Melanie Bassi Dominates Daytona Beach!

“I never thought I would win a Bikini Pro Card, let alone a second and becoming a Pro Bikini Champion. It really is amazing!”

Melanie Bassi’s return to the IPL stage was super impressive at the 2019 1st Annual IPL Florida Pro/Am on September 29 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

     Back in 2016 Bassi was busy on the IPL circuit. At her first contest, the 2016 New York Pro/Am, she would place 1st in Bikini Open earning her IPL Pro Card. She also placed 2nd in Figure Open at that contest. Then, later that year, she would make her Pro Bikini Debut earning 2nd place. And earned another 2nd place spot in Figure Open. An awesome IPL debut year for Melanie.

     Fast forward three years and Bassi was back. She would travel from Connecticut down to Daytona Beach Florida for the first ever IPL Florida Pro/Am. First, Melanie would hit the Bikini Masters stage…side note…back in 2016 Melanie was not yet 40 years old. However, in 2019 she was the ripe young age of 42, now able to enter the Masters classes.

     Needless to say Melanie swept the 40+ class and went on to earn the Overall Bikini Masters title and Pro Card. A heck of an opener for this competitive athlete. And she was not done on the Florida stage yet.

     In Daytona Beach, Melanie Bassi joined an elite group of IPL Pros. She would hit the Pro stage for the second time in her IPL career. This time taking 1st place, earning her first IPL Pro Bikini title! An amazing showing for Melanie!

BEN YOSEF: First let me say welcome back to the IPL stage! We certainly missed you over that three year absence. And congratulations on earning your first IPL Pro title! And earning another IPL Pro Card. What an amazing show for you! This show was quite some time ago…now that the dust has settled, how are you feeling about what went down that day and what were you up to over the last 3 years?

MELANIE BASSI: Thanks so much! It feels so good to be back with the IPL! I definitely missed my IPLFAM. I couldn’t be happier with the Daytona Beach Show. It was fantastic. I never thought I would win a Bikini Pro Card, let alone a second AND becoming a Pro Bikini Champion. It really is amazing!

     As you know, I’m from Connecticut and traveling is difficult for me, so I wasn’t able to make it to the IPL stage for a while. And I took a season off because I ended up fighting SIBO which is a type of stomach infection that made prep difficult. So I took time fore self care. When I was ready and well, I hired a new coach, John Hollywood, who prepped me for the stage again.


     When I heard IPL was in Florida, I couldn’t miss it! So I packed my truck and drove all the way there on my own to compete! So glad I made the trip! I must say, Kristen Davis gave me a run for my money! She’s beautiful and looked amazing! I definitely had tough competition. I was just set on bringing the best package I could bring and it went really well!

BEN: Well, it was definitely great having you back! It’s great that you got a chance to take some time off for self-care. I hope the stomach infection is all better now? I didn’t realize you drove down to Florida! I feel honored that you did that in order to be a part of this show! So, at this contest you entered only the Bikini division. Obviously, you have done well in Figure in the IPL. Why did you drop that division?

MELANIE: Thank you! And yes, the SIBO is under control finally. Fun fact about me in terms of travel…I don’t fly. –laughs- People think I’m crazy, but I love road trips so it doesn’t bother me. There are so many beautiful places you miss when you fly. I’ve driven to Florida a dozen times on my own. In fact, about 7 weeks before the Daytona Beach show, I drove all the way from Connecticut to Key West! It was amazing! Of course I made a few stops there and back, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. It’s liberating to be on your own on the road. Everyone should try it at some point in their lives.

     And yes, I absolutely love and miss competing in Figure! Such a challenge and I love the posing structure. I did well, but the judges feedback was always to increase my leg size. My upper body has always been my advantage in Figure, but my legs just don’t want to grow much. I’ve even received the same feedback in some Bikini divisions a few times. In 2017, I had knee surgery. Six months after my knee surgery, I tore my left hamstring right at the origin. Needless to say, I had to put building my leg size on the back burner for a bit and decided to focus on Bikini. With the change in routine due to my restrictions from these injuries, I was actually able to build some decent glute size and sculpt better legs that appeared a bit bigger than in the past. It was a great silver lining to the situation!

BEN: Oh, wow. You are quite the trooper! In more ways than one! I thought your legs looks great at the Florida Pro. So, that Masters Bikini class was stacked ten competitors deep. However, you definitely stood out right away. Were you feeling pretty confident in that lineup?

MELANIE: Thank you! I was feeling confident that day! But my confidence comes from loving what I do! It’s from being happy with what I bring to the table, regardless of the lineup. I always have a vision of the look I want for myself and my coach and I work really hard to get there. We all do as competitors. And we should all be proud of the work we put in. I firmly believe that if you love the package you bring, then confidence will come naturally. And regardless of how you place, you will feel great when you step off the stage. The Masters lineup was definitely stacked that day as you said! So many beautiful, mature women braving the stage together and I was proud to be a part of it.

BEN: You would then hit that Pro Bikini stage for the second time in your IPL career. Your closest competition there was Kristen Davis who was making her Pro Debut. In the end you would beat her out in four of the six scored categories. And in the other two Posing/Presentation you guys tied with 36 (out of 40) points each. And she scored a perfect 40 on her suit to your 38. Your final scores being you with 213 out of 240 and Kristen with 207. 213 being an incredibly high and impressive score by the way! What was it like competing in that Pro class and especially going up against Kristen Davis?

MELANIE: Kristen looked great and she’s tough competition. So I knew it would be a very close score. We have very different looks. Kristen’s suit was a very clean, classic bikini! I chose to go with a suit that was a bit more unconventional. I knew my suit choice was a bit risky, but sticking to something that is more my own style makes me feel more comfortable and confident. Kristen had a great look and I think I did too. It’s difficult to judge differences like that. She’s a great competitor and it made me work that much harder up there!

BEN: Love your perspective! I hope to have you back on the IPL stage soon! Any final thoughts?

MELANIE: Yes! Please come back to the Northeast! –laughs- Maybe a DC show? Or Philly? We miss the IPL up here! Can’t wait to compete on your stage again! Thank you!

About the interviewer:

Ben Yosef

Ben Yosef

Ben is the Publisher of Natural Bikini Magazine and the President & Founder of the International Physique League.

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