Johnnie O. Jackson shares his analysis and opinion on the top six Men’s Open placings at the Arnold Classic 2022.

This past weekend held the Arnold Classic 2022, it was an exciting event that returned to its normal full form after two years of shortcomings due to the global pandemic. The event is considered to be the second biggest competition of the bodybuilding season, second only to the Mr. Olympia itself. So of course, a bodybuilding show of this size is not without its controversies – with many debating whether William Bonac or Brandon Curry should have won first place. In this week’s episode of Hardcore Truth, Johnnie O. Jackson gives his analysis and opinions on the top six placings at the Arnold Classic 2022.

Seven divisions battled it out over the weekend at the Arnold Classic, bringing together some of the most talented athletes currently competing. When the results were announced on Saturday night, there was a mixture of excitement, respect, and controversy. The most hotly debated topic was about the battle of Brandon Curry and William Bonac. Many believed that Bonac should have taken the top spot. Regardless of outcome, these two competitors were extremely close in physique quality and performance. When a battle comes neck and neck as we reach the finish line – controversy always ensues.

That’s why Johnnie O. Jackson decided to put his opinion into the ring and break down his thoughts on the top six placings during the Arnold Classic 2022 finals. Let’s jump into his thoughts below.

Johnnie O. Jackson’s breakdown of the Arnold Classic 2022 Top Six Placings

First Johnnie O. Jackson puts his focus on sixth place finisher Brett Wilkin. Wilkin went into the Arnold Classic with a lot of hype this year due to some promising physique updates on social media entering the show. Ultimately, for fans expecting a massive top 3 finish, there was a bit of a let down after all the hype.

But Johnnie O. Jackson points out that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Wilkin looked improved of last year and is still relatively early in his career. Jackson’s biggest assessment? Wilkin needs more size in order to compete with the top 3 at an event this size.

Johnnie O. Jackson then moves onto Justin Rodriguez – who he believes has an incredible physique but could improve by bringing up his arms and the separation in his quads. Beyond that he brought in powerful conditioning and grainy physique. He also believes that between the pre-judging and finals – Justin Rodriguez woke up and brought a much more intense and passionate posing routine which helped his placing.

Johnnie O. Jackson then moves onto Steve Kuclo – whom he doesn’t have any direct criticism for. He believes that Kuclo continues to remain consistent and slowly improve his overall package. Jackson thinks that there is no specific area he needs to focus on – rather he simply needs to move to the next step on all of the little details to pull up into a possible number one spot in the future.

William Bonac vs Brandon Curry – Johnnie O. Jackson’s verdict

Now Johnnie O. Jackson dives into the controversy of William Bonac vs Brandon Curry. In Jackson’s personal opinion, he finds that Brandon Curry deserved the win he got. But he also understands that the battle was very, very close. Ultimately, depending on the subjective slant of the judges – it could have gone either way.

In Jackson’s opinion, he thinks that Bonac landing on second has to do with the lack of consistency in his performance over the past two years. Bonac placed sixth at the Mr. Olympia 2021. His physique at the Arnold Classic 2022 was much improved and perhaps one of the best versions of Bonac we’ve seen. In Jackson’s opinion, this inconsistency between shows gave Brandon Curry the edge over Bonac.

As a fair counterpoint to Johnnie O. Jackson’s opinion here – each individual bodybuilding show should be judged in a vacuum. The physique a year ago should not reflect on the physique presented on stage at the Arnold Classic 2022. However, it is also pretty common knowledge that the judges partially base their assessment of an athlete based on how they improved, or fell behind, from their last show. It’s often said that the Mr. Olympia champion, for example, can’t just look the same every year. He still needs to find a way to improve and beat his previous self.

So perhaps Brandon Curry’s consistency swayed the judges to give him the nod. Not all fans might be satisified by this answer. But the reality is that no matter how transparent and objective the sport tries to be – it is still judged by human beings. Subjective opinion will always sway a score in a slightly different direction.

Wrap Up

You can watch Johnnie O. Jackson go into full detail about his analysis of the top six bodybuilder placings at the Arnold Classic 2022 by watching the latest episode of Hardcore Truth above. Do you agree with Jackson on his takes? Let us know by commenting on our social media. And make sure to stick around every Thursday for new episodes of Hardcore Truth With Johnnie O. Jackson!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.