’t be having that Sandow on his mantle. But Phil just, he had the carpenters out last week and he actually made his mantle a little bit bigger. Lee Haney said he actually stopped competing because he ran out of room on his mantle and Phil said, “I ain’t going down that road. I know people.” All right, we’re going to rifle right down the champion row here. Big Ramy?
Big Ramy: (01:46:35)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:46:35)
We have heard this for years now, “Big Ramy’s coming. Big Ramy’s coming. He is 300 pounds. You can’t beat him. He’s too big. He’s bigger than Phil. He’s bigger than Brandon. He doesn’t have the quality though.”
Bob Cicherillo: (01:46:46)
Do you have the quality now?
Big Ramy: (01:46:48)
Winter is coming. Tomorrow.
Sean Ray: (01:46:51)
Winter is coming. Bob doesn’t know about that but winter is coming.
Brandon Curry: (01:46:56)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:46:57)
I told you, I saw pics. I saw pictures. Listen, I’ve seen a lot of pictures in my day. Okay. This guy’s in shape. He still got the small, well he’s a big now, how much are you weighing now for?
Big Ramy: (01:47:08)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:47:08)
Sean Ray: (01:47:09)
You were that what? Last night.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:47:14)
290. In shape at 290 is scary. Dex?
Dexter Jackson: (01:47:18)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:47:20)
What do you make out of these big young guy? I mean, this guy’s ridiculous.
Dexter Jackson: (01:47:23)
It’s bodybuilding, bro.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:47:27)
Yeah, it is bodybuilding, man. But 290 pounds on stage, bro.
Dexter Jackson: (01:47:31)
I just competed against at the Arnold.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:47:32)
Did you beat him?
Dexter Jackson: (01:47:34)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:47:34)
There it is. There it is.
Dexter Jackson: (01:47:38)
I mean, he’s big. He’s Big Ramy.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:47:41)
Yeah, he is. That’s why the name fits, kind of says it all. But, Dex, hang tight, because I got to save the best. We normally give the champ the last word, but in this instance, this year, I’m going to go to Dexter for the last word.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:47:55)
But William, they call you “The Conqueror.” But you got a couple of Olympians here to conquer, my friend. What are you going to do this year? What are you bringing? You bringing a third arm, like Kamal, something different, we haven’t seen?
William Bonac: (01:48:08)
Oh man, I’m just being me and trying to improve every year. And I’m just here to do me, understand? The way the other guys look. I can’t control that, so.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:48:21)
And you don’t fear the big guy. I mean, you know Big Ramy too.
William Bonac: (01:48:23)
Bob Cicherillo: (01:48:24)
Listen, Phil’s not small, but I mean, these guys are huge.
William Bonac: (01:48:26)
Why should I? The only one here at this table who I haven’t beaten is Phil. I mean, Ramy? I’ve beaten him before. Dexter, as well. Brandon, as well. Phil is the only one I haven’t beaten ever, so, I shouldn’t be fearful of any of them.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:48:44)
Did you welcome Phil’s return as much as Brandon? Granted, he was genuinely excited. When I talked to him, he was like, “Nah,” he wasn’t putting on an act, he was like, “No, I love the idea that he’s coming back.”
William Bonac: (01:48:52)
I even did a post to welcome Phil. I did a post on my social media to welcome Phil. Normally, I don’t interfere with this stuff.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:48:59)
William Bonac: (01:49:00)
I just do my own thing, mind my own business, but I even welcomed him on Pace and been like, “Whoa, the champions back. So, let’s go.”
Sean Ray: (01:49:08)
All right. Hey, we got to wrap it up, Bob. The fitness ladies got to get out. Time crunch.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:49:13)
Well, listen, give me a few. I got to get to the champ. I got to get the Hadi to people. Listen, the people voted for Hadi Choopan. The fans that were out there watching voted for Hadi Choopan.
Sean Ray: (01:49:25)
Bringing anything different this year?
Hadi Choopan: (01:49:26)
[foreign language 01:49:45]
He says, “Well, the way that I’m seeing it tonight, it seems like everybody’s here to become the champion.”
Sean Ray: (01:49:45)
Short and sweet.
Hadi Choopan: (01:49:46)
[foreign language 01:50:07].
And he says, “I didn’t come here to just be one of the spectators.”
Sean Ray: (01:49:54)
That’s what we like about this guy. That’s why you’re the people’s champion, Hadi Choopan.
Sean Ray: (01:49:59)
All right. We’ve got to wrap it up. These guys got to eat and they got to drink. This is brought to us by Dexter-
Bob Cicherillo: (01:50:05)
We already know that, whatever he’s eating, he’s eating half.
Sean Ray: (01:50:07)
The final word?
Bob Cicherillo: (01:50:08)
Listen, normally, again, I go to the champ, Brandon. With all due respect, Brandon, this year I’m going to defer. I’m sure you have no issue with that, because it’s all about this man this year. This is celebrating, not this year, but 20 plus years on the Olympia stage, 29 victory. I’m you can’t overstate this stuff enough, Dex, of what you’ve done, what you’ve meant to the sport, what you’ve brought.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:50:31)
It’s not going to be the same without you. It’s never going to be the same. Anytime you get somebody of this magnitude, that’s going to hang them up. We feel that loss. We felt it with Jay when he left. We felt that with Ronnie, because his presence The Big Nasty and just Ronnie being Ronnie and all that, and you’re right up there.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:50:46)
You’re one of those guys, you got yourself to that elevation, that’s position, that these guys revere you. Nobody talk smack about Dexter J. You know why? Because they know it’s just, listen, we’re selling tickets for doing all that. They have the utmost respect for you, as I do, bro. We’ve been doing this a long time and I can’t wait to announce you for that final time on the Olympia stage.
Dexter Jackson: (01:51:05)
Thank you. And I can’t wait for it to happen, brother.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:51:08)
So, Dex, I’m going to give you, and we’ve been through a lot, bro, we’ve done shows, I’ve had you in the middle of the stage at the Olympia, we were there for that acceptance speech. This year’s a little special, obviously, it’s the last time you’re going to be on the, and the Olympia stage is so grand this year.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:51:26)
When you see this, bro, it is just going to blow your mind what they were able to do in about five weeks at the biggest Olympia stage of all time. So, no better fitting for you, but Dex, I’m going to give you the last word. You got your family out here. The microphone is yours, my friend.
Dexter Jackson: (01:51:42)
You guys know, family is everything to me. I’m doing this my whole career for my family. And I love you guys. I love this sport, as well. So, I want to give a shout out to Mr. Manion, to the IFBB, to NPC, to Jake Wood, all the major players, Dan Solomon, all the past greats that I looked up to, everybody who had an impact on my life. I want to give a shout out to you guys and thank you so much.
Dexter Jackson: (01:52:37)
I want to give a shout out to my fans. You are one of the most important reasons why I’ve been around so long. There’s come times where I’ve contemplated. And I’ve always said I’d give myself a few more years. I’ve always said, “We’ll see what happens.”
Dexter Jackson: (01:52:59)
But I did say I’m retiring this time. And when I say that, that means just that. So, don’t nobody out there think I’m joking, because I’m not. So ,I hope you guys really get this Pay-Per-View, because it’s going to be special. I bought a special package for you guys. I promise you. I’m not just these guys that like to run their mouths, “Oh, I’m going to be better than you.”
Dexter Jackson: (01:53:22)
No, you know I’m going to bring it when I say I’m going to bring it. So, all you great Olympians up here on stage that I’ve known for so many years, thank you guys so much for showing me so much respect.
Sean Ray: (01:53:39)
Dexter “The Blade” Jackson.
Dexter Jackson: (01:53:51)
Thank you. Thank you guys so much, man, for showing me so much respect. I used to say all the time that when the young guys come up and they say, “What’s up, Unc?” like, “What’s up, Uncle?” that’s the true respect. That’s the respect when people call you that.
Dexter Jackson: (01:54:15)
But when y’all call me grandpa, I don’t like that now. Don’t call me, “Grandpa.”
Bob Cicherillo: (01:54:20)
All right, listen, Dex, I know you got something special that you’re going to be bringing out tomorrow and we’re all looking forward to it. We’ve got a few special things ourselves for you, for your family, and everybody that’s coming out.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:54:31)
Dexter, congratulations on a great career. No better spot to go out in the Olympia stage.
Sean Ray: (01:54:36)
It’s going down in 24 hours.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:54:38)
Give it up for the champ, everybody.
Sean Ray: (01:54:40)
Olympiaproductions.com., our live Pay-Per-View, 24 hours from now on Friday and Saturday. Make sure you get the Pay-Per-View. Thank you to all of our Olympians. We’ll see you on stage.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:54:50)
That’s going to wrap it up, folks. We want to see everybody at the Meet the Olympians tonight. We got a lots of great Olympians that will be out there. You get your autographs, memorabilia.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:54:59)
Folks, tomorrow the action starts everything’s right here. We’ve got stuff in the theater, all the prejudging, the finals right upstairs. So, we will see everybody. Thanks for coming out on behalf of Jim Manion and the IFBB, Jake Wood, Wings of Strength, the entire crew.
Bob Cicherillo: (01:55:15)
That’s going to wrap things up. For Sugar Shawn Ray, I’m Bob Cicherillo. We’ll see everybody later.