GMV-565DVD - 2004 IFBB San Franciso Grand Prix: Review by Matt Canning
Prejudging & Show
The competitors came out on stage one by one. Ken Jones was among those competing and he looked surprisingly good given the criticisms he has received. His condition really caught the eye. The lineup looked very strong - probably too strong given the low prize money that the show offered. A lot of top guys were there and were in great shape.
When the show began, bodybuilders were lined up doing quarter turns to get the initial comparisons in. This was a very high caliber show based on this first showing. Gustavo Badell looked very good and it was the start of a great year for him. 2005 turned out to be even better.
The pros then hit some mandatory poses:
Front Double Biceps.
Front Lat Spread.
Rear Double Biceps.
Rear Lat Spread.
Abdominals and Thighs.
This lineup was really out of sight. It never ceases to amaze me how high the caliber of contestants at these smaller IFBB shows. I personally would never compete for the peanuts in prize money these guys get at these shows. Naturally, they get media opportunities by competing, but the prize money really should be increased.
(Editor's comment: The guys are mainly competing for Mr. Olympia qualification, and the prize money is somewhat secondary. The amount of the prize money is set by the IFBB and is based to a large degree on the size of the sport in general, and this is reflected by the audience size.)
There were a few bodybuilders in the show who I had never seen before, although most were the usual faces. Something else to consider is the travel costs to get from one country to another in order to compete - another reason why better reimbursement should be shown to those competing. But I guess it's up to the market to decide what the bodybuilders get paid.
The competitors went through the mandatory poses and it was looking to be fairly obvious what the top five would be. The condition of these guys was very impressive. If you want to watch a DVD of a second tier show that has great quality, this is one for you to check out. I expected good things from the quality, but this exceeded my expectations.
Clifton Torres : USA - Clifton posed to the song "Who am I" by Casting Crowns.
Johnnie Jackson :USA - Johnnie posed to the song "White Flag" by Dido. Johnnie was hard and dense and has packed an insane amount of muscle mass on his frame. He would be especially freaky to see in person. Johnnie was a good poser and he really worked hard to emphasize his strengths.
Mohamed Antouti :Lebanon - Mohamed is a pro who I had never heard of before watching this DVD. He posed slowly at first but followed it up with robot posing for a bit and finished off with fast posing. His chest striations were very impressive as was his overall size.
Mustafa Mohammad : Jirdan - Mustafa posed to the song "Time to Say Goodbye" by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli, the song he used at the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest (along with Jay Cutler). Mustafa was huge and looked very good - at around 255 at a height of 5'8. Very stacked. Mustafa looked particularly good in the side chest pose and the armsoverhead pose like the one Samir Bannout used to do. Mustafa's legs were tremendous
David Henry : USA - David posed to the song "Like Glue" by Sean Paul. He looked to be really into the posing and it was an entertaining routine. His chest is striated but very "bottom heavy". Overall, he is one of the best short bodybuilders out there.
Dexter Jackson : USA - Dexter posed to the song "Yeah" by Usher. He really danced during the routine and got the crowd worked up. His condition was excellent as always, and he was shredded from head to toe including his glutes. He had good size and is always improving. His midsection has been becoming a problem since 2004 and this show was no exception. Otherwise he looked good.
Ken Jones : USA - Kenny posed to the song "The Girl Is Mine" by Michael Jackson. He looked ok and was in very good condition but lacked the size required to do any damage at this show, or in the pro ranks in general. He proved to be a gymnast in his posing and was obviously having a good time. You can't really fault the guy for stepping on stage because he obviously loves doing it and did get in shape for it. He had some loose skin on his back but look
Fabrizio Zittucro : Italy - Fabrizio posed to the classic hit "Why Can't This Be Love" by Van Halen. His tan or oil or condition seemed to be lacking. I think he was in decent enough shape but needed another coat of tan to bring out those cuts. This would have hurt his placing unfortunately, when overall, he looked pretty good.
Ntuk Ntuk : Nigeria - Ntuk Ntuk is another smaller boned bodybuilder. He was in good condition and a good poser, but is too short and small to make an impact unfortunately. Definitely a respectable showing nonetheless.
Kris Dim : USA - Kris posed to the song "Flying Without Wings" by Ruben Studdard. I have to say, this is one American Idol star who has proven to be extremely talented. The song was very well performed and an excellent choice of posing music for Kris. Kris also had excellent conditioning and striated glutes. His quads were much better than at the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest.
Kris then sped up his posing music by going with the song "Yeah" by Usher. The crowd was really impressed - either by Kris' posing or his physique or both. He looked very good and earned a well deserved Mr. Olympia invitation.
Gustavo Badell : Puerto Rico - Gustavo posed to the song "Hero" by Chad Kroeger. I never much cared for this song when it was being hyped so much with the release of Spiderman back in 2002, because I felt other current hits were better, but overall I admit it is a decent song and a good choice for Gustavo. He posed well to it and was in great condition.
Lee Priest : Australia - Lee posed to the song "Heroes Live Forever" by Vanessa Amorosi. Lee looked great as always still with his problematic glutes and slightly lagging in the chestand back but with his knockout arms and great symmetry. His midsection was perfect as always and his waist was the usual small 30 inches. This was a good performance by Lee.
Christian Lobarede : Chile - Christian looked good but could have probably used another coat of oil. His waist is also somewhat wide and his conditioning was slightly lacking. He posed to the song "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by Scorpions. His main flaw was his wide waist as the other ones could have been overlooked to a degree. But his waist did throw off his symmetry.
Ahmad Haidar : Lebanon - Ahmad posed to the song "Chariots of fire" by Vangelis lyrics. This was a quite suitable song for his physique and he posed very well to it. Ahmad has a very good structure and is always in great conditioning ("Abzilla").
Idrise Ward-El : USA - Idrise posed to medium paced music which worked well for him. Overall he looked good, but still needs to continue to improve to make an impact at shows like this one. It was a respectable performance though.
Dragan Paunovic : Yugoslavia - This was another pro who I had never heard of before this show. He would probably be extremely impressive to see in person but at this show, his physique didn't really stand out. He did look good though.
Stan McCrary :USA - Stan posed to "Differences" by Ginuwine and followed it up with "Yeah" by Usher (a very popular choice at this contest.
Jaroslav Horvath : Slovakia - Jaroslav was world class in this contest - as always. He is under 200 pounds but has an incredible shape. Back at the 1982 Mr. Olympia Contest, Chris Dickerson won the whole thing at a lighter body weight. Wow, times have changed. Jaroslav posed to "Circle of Life" by Celine Dion.
Paul Baker : Jamaica - Paul Baker posed to the song "Wake Me Up Inside" by Evanescence. I had never heard of this guy before this show and he was huge and conditioned. He would probably be a mach truck in person. Hopefully we see some more of this guy in the future.
Next up, the top guys hit the mandatory poses and followed it up with posedown music to the beat "Hey Ya" by OutKast. The top five was definitely looked sharp.
The top five was then announced:
5th: Ahmad Haidar
4th: Gustavo Badell (presented with his check by a spokesperson from bodybuilding.com)
3rd: Kris Dim
2nd: Lee Priest (presented with his check by a spokesperson from CytoSport)
1st: Dexter Jackson - 2004 IFBB San Francisco Pro Champion (presented with his check by title sponsor Diamond Nutrition)
Dexter thanked God during his speech and came across very eloquently.
A photo gallery from the show was included in the DVD as a bonus and I thought it was a good touch. The shots really captured the high caliber of competitors that the show had.
Overall this was another good DVD from GMV Productions and was an especially high quality show. Many of these competitors were definitely first tier (more than you would expect at a smaller show). This is another good DVD to add to the collection.
Review submitted by Matt Canning.
2004 IFBB San Francisco