A Review Of The 2007 Atlantic City Pro Show.

In a stunning upset, Johnnie O. Jackson defeated pre-contest favorite Darrem Charles, reversing the decision at this same competition last year... Here is a great review of the women and the top 15 for the men!

With only 2 weeks left until the Mr. Olympia contest in Las Vegas, the last qualifying professional bodybuilding show was held in the gambling capital of the East Coast, Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Saturday, September 15th, 2007.

In a stunning upset, Johnnie O. Jackson defeated pre-contest favorite Darrem Charles, reversing the decision at this same competition last year when Darrem soundly defeated Johnnie for the Atlantic City Pro title.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Darrem Charles Congratulates Johnnie Jackson On His Victory.

With 26 professional bodybuilders vying for the coveted invitation to the Mr. Olympia contest, there were some upsets and surprises. Many of the top ten bodybuilders were in outstanding condition, making the fight for a top three placing and a Mr. Olympia invitation a very tough road to travel.

In addition to the Men's Professional Bodybuilding competition, this event also featured a contest for the Figure Pro Women, the Fitness Pro Women and a Professional Women's Bodybuilding contest in addition to a Men's Wheelchair division.

+ Click To Enlarge.
The Winners Of The Wheelchair Division.

With nearly 100 total competitors, this became a very long evening for the audience and the competitors but the majority of the athletes were in outstanding shape.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Colt Wynn, Overall Winner Of The Wheelchair Division.

In the Pro Figure division, Andrea Dumon took home the first place award with popular Heather Green in second, Chastity Slone in third, Michelle Adams in fourth and Hazel Nelson in fifth. I thought seventh place Jelena Abbou looked outstanding with her wasp waist and beautiful face but she unfortunately did not make the top five.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Overall Figure Champion Andrea Dumon.

The very competitive Fitness competition saw the outstanding Tracey Greenwood in first place with a very strong routine and an excellent physique. Bethany Gainey in second place looks like a future star in this sport with her dynamic routine and incredible energy. The beautiful Julie Lohre was in third place with Brenda Lee Santiago-Capella in fourth and veteran Stacy Simons in fifth.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Professional Fitness Division, From Left,
4th place - Brenda Lee Santiago-Capella, 2nd place - Bethany Gainey,
1st place - Tracey Greenwood, 3rd place - Julie Lohre,
5th place - Stacy Simons

The Women's Pro Bodybuilding competition included a total of 31 athletes, competing in both the lightweight and heavyweight classes. The conditioning and size on these some of the women bodybuilders was incredible.

Nicole Ball presented a ripped and symmetrical physique to win the Lightweight class over the shredded Klaudia Larson from Sweden.

+ Click To Enlarge.
The Shredded Back Of Klaudia Larson.

Angela Debatin was in third place with Joanna Thomas in fourth and Debbie Bramwell rounding out the top five.

In the Heavyweight class, returning champ Lisa Auckland won easily over Betty Viana-Adkins in second. Debi Laszewski looked better than ever in third place with Lora Ottenad in fourth and veteran Heather Foster in fifth.

For the overall title, Lisa Auckland posed down against the excellent physique of Nicole Ball. Both bodybuilders were in superb condition but Lisa was thicker with absolutely incredible leg development and she successfully defended her title at the Atlantic City Pro Show.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Overall Women's Pro Bodybuilding Champion, Lisa Auckland.

Most of the audience came to the show to see the Men's Pro Contest and get a sneak preview of the upcoming Mr. Olympia contest only two weeks away. Here are the top 15 competitors in the Atlantic City Pro Show.

Top Fifteen Competitors

15th Place - Lionel Brown:

    Big Lionel Brown placed 15th in the contest. Lionel is a first year professional, having won his pro card last year in the 2006 Nationals. He has big arms and legs and is very vascular. He could have been a little harder in the glutes and hamstrings and his back needs to improve but the potential is there.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Lionel Brown At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Lionel Brown Here.

14th Place - Nathan Wonsley:

    Nathan Wonsley finished in the 14th spot. Nathan earned his pro card at the 2005 NPC Masters Nationals and he has an excellent physique with thick full muscle bellies. He looks great standing relaxed and he was pretty hard for this contest but he needs to come in even harder to place higher. Nathan's one big weak point is his calves, which look out of proportion compared to his massive thighs.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Nathan Wonsley At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Nathan Wonsley Here.

-> 13th Place - Ricky "Tricky" Jackson:

    Ricky "Tricky" Jackson was in excellent shape for the Atlantic City Pro Show. He was one of the smaller competitors onstage but his aesthetic shape and hard condition allowed him to place 13th in this show. Ricky's legs have always been his strong point along with an energetic and animated posing routine.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Ricky "Tricky" Jackson At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Ricky Jackson Here.

-> 12th Place - Jonathan Rowe:

    I believe this was Jonathan Rowe's first professional competition after beating Mike Ergas in a controversial decision at the 2005 NPC Nationals in the heavyweight class. Jonathan has a great physique with an excellent V-shape and big, sweeping quads.

    From the rear, he was rock hard with striated glutes and ripped hamstrings and calves. As he continues to add size and come in even harder from the front, he will place higher.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Jonathan Rowe At The Atlantic City Pro.

-> 11th Place - Jason Arntz:

    Jason Arntz just missed a top ten spot at the Atlantic City Pro Show. Jason has been a professional bodybuilder for almost ten years now so he can be considered a veteran among this group. He was in hard condition and his legs were big and separated although his short torso tends to throw off his symmetry. Several of the competitors he beat today have even better shape than Jason but he was able to place ahead of them due to his hard conditioning.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Jason Arntz At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Jason Arntz Here.

-> 10th Place - Troy Alves:

    After a disappointing finish at last year's Mr. Olympia contest, Troy spent the majority of the year gaining size so he could make a bigger impact this year when he stepped onstage at the fall pro shows. Unfortunately for Troy, he was not able to come in his characteristic hard condition and he placed a very disappointing tenth place tonight.

    Troy did not qualify for the Olympia this year so he will have to wait until next year. Troy has outstanding shape but he was just not hard enough to place higher. Even though this contest could be considered a "small pro show," the truth is that the competition today is so tough, no one can place high in any contest anymore unless they are in fantastic condition. Once Troy gets ripped and hard with his newly acquired size, he will be placing near the top again.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Troy Alves At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Troy Alves Here.

-> 9th Place - Hidetada Yamagishi:

    One of the hardest competitors in the contest was Hidetada Yamagishi from Japan. I saw Hide compete earlier this year at the Pro Iron Man contest in California and he looked even better tonight. He is very thick and full and his Hands on Hips Most Muscular reminded me a little of Rich Gaspari (who was one of the judges tonight) in his prime.

    Hide his developing a reputation for competing in hard condition and his energetic and animated demeanor onstage is making him popular with the bodybuilding audience. Hide is a little narrow and shorter than many of the competitors which may have held him back but I think he could have placed several notches higher because of his outstanding condition.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Hidetada Yamagishi At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Hidetada Yamagishi Here.

-> 8th Place - Fouad Abiad:

    Fouad Abiad from Canada is a new face on the professional scene. I was very impressed with his thick and ripped physique. Fouad has great thickness in his pecs, lats, delts and thighs (which were laced with vascularity). From the rear, he was thick and ripped with striated glutes and ripped hamstrings. It was great to see a new face and a new physique on the pro scene with a small tight waist combined with good shape and excellent full, thick muscles.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Fouad Abiad At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Fouad Abiad Here.

-> 7th Place - Quincy Taylor:

    Big Quincy Taylor placed 7th in Atlantic City after taking second place at the Montreal Pro Show two weeks earlier. Quincy looked much flatter here than he did at the Montreal show. This was very noticeable when standing relaxed or in the front lat spread pose.

    At 6'4", Quincy is one of the biggest professional bodybuilders competing today. With a frame that big, Quincy needs to come in full and hard to fulfill his incredible potential. He has two weeks to correct whatever went wrong and come into the Olympia in the same condition he competed in at the Montreal Pro Show.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Quincy Taylor At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Quincy Taylor Here.

-> 6th Place - Chris Cormier:

    One of the most successful professional bodybuilders of all time, Chris was attempting to make a comeback after severely hurting his lower back while doing vertical leg presses two years ago. For awhile, it looked like Chris may be finished with bodybuilding but here he was back onstage for the fall pro shows in order to qualify for the Mr. Olympia.

    Chris missed a qualifying spot two weeks ago in Toronto where he took fourth place and he dropped two more spots in Atlantic City. Chris has still not regained the physique that won numerous pro titles over the last decade. His upper body seemed to be down in size and his right tricep looked like it was either injured or torn.

    Chris still has excellent leg development but he needs to be harder in order to regain his former glory. If he continues to train hard and consistently, hopefully he can be on top again next year.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Chris Cormier At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Chris Cormier Here.

-> 5th Place - Craig Richardson:

    This was the best I had ever seen Craig Richardson compete. From the front, Craig was very big and rock hard with particularly excellent leg development. His quads are full, thick and sharply separated with big calves to match.

    From the rear, Craig has slightly high lats but he was thick and ripped with some of the deepest striated glutes in the contest. His rear lat spread pose definitely needs to improve and his abs could be even more detailed but Craig is definitely on his way to being a top contender in the IFBB if he continues to improve like he did here tonight.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Craig Richardson At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Craig Richardson Here.

-> 4th Place - Melvin Anthony:

    Marvelous Melvin Anthony had to be considered one of the favorites for this contest after placing fifth in last year's Mr. Olympia contest. He boldly predicted on the MD website that he would win first place in this contest before moving onto the Mr. Olympia contest in two weeks. Unfortunately, Melvin was off tonight and was not sharp enough to place any higher than fourth.

    He has fantastic shape and his proportions and symmetry were among the best in the show but he was not nearly as hard as the three men who placed above him. Melvin also looked to be much bigger than last year, competing at 250 pounds tonight.

    His normally outstanding posing routine was cut short and it consisted of slow, graceful posing instead of his traditional hip-hop, hyper-kinetic performance. Melvin looked extremely disappointed to place out of the top three so hopefully he can really get rock hard for the Olympia in the next two weeks.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Melvin Anthony At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Melvin Anthony Here.

-> 3rd Place - David Henry:

    One of the happiest guys in the show had to be David Henry who snagged the only remaining Mr. Olympia qualification at this contest. I had seen David compete earlier in the year at the Pro Iron Man and the Arnold Classic and he was noticeably bigger but not as sharp as he has been in the past.

    Today, he had regained that ultra-sharp conditioning that he is known for. The addition of more muscle really made a difference to David's physique as he was super thick from the front and back. His rear double biceps pose and most muscular shots were incredible!

+ Click To Enlarge.
David Henry At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of David Henry Here.

-> 2nd Place - Darrem Charles:

    Darrem was probably the most surprised competitor in the show tonight when he lost a close decision to Johnnie Jackson for the overall title. Darrem has been called the "King of the $10,000 Contests" by Bob Cicherillo in reference to Darrem's record of winning so many of the smaller pro contests in between the Arnold Classic and the Olympia.

    Although Darrem has one of the best physiques in bodybuilding, he is usually overlooked at the big shows because he is considered not big enough to compete with the likes of Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler. Tonight, Darrem was very thick and hard and he even posed with more intensity and passion. However, he could have been even more shredded and that is what he needed tonight to beat Johnnie Jackson.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Darrem Charles At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Darrem Charles Here.

-> 1st Place - Johnnie Jackson:

    Johnnie was diced and sliced for this show and he rose all the way to the top position to take the overall title. Johnnie has so much thickness and size in his pecs, delts, traps and lats, he can rival almost anyone in the sport in this department. When that thickness is combined with extremely low body fat and deep separations, he looks just incredible.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Johnnie Jackson Wins The Atlantic City Pro Show Overall Title.

    Johnnie's weak point has always been his legs but they were noticeably improved tonight with more size and separation in the quads and hamstrings and his calves also looked a little bigger. Johnnie is a little bit narrow in the shoulder structure and because of his massive traps and pecs, he has a tendency to look bunched up when he is standing relaxed.

    Despite this small structural flaw, Johnnie was a very deserving winner tonight. He has gradually gotten harder all year long and now he is peaking just in time for the Olympia. If he can hold this condition for another two weeks, I think Johnnie will have his highest placing ever in the Mr. Olympia contest.

+ Click To Enlarge.
Johnnie Jackson At The Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics Of Johnnie Jackson Here.

About The Author:

    John Hansen is one of the best natural bodybuilders in the world having won the Natural Mr. Universe title twice and he was the first Natural Mr. Olympia winner. He is the author of the book "Natural Bodybuilding" (Human Kinetics, 2005) and has two DVD's available - "Real Muscle" and "Natural Bodybuilding Seminar and Competitions". You can visit his website at www.naturalolympia.com and check out his forum here on Bodybuilding.com at forum.bodybuilding.com

    Be sure to visit John Hansen at the Optimum Nutrition/ABB booth at the Mr. Olympia this year in Las Vegas on Friday, September 28th and Saturday, September 29th, 2007. He will have all of his products available and will be handing out samples of new, groundbreaking Optimum Nutrition and ABB products.