2010 Europa Pro Written Review
What a weekend in Dallas, Texas where we arrived with more Questions than we had Answers however, upon conclusion of the show and its results, we have even more Questions and only some Answers?
First order of business, we witnessed a feat rarely seen in Professional Bodybuilding but refreshing to witness nonetheless in the form of Rookie Pro Sensation and Winner of the 2010 Edition of the Europa Pro Championships, Essa Obaid from Dubai as he vanquished a strong field of competitors a mere 5 months after turning Pro by way of winning this year?s Arnold Classic Amateur Contest in Columbus, Ohio. Essa, a student of ?The Pro Maker? George Farah came in hard, dry and thick! The surprise of the contest didn?t leave much room for anyone to take him out in the comparison poses. His conditioning at this show was rivaled only by the 5th place finalist from Australia, Mike Kefalianos who suffered from ?The Dream Tan? mistake and lack of aesthetics to move up in this line up to be a significant threat to Essa. Essa, not the most exciting poser onstage due to his inexperience came alive and separated himself from the field in the Comparison Poses. He is so wide across the shoulder and thick in the back that he caught a few guys sleeping. Essa stands only a mere 5?7 but appears much bigger onstage should be a welcome addition to the Olympia Line up in the absence of Melvin Anthony who declared he was sitting this one out do to financial hardship and Silvio Samuel, a former winner of this contest who has been battling some health issues this year. Both of the aforementioned athletes ?Tied? for 11th Place at the Mr. Olympia in 2009 where they once were both top 7 guys only a couple short years ago. Will Essa step in to fill the void here and be the new ?It Guy? in this year?s Mr. Olympia? Time will tell but at only 28 years young, his future certainly looks bright!
1st Runner up and the ?Surprise? of the evening had to be the former Overall USA Winner, Mark Alvisi! Mark while noticeably bigger than his victory in Las Vegas last summer where he received his IFBB Pro Card was like two different bodybuilders. His lower half was tight and dry where as his upper body was still a work in progress. Excellent Poser, nice line and overall pleasing look, Marks ?Stock? rose significantly at the Night Finals of the two day event because at the conclusion of Prejudging the census was that Mark was a Solid 4th at worse and challenging the number 3 spot at best! Mark when flexing is a very competitive guy but was exposed by several guys on the stage in the Muscle Maturity department. His Back was lacking the depth and thickness of the top 5 and noticeably shallow in the Chest thickness and upper body hardness to take out a few guys he beat. On the positive side, the Judges saw fit to award him with the 1st Runner up spot and it is noteworthy that on his Pro Debut, has now qualified for this year?s Mr. Olympia Contest bring a shapely/ pleasing look to the stage that many fans love and adore! No Athlete has control over what the Judges will do nor should they be punished for the outcome of the Final Scores. Mark is humble yet thrilled to have accomplished what seems to be a small part of his Dream as a Professional Bodybuilder and I won?t sit here and Piss all over that simply because this may have been a Controversial Decision. In the midst of some seriously Muscular Athletes heading to Las Vegas to do Battle, Mr. Alvisi will be a welcome addition to the Class of 2010!
3rd Place: Mild Bill Wilmore once again squeaked into the Top 3 Olympia Qualifying Spots for his 4th Mr. Olympia in 5 years a feat that is noteworthy for this former Overall National Champion of 2005! Bill, with the training help of ?The Pro Creator?, Hany Rambod was hard in all the right places to fight off some other guys who were more detailed or structurally better built. Called out in the 1st Round throughout out, Bill was a Top 3 Lock but after beating the Genetically Superior, Cedric McMillan out of South Carolina, he solidified the weekend as a success for his hard work over the years. Bill strengths beyond his overall Hardness were his improvements to his thigh detail and wide back development. His Arms size and calves are still lacking in the size department but his overall improvement over last year had to be rewarded regardless of his shortcoming. Regarded as ?Gentleman Bill? he was ferocious to the end which rewarded him with a return to the Desert Storm at the end of September in Vegas!
Cedric the Entertainer McMillan was humble in defeat as one could be after being touted as the Contest winner by me and a lot of Industry Insiders prior the show. Sadly, Cedric was regulated to a 4th place finish which hurts a little more than just losing because he narrowly missed out on a Free Trip to the Superbowl of Bodybuilding in 6 short weeks out in Las Vegas. Cedric, arguably the Best Poser of the show, was playing catch up from the word Go! Holding a slight film of water and appearing a tad too light in Color onstage, the all too important ?First Impression? was lost. Cedric had the classic Old School lines of Champions past with a flair for Posing that has become a Lost Art but it could not help him on this night as Essa exposed what the added size to his frame did in the way of hardness. While Cedric was not the most Ripped guy on stage, when he actually struck his poses, thing happened on his body that didn?t on others? Separation appeared, the flow was rock solid and the overall balance of his body was superior to those who placed ahead of him even the winner Essa! Cedric does not have to go back to the Drawing Board but rather take this experience of Losing which he is not accustomed to back with him to the gym and focus on the New York Pro which should give him ample time to bring the detail he lacked here to the Size he put on since winning the 2009 Overall Nationals! Some of the best lessons in this sport are learned in Defeat, Cedric strikes me as the humble Soldier who lost the battle but is looking to win the War!
In 5th Place for the 2nd time in 2010, Australian Pro, Mike Kefalianos who competed for the 5th time in 5 months! This guy picked up where Hidetada Yamagishi left off as the hardest working man in Pro Bodybuilding today bar none! Mike as a couple 4th place finishes and a few 5th place finishes but no Mr. Olympia Qualifying 3rd Place Finishes which is what he missed this past weekend again. This guy is Andreas Munzer the II! Shredded, Hard and Dry! Mike needs to lose the Dream Tan which is now called ?Nightmare Tan? from where I sit. He has the tools to shake the foundation of some of his rivals but this Dream Tan takes away from his truly impressive conditioning. Hug Calves, Detailed thick Back what?s not to like? He gives up a few points in the Symmetry Round but when he gets to Comparisons he was the hardest guy on stage and was rewarded for it! Mike served notice that once he gets his Color right and learns how to stand in the Relaxed Position a bit better he can get to the Mr. Olympia but it is doubtful with only one more Pro Contest to qualify him in and that is 2 weeks before the Mr. Olympia in Spain. We will keep an eye out for Big Mike and wish him well on his journey to breaking into the top 3 of an IFBB Pro Show soon!
The best of what?s left????..
Grigori Atoyan out of Sacramento again this guy deserves recognition for competing in a gazillion shows since his win in the Super Heavy Class at last year?s USA Championships! I believe we can say that Grigori is now an IFBB Veteran Pro with over 6 Contest under his belt in a little more than a year! Grigori looked good for him but he will still have to find a way to add detail in areas of his back, glutes and hamstrings. Grigori, still hoping to possibly get to the Olympia Contest this year by way of Spain in September is still on the fence of whether or not he will actually try one more time this year.
Brandon Curry is still on the way back from a two year layoff and is doing everything necessary to position himself as a serious contender in 2011! He will need to bring up his legs a tad more to match his tremendous upper body to be more complete and competitive.
Markus Ruhl seemed to get old onstage Saturday afternoon. He still has some trademark poses that only he can get away with but it seemed he was the Old man on stage when it came to Quality and Detail. Markus a year ago climbed his way back to the Olympia stage by way of a top 5 finish in New York but this class which was much younger and more competitive exposed a few things about Markus the naked eye missed in the past. He lacks the Hardness and separation of his youth along with the changing of the Symmetry and Balance the new guys are bringing to the Contest Stage. It will be interesting to see if he tries one more time to get to the Olympia Stage by way of Spain next month.
*Top 3 Qualified for the 2010 Mr. Olympia
Another great job by promoter, Ed & Betty Pariso in their 17th year of putting on this contest! Former IFBB Pro and IFBB Pro Judge, Vickie Gates was recently inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame Class of 2010 received recognition along with Betty Pariso who stated her Retirement from Professional Bodybuilding Saturday evening.
Cedric looks out of this world in the photoshoot!
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Disclaimer: This is presenting fictitious opinions and does in no way, shape, or form encourage use nor condone the use of any illegal substances or the use of legal substances in an illegal manner. The information discussed is strictly for entertainment purposes and shall not take the place of qualified medical advice and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation for any illegal activity.