2022 IFBB Pro League Australian Men’s Physique and Bikini Pro Show.  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. April 23rd, 2022.

Report and photo galleries by David Michael Images (@david_michael_images) for team GMV.

Men’s Photo Gallery
Women’s Photo Gallery

The anticipation and excitement going in to the 2022 IFBB Pro League Australia season was highly motivating, not only for the athletes, but also for Australia’s ever increasing Bodybuilding community and supporters. After two uncertain and challenging years, with many shows being cancelled around the country, this one was going to be special.

Social media was abuzz with excitement. It was great to see posts with everyone in preparation for these shows. Whether the athletes were Amateur or Pro, no matter where you looked, everyone seemed to be in prep for a show.

2021 saw the first IFBB Pro League Australian Bikini Pro Show. When Tony Doherty announced 2022 would bring both a Pro Bikini Show, and for the first time on Australian soil, a Pro Men’s Physique show, the stage was set. The date was set. Saturday the 23rd of April, Melbourne Australia.

In addition to the news of the two Pro Shows, it was also announced that the show would be held in one of, (if not the best) venue for Bodybuilding in Australia, the Plenary Theatre in Melbourne. For those who are unaware, this is the same venue and stage used for the Arnold Sports Festival Australia. Once again, and after a two year hiatus, Bodybuilders would again grace it’s stage.

As with the 2021 show in Brisbane, the Pro events were held in conjunction with the IFBB Pro League Australia Amateur Nationals. Pro Cards were up for grabs for the overall winners in Bodybuilding, Classic Bodybuilding, Men’s Physique, Bikini, Wellness and Figure. The number of competitors in the amateur events was the most I had ever seen for an Australian Amateur event. Even more impressive was the level of competition. Divisions were stacked, and the quality was deep. With travel and State borders open, competitors from around the country made the journey to compete in Melbourne.

Also, the winner of Pro Bikini Show and the winner of the Men’s Physique show would both receive direct qualification to the biggest show on the planet, the 2022 Mr Olympia in Las Vegas USA.

Firstly, there are few other MC’s like Tony Doherty. A man who loves the sport, and has done so much for Bodybuilding in Australia, and with the IFBB Pro League Australia, we have seen competitor numbers explode. There is no-one better at getting an already excited crowd up to fever pitch.

Men’s Physique

Physique competitor Patrick Asiedu took out the Amateur Men’s Physique event, and was awarded his IFBB Pro Card, and an invitation to compete in the Pro Show, scheduled to take place moments after his Amateur victory.

Scheduled to compete in the Pro Show were

1. Mohammed Al Kindy (Oman)
2. LaQuinton Alston (Australia)
3. Viet Doan (Australia)
4. Joseph Mencel (Australia)
5. Ajith Raja (India)
6. Ali Raza (Australia)
7. Fabrizio Dos Santos Silva (Australia)
8. Patrick Asideu (Australia)

Ajith Raja did not compete in the event, so the battle was on for the 7 remaining competitors. It was great to see an International competitor in the line-up, with Mohammed Al Kindy from Oman hitting the Australian Stage. Hopefully with International travel on a fast track back to pre-pandemic levels, welcoming back international competitors will once again be a regular, and exciting expectation. With the exception of Al Kindy, I believe all other competitors currently call Australia home.

The finals placings were:

  1. Fabrizio Dos Santos SILVA
  2. Viet DOAN
  3. Joseph MENCEL
  4. Ali Raza
  5. Mohammed al Kindy
  6. LaQuinton Alston
  7. Patrick Asideu
    Ajith Raja – DNC

It was evident to see that each competitor relished being on stage, with a few making their Pro Debuts. And what debuts they were.

Top 3.

3rd Place – Joseph MENCEL

I had seen some social media posts from Joseph Mencel leading up to the show. Although most of the media that I had seen pictured him covered up, I did see his shoulders and arms and they looked absolutely shredded. So I expected Joe to be in peeled condition on the day. He did not disappoint. Joe has a wide and thick back, which are very strong areas for him. His physique is balanced and is condition was on. Joe was also very strong with his posing. He knows his best poses and displays his physique well. After comparisons I thought he would be top 3. It was evident that Joe was a crowd favourite and he had some loud supporters.

2nd Place – Viet DOAN

Viet Doan took out the second place spot. Viet was one of the most conditioned athletes on stage. He was peeled and vascular. His chest was striated and he was ready to do battle. Another great poser, and his poses and transitions are strong and display his physique perfectly. His back pose is a strong point, wide and detailed, and he can display it almost flawlessly which highlights a fantastic x-frame.

1st Place – Fabrizio Dos Santos SILVA

I’m almost embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard of Fabrizio before. However, I did learn that this was his debut pro show! Well, that’s all changed. Now everyone seems to be aware of this guy!

The proportions on this guy are just a gift. He is absolutely made for this division.

His upper body is just phenomenal. Full, round muscle bellies, mixed with incredible condition. Fabrizio took out first place, and deserved.

And with that first place, also comes an invitation to the big dance, the 2022 Mr Olympia Qualification. I would like to see Fabrizio keep improving on his posing before the Olympia, polish those transitions and being “ready”. Good luck Fabrizio and see you at the O.

Bikini Pro

Once again, the popularity of Bikini was evident. The Amateur bikini line-ups were huge. The growth of the bikini division shows no sign of slowing down. I have seen Bikini explode worldwide and Australia is certainly no different. Social media was abuzz leading up to this event. The battle for the Overall Amateur bikini title was hard fought and must have been a very hard decision for the judges. In the end, Calista McKenzie took out the overall Bikini title, earning her the prestigious and highly sought after IFBB Pro Card, and an invitation to compete in the afternoon’s Pro Bikini Show. An invitation she readily accepted.

Scheduled to compete in the Bikini Pro

1. Bridget Bailey (Australia)
2. Aleksandra Banda (Australia)
3. Shanae DiCicco (Australia)
4. Jade McKee (Australia)
5. Nicole Tan (Australia)
6. Calista McKenzie (Australia).

Once again, Tony Doherty whipped the crowd into a frenzy for this one.

Each athlete came out one at a time, and it was clear that they were all ready for this. With the exception of the new Pro, I had followed the athletes on Social Media leading up to the show and it was evident that were all ready for this one!

The final placings were:

  1. Alexsandra BANDA
  2. Shanae DICICCO
  3. Calista McKENZIE
  4. Nicole TAN
  5. Bridget BAILEY
  6. Jade McKEE

Top 3.

3rd Place – Calista McKenzie.

It was clear that Calista was in condition. She had just taken out the overall for the amateur bikini, in what must have been one of the largest amateur line-ups seen in Australia. Finishing 3rd amongst some seasoned bikini pros was a fantastic result for Calista.

2nd Place – Shanae DiCicco
I first saw Shanae compete at the Arnold Australia amateurs in 2018, and then saw her on the Arnold Pro Stage the following year. I have watched Shanae transition in to a seasoned Bikini Pro, and have followed her journey. I last saw her on stage at the 2021 Australian Bikini Pro, and her improvement between 2021 and 2022 has seen her now competing for the top spot. Shanae looks ready to battle on the international stage. Her posing is her greatest strength and her presentation was flawless.

1st Place – Aleksandra Banda

Runner up in 2021, and ready for the top spot in 2022. Aleksandra came in her best condition. Although I thought she looked amazing in 2021, her 2022 package was even better. Her balance of muscle and bikini condition was too good on the day, taking out the top spot. A tiny waist, highlighted by her signature posing was just too good.

A humble champion, and earned a well-deserved qualification to the 2022 Bikini Olympia. I look forward to seeing her on stage amongst the best bikini competitors in the world. I’m confident that she will look at home on the biggest stage in the world.

The battle between 3rd and 4th place Nicole Tan must have been close. Nicole looked in fantastic condition and her presentation was immaculate. I just feel Nicole needs a little work on her posing to show what was an incredible package, even better. Especially her transitions. I feel this will come with more pro competitions on the international stage.
Both Bridgette and Jade also brought incredible physiques to this year’s stage, and in my opinion both making great improvements on 2021.

It is great to see Australia producing some incredible IFBB professional athletes, and I look forward to seeing them on international stages soon. I look forward to seeing what 2023 brings, and hopefully with international competitors returning to the Australian Stages.  Fingers crossed in 2023 we can see a Pro Bodybuilding or Pro Wellness event too!

Congratulations to Tony Doherty and the IFBB Pro League Australia team for an incredibly successful show and bringing the biggest and baddest bodies in Australia to the stage.
The last contest that GMV recorded on video in the magnificent Plenary Theatre was the 2019 Arnold Classic Australia. You can check it out here.

This contest saw a first time Arnold Classic Australia victory for a very popular WILLIAM BONAC from the Netherlands.

JESSICA REYES-PADILLA of Puerto Rico was the winner of the Arnold Classic Pro Figure. JANET LAYUG won the Arnold Classic Pro Bikini Class making this her second victory in Australia. It was a first time winner in RYALL GRABER from Canada in the Pro Fitness class.