Judging Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest – What Are The Rules?

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Every year, we wait to hear whether or not Joey Chestnut ‘s break his personal record by eating half-a-hot-dog or more than however many dozens he crushed last year. This class, though, not only did we learn Chestnut one-upped himself so far again, but we besides got to talk to Bill Strickland, the longtime head of Hearst ‘s Enthusiast Group … and a estimate in this year ‘s Nathan ‘s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Bill told us what precisely his responsibilities as a estimate were, and, of course, what it ‘s like to be that close while athletes literally shove hot chase after hot dog down their throats. Spoiler alert : There are “ bits flying around ” that get on you, and “ it was incredible … but [ he ] just would n’t do it again. ” I ‘m concerned in rival. I ‘ll even watch a checkers competition. But the way I got into the Nathan ‘s competition is a spot different—there was this ride called the Donut Derby here in the Lehigh Valley where I live, and for every Krispy Kreme you eat, you get three minutes off your time. I had this supporter who was just weirdly talented at going reasonably fast and eating a lot of donuts, and he won. Frank the Tank got up to over 30 donuts, and after a few years, we were approaching negative time where his doughnut time had erased all his riding time. then this ridicule Yasir Salem showed up, and he was a competitive eater. I had seen him on Nathan ‘s before. I was like, “ well, this guy is going to destroy … ” and he did. He ate, like, 50 donuts, or some farcical sum. I started paying more attention to [ the Nathan ‘s contest ] because Yasir was there. As I watched it more, I ‘d think : “ These men and women are actually stretching the limits of operation. ” You can see they ‘re starting to hit the wall of what they can do, and I equitable found that level of competition—one where you get to your absolute upper limits—to be fascinating.

[ When I was asked to judge the 2021 contest, ] I assumed it was going to be largely ceremony. Upon arrival, it feels very old school, very Coney Island Americana, Fourth of July. It ‘s about like hearkening back. I thought, “ Cool, I might get a T-shirt, and I ‘m going to get to see this thing. But obviously there must be professional counters there. ” I promptly found out that was n’t the case. They threw me correct in. I ended up judging the women ‘s and the men ‘s competitions. There are two-to-three judges paired with each dissenter. I was [ paired with a evaluator ] who had done it before, and I did n’t feel qualify. I actually had to take depart in the count. As a two-person team, depart of the judge is that you ‘re flipping spiral newspaper numbers and holding it up to the contestants so they can see where they are .2021 nathan's famous international hot dog eating contest

Judges stand in front of the contestants to help them gauge their progrress. Here, you can see Bill, who was paired with winner Michelle Lesco (L), holding up his count.

Bobby Bank

When you ‘re watching on television receiver, you see the people behind them holding up actually visualize scorecards, precisely flipping over the number of hot dogs. But those people are watching us. As the thing is going on, you in truth are the main counters for this thing. I quickly went from “ I am not qualified to do this, ” to “ I ‘m going to cause a scandal. I ‘m going to be the most hat person in the hot dog universe. If I ever go to get a hot cad somewhere, they ‘re going to be like, “ That ‘s the ridicule who robbed person of the entitle. ‘ ” The prize is $ 10,000—there are identical real stakes !2021 nathan's famous international hot dog eating contest

Counters behind the contestants reflect the judges’ scoring out to the audience and viewers at home.

Bobby Bank

The 10 minutes of actual contest are intense. The competitors are eating so fast it ‘s hard to keep racetrack. They separate the hot chase and the bun … because the hot andiron is hard and the bun is voiced, plus they dip the bun in water. So they ‘ll have a bun, and they ‘re holding the hot dog in their fist, and you ca n’t actually see it, and the bun ‘s kind of spend, and they have to pick it up and eat it.
Pro tip off for keeping track : There are five hot dogs per plate. so if you start to get off track, you can look at empty plates. There are besides a match of judges roam on stage and they ‘ll ensure you stay on path. We were down ( or astir one or two ) throughout the sessions, but we ended up in the right place. There are three main takeaways from my day as a evaluator. Firstly, [the competition] is gross. It is disgusting, and it ‘s means messy when you ‘re actually there. It ‘s called a “ reversal ” if a dissenter regurgitates. They ca n’t do that or they ‘re disqualified. No matchless had a reversal this class, but one of the contestants actually said, “ Watch out for spray. ” That ‘s equitable as they ‘re dipping stuff in water, and shoving these things in, there are bits flying around that can get on you, specially as a pronounce who is sitting right in front of them. Putting the coarseness aside, you can see standing correctly there looking at them that they are in pain. It is like any endurance event. The will to keep putting those things in your mouth and swallow them is enormous. It is a testament to human endurance. Thirdly—which I knew, but I actually understood sitting there watching it— there is a lot of technique. I was right following to Joey Chestnut, who goes truly, actually hard for the first four minutes and gets a big leave. then he settles in to maintain that lead and even will let people eat into it. then there ‘s a big sprint in the last minute. In the last 30 seconds, he probably got down five hot dogs. He ended up setting the world record again. He ‘s, I do n’t know, the Michael Jordan of blistering frank eating ! When he got up around 70, there was a judge next to me who fainted. It ‘s hot out there, but it ‘s besides equitable truly acute, and the crowd is screaming. “ person swooned ” over the phone number of hot dogs, is the way I ‘m describing it. As for [ 2021 ‘s female champion ] Michelle Lesco, when I got my judge assignment and walked improving, the first thing I thought was “ Oh, she ‘s an athlete. ” She was very graceful, in truth fast. She had only smooth movements. She had obviously just trained for how to get these things … I thought of her while watching one of the guys next to me, Gideon Oji. He was a college basketball player, and now he ‘s early into competitive consume. At the end of the contest, he had hot frump and bun all over himself—not Michelle. This was her year. For what it ‘s worth, I … would n’t do this again. [ Major League Eating ] asked me to, and I was like, “ You know what, I think just once for me. ” It was amazing, but I think it would become a eldritch … not to disparage the hot pawl people.
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But if you ‘d like to become a judge for the Nathan ‘s Hot Dog Eating Contest, what I would say is that it ‘s particularly accessible, which I besides found intriguing. It ‘s not like I ‘m going to ever be a referee at the Super Bowl or an arbiter the World series. But this is just about the World Championship, the biggest spectacle for competitive feed. If person was very into this, I think if they wrote Nathan ‘s and Major League Eating, they ‘d have a changeable. It ‘s amazing ! There are n’t many things that are that accessible in this way. Like, who ‘s going to let you on the stage at a symphony, or whatever version of excellence you ‘re into ? A survive note to anyone who ‘s considering judging. I ‘d thought, “ I ‘ll judge this, the Nathan ‘s original digest is there, it ‘ll be fun and then I ‘ll go get a hot frump. ” You ‘re … not going to want to eat a hot dog. You ‘re merely not.
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