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Shawn Ray and Bob Cicherillo are both familiar with the Olympia stage. Ray has competed on that stage 13 different times, placing as high as second twice. Cicherillo is well known as the voice of bodybuilding thanks to him serving as the MC and announcing every champion on that stage for over a decade.
Very few are as qualified as these two when it comes to talking about the champions that were crowned at the 2020 Olympia in Orlando, FL, back in December. That was the very topic of discussion on the latest episode of “Monday Night Muscle.”
Cicherillo: “I saw Missy coming a mile away. Everybody that saw her the last two years at the Arnold with that win. You could see she was on track to being a major contender to Whitney [Jones] or anybody else that was coming. So it didn’t shock me. Now I had her winning comfortably.”
Ray: “It was a historic moment. I mean, she took the title away from a two-time defending champion, which we rarely see done. Not only that, but she beat the comeback of four-time Ms. Fitness Olympia Oksana Grishina. So that was her night, man. Missy stood out, and was a champion among champions in that category.”
Ray: “She actually does the unthinkable because most people had Shanique [Grant] hands down as the winner for the next five or six years, and Sarah took the title off of her. I think she made gains from the year before.”
Cicherillo: “Sarah Villegas came in so on that you couldn’t deny her. Big props to the judges for making that call. Sarah came in ripped, but I mean cleanly ripped. She wasn’t ripped and grainy looking. She’s got such clean lines and separation, beautiful physique, beautiful presentation. She went out there like a champ, man.”
Cicherillo: “You can see the women’s bodybuilding stuff is changing with your new champ, with Andrea Shaw, with some of the other top 5 competitors that were in there…a lot of those competitors have been around for a while. You can see a changing of the guard. How cool would it be to see Shanique Grant throw her hat into bodybuilding?”
Ray: “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her [Grant] because she’s way too young, but she’s got options and challenges.”
Ray: “I don’t think that was close. I think he had that thing running away, and again, until he’s presented with a new challenge, I think we can see a three-peat.”
Cicherillo: “I thought he was great, obviously, and I thought he should’ve beaten Breon [Ansley] the year before (2018) when Breon beat him. He made huge progress, and he isn’t slowing down.”
Ray: “Here’s Janet, three-time runner up, finally stepping into the winner’s circle and taking the crown. That wasn’t an arguable moment. There weren’t too many people arguing against her in the audience that it was undeserving. Bikini is a very competitive division where you can have a different champion every year and not have an argument.”
Cicherillo: “It shocked nobody that she won because I think a lot of people had her winning last year. Janet looked great, certainly deserved it, probably should’ve had a few of these titles under her belt, but she’s there now.”
Cicherillo: If there was a wipeout of the weekend, that was it. No questions about it, straight 1’s across the board, I didn’t even see it as close. The other girls gave it a good fight, but it wasn’t close.”
Ray: “Cydney can win that contest for as long as she wants as far as I am concerned. She’s got all the goods.”
Cicherillo: “Every sport needs an Ali-Frazier or a Bird-Magic. You need two people to be kind of going at it, and this is cool because they are both excellent. They were having fun up there.”
Ray: “He [Hendrickson] is the real deal. They are not comparable. This is apples and oranges. They’re two totally different physiques.”
Ray: “Rich Gaspari called it. He (Ramy) was the first one in the pose and the last one out of the pose. Come to find out later on, that he was working very hard on the posing with Dennis James, which I’ve always thought was an area he needed work on. Now that he’s done it, it was like the polish that he was missing all those years.”
Cicherillo: “With all due respect to Chad [Nicholls], if Dennis James isn’t working with him, he isn’t Mr. Olympia.”
Cicherillo: “At 177 pounds, he’s 30 pounds lighter than the top of the class. He’s small within the 212 class. That went back and forth about four times. I saw the scoresheets. Kamal [Elgargni] was winning, then Clarida was winning, then Kamal, Clarida actually won it at the night show.”
Ray: I had Shaun winning because he made the bigger improvements. Like when we were talking about Sarah overtaking Shanique, the improvements that Shaun Clarida made were just so big, that I had to give him the nod over Kamal Elgargni.”
Among other topics that the hosts discussed include Breon Ansley’s potential in the 212 division, the possibility of seeing Chris Bumstead versus Big Ramy on the stage, and more.
You can catch every new episode of “Monday Night Muscle” every Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern time/3 p.m. Pacific on the Digital Muscle YouTube channel.