06 September 2011

Fitness Britain 2011

Just a mini review of Sunday's Fitness Britain & Musclemania event in St Albans.

Normally I'd include a few photos of the winners, but I was informed a couple of days prior to the event that due to the Discovery Channel filming z-lister Jodie Marsh at the event that media passes had been revoked.  So even though audience members were on a free reign to photograph and video the whole day (as several were doing because no one from Fitness Britain appeared to care), I wasn't allowed to take any pictures throughout the day.  Yep, you might have guessed I was more than a bit p'ed off with this decision.  I wouldn't have even recognised Jodie Marsh, and I was only interested in photographing the athletes on stage.  It's history now, and this is the last time I'll comment on it, but in my view it was a short sighted decision by the organisers, who could have easily found a way around it if they'd wanted.  The athletes deserve all the publicity they can get for their work in what is an extremely tough industry to do well in.

Enough of my ranting, onto my review.

Looking back over the 2 days it's hard to find any real fault with the way the show was run.  Okay registration started 90 minutes late, but that just gave everyone a bit more time to network and make friends.

The venue, the Albans Arena couldn't be faulted, with plentiful and free parking just a few steps away.  I don't know what conditions were like backstage and in the changing areas, but I'm assuming they were good as it was a proper theatre.  Stage lighting is something I've discussed with Fitness Britain on several occasions, as its vital for quality stage photos, appeared to be great.  I'm sure Matt Marsh's photos will reflect that (feel free to post a link in the comments Matt!).

Maybe there were more, but I only noticed one "blip" on stage where some of the competitors were called forward to do turns, while the final 4 in the line up were left in the background and then all were walked off stage.

I noticed a couple of rookie mistakes where competitors made the wrong outfit choices during the sportswear round.  If you wear an outfit that covers up your body that you're being scored upon, expect to be marked down...  if you walk on stage covered up, to make it work you have to do the big reveal and show the judges what they want to see.

I was chatting with a  friend in the lobby while Morris Mendez & Ulysses Junior were doing their seminar, so can't comment on that.

Entertainment was provided by the amazing (for very different reasons) Escape Reality & MEM Gym Boys.  Both put on great acts.

Judging is always subjective, but for the most part I thought the judges were spot on.  There were a couple of results where I might have swapped around first and second places, but that's just my opinion and maybe I'm looking for something a little different to the judges.

Highlight of the evening for me was the reaction of Adis Jakic upon willing the European Model.  Having spent some hours with him on a shoot the following day, he clearly didn't expect to win, and his tears on stage were very real.  I've never seen anyone jump of stage before and kiss the judges!  Good on you Adis!

Roundup - It's great to finally see some good quality shows (yes I include this years FAME event in that) here in the UK, maybe in another couple of years the shows will be big enough for a proper weekend long fitness festival.  A show takes on a different quality / atmosphere when everyone is staying in the same host hotel for 2 or 3 nights as normally happens with the North American shows.

Results (if I've got any wrong or spelled a name incorrectly, please let me know in the comments).

Model - Britain Open Women

  1. Sian Toal

  2. Nyisha Jordan

  3. Karen Lanson

Model - Britain Open Men

  1. Duquaine Brooks

  2. Ru Wikmann

  3. Matt Dunford

Model - Europe Open Women

  1. Amanda Castelo Branco

Model - Europe Open Men

  1. Adis Jakic

  2. Dean Connor

  3. Ben Noy

Fitness - Britain Open Women

  1. Emmalouise

  2. Helen Collins

  3. Brenda Mhembere

Figure - Britain Open Women

  1. Nyisha Jordan

  2. Renata Sulekaite

  3. Janet Malinowski

Figure - Europe Open Women

  1. Renata Sulekaite

  2. Janet Malinowski

  3. Cindy Gaillard

Musclemania - Britain Masters Men

  1. Rick Waters

Musclemania - Europe Masters Men

  1. Jerry Man

  2. Rick Waters

  3. Nerio Arecco

Musclemania - Britain Teenage Men

  1. Connor Rudelhoff

Musclemania - Europe Junior Men

  1. Rico Van Huizen

  2. David Leonard

  3. Rakesh Singh

Musclemania - Europe Open Women

  1. Laura Franceschini

Musclemania - Britain Open Men Lightweight

  1. Sergiy Topchiy

  2. Duquaine Brooks

Musclemania - Britain Open Men Middleweight

  1. Derrick Twum

  2. Jason Fofana

  3. Lex Griffin

Musclemania - Britain Open Men Heavyweight

  1. Roger Snipes (also overall winner)

  2. Jerry Man

  3. Drew Fisher

Musclemania - Europe Open Men

  1. Otto Szanto

  2. Sandor Nagy

  3. Dan Corbett

Musclemania - Europe Open Men Heavyweight

  1. Rabe Abadom

Miss Bikini - Britain Short Class

  1. Sian Toals (also overall champion)

  2. Emma Burrows

  3. Madina Dowling

Miss Bikini - Britain Tall Class

  1. Brenda Mhembere

  2. Debbie Tyrell

  3. Svetlana Pavlova

Miss Bikini - Europe Open

  1. Sian Toal

  2. Gabriala Alliston

  3. Natasha Daniel- Gantz


1 comment:

matt marsh said...


stage lighting was good, a little to much smoke at times. the only issue raised with Chris regarding lighting is in the guest acts the lighting is left for them to decide, for most of it they themselves chose mood lighting. as you know this puts on a great show but is virtually impossible to photograph as we rely on the ambient light on the stage rather than using on camera flash!

the changing area, prep area was good, big enough that we had a back stage studio.

feel free to look at some of the stage pics here