Bob Cicherillo is setting his sights on angry fans who disagree with judges and contest results. In a recent Voice of Bodybuilding podcast, Cicherillo laid out why the judging process is fair and accurate despite fans continually taking issue with scorecards.
Immediately after the results, fans and some bodybuilding veterans criticized the judging process. Retired pro Zack Khan was among them. He believes Ramy wasn’t given a fair shot on stage in Las Vegas because the 38-year-old was sidelined for most of prejudging.
Months later, competitors gathered in Ohio for the Arnold Classic. Nick Walker entered the contest on short notice as the overwhelming favorite but lost to Samson Dauda. Once again, fans and the bodybuilding community were upset by the results.
While Chris Aceto and Jay Cutler thought Walker could have won, Cicherillo disagrees. He’s taken to multiple podcasts and interviews to explain the judging process. Even though Walker brought the best conditioning of the show, Cicherillo stressed that Dauda presented the best combination of symmetry, balance, shape, proportions, and stage presentation.
Bob Cicherillo Sounds Off On Fans Angry Over Contest Results: ‘The Judges Decide the 1st Call Out’
Cicherillo said his latest video was inspired by fans who called out the 2023 New York Pro scorecards.
“He [Brent Swanson] didn’t end up doing that well in terms of placings, he ended up in ninth place. But this isn’t about where he placed okay, it’s about a post that I saw which inspired me to want to put out on this edition of the Voice of Bodybuilding. In a nutshell, Brent’s got a couple of fans/clients I guess that do personal training from the description. We’ll get to that in a second. They put out a big long lengthy post about after show about how disappointed they were.”
Again, Cicherillo highlighted that a contest is won by a combination of factors, not just conditioning.
“Number two: he was the most shredded guy on stage, you can see it right there. What does that mean? There’s so many components to a bodybuilding show. We’ve been over this folks, over and over and over. The most shredded guy on stage… listen, that’s fantastic. If we were in the Mr. shredded competition, well he might have won the thing.
But there’s size shape, proportion, symmetry, muscularity, presentation, and conditioning, so if that was all he had then obviously, what, you’re [the fans] are 1 for 6? That’s not really helping your cause. That’s strike two,” Bob Cicherillo explained.
According to Bob, only judges can dictate who earned a spot in the first call-out.
“Earned a first call out, we believe he earned a first call out. No, no, you earn a first call out with your physique. You don’t earn a first call out because of these other accolades or because you believe he worked very hard or any of those things. The judges dictate who earns a first call out, I don’t care who you are.
If you’re a former champ, if you’re a former Olympian, I’d say that consideration only goes so far as to what you’re quote entitled to. You’re entitled to step on that stage, alright, in front of a jury of your peers, we call them judges and get compared to the guys next to you. Now, it’s all about comparisons. I don’t care if you won six Olympias, if you’re not at that level at that point if you blew your conditioning and you just weren’t in shape, you don’t earn anything. You earn it by showing up and being in contention with the other guys.”
Cicherillo highlighted that the point of the judging panel is to score shows in an impartial manner. He added that fans shouldn’t bash events because their friends were unable to win.
“You have to take these things out of consideration. When you’re objectively talking about a physique competition because the underlying [problem] here are that he was given a raw deal and that he deserved a top five call out, ‘He should have been in the first call out.’ Our hearts were broken when he wasn’t in that top-five call out and he deserved to be called out. I couldn’t disagree more.
Listen, your hearts might have been broken for your friends personally, listen, I’ve had family around me for 13 years trying to get a pro card. Trust me, their hearts were broken as much as mine. When I would go to another show, another year and come up short of a pro card. They knew how hard I worked. They knew I put 100% in every prep,” said Cicherillo.
“Check your feelings at the door! Stop bashing shows your friends didn’t win.”
The last time fans heard from Cicherillo, he gave his thoughts on the recent 2023 Pittsburgh Pro guest posing spectacle. Big Ramy fulfilled his obligation this year, but Bob thought his physique looked the same or worse than at Mr. Olympia.
Overall, Cicherillo thinks judging should fairly and objectively compare different body types. He admits the system has flaws, but he urges fans not to criticize the shows.