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X marks the shock

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted October 08, 2012
eater x wins chili eating in DC
Chilli champ: Eater X shows off the silver he got for winning gold. © MLE

Tim 'Eater X' Janus has knocked Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut off his chilli perch to win the 2012 Ben's Chili Bowl's World Chili Eating Championship.

Tim 'Eater X' Janus has won the Ben's Chili Bowl's World Chili Eating Championship held in Washington DC this past Sunday (7/10/12).

In so doing, he not only dethroned erstwhile chilli chomping champ Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut, but he also equalled the two-gallon (7.6-litre) world record Jaws set this time last year at the inaugural six-minute spoon-facilitated slurpathon.

Furthermore, Eater X also walked away with an extra $1,500 (£936) to his name and a rather fancy trophy to boot.

So a pretty good day for the X then.

But that's not all.

In a shock 30 times more shocking than sticking your nob in a mains socket while a scorpion crawls up your trouser leg1, Jaws, who until Sunday had not been beaten in any eating event since May, not only lost his crown but also came third – THIRD! – behind Bob 'Notorious B.O.B.' Shoudt, who gulletised 1.92 gallons to Jaws' 1.87 in what Major League Eating (MLE), which sanctioned the bash, calls "a surgeon-like display".

So what happened then?

Well, according to the MLE website, Jaws "failed to find his trademark rhythm during the contest".

"Other eaters can beat him at the start, it is known, but it is typically Chestnut's relentless, cruel dedication to rhythmic consistency that wears down his opponents," it continues.

"In this short-form, six-minute contest that strategic advantage is eroded."

"Janus was fast and dynamic throughout the contest, moving from bowl to bowl at a pace never seen in this discipline."

"Others simply could not keep up."

Meanwhile, Notorious B.O.B. "leaned on his ample capacity to steadily work towards second place".

"The chattering classes," MLE notes, "immediately started ruminating on the ramifications of the shocking upset."

"Joey Chestnut repaired to his San Jose Eating Combat Center to prepare for tomorrow's tomorrow."

"Eater X disappeared into the DC dusk."

"Bob Shoudt hitched a ride with Wild Bill."

"All left elated, shocked and inspired."

"And happy: there is no finer chilli in all the land than Ben's Chili Bowl Chili and there is no more majestic event than Ben's Chili Bowl's World Chili Eating Championship at Taste of DC."

"Our nation's capital called."

"MLE answered."

So there.

That's what happened.


Remember, just two Saturdays ago (29/9/12), Eater X saw his 2007 tamale eating record whipped right before his eyes by the said Jaws, so was Sunday's chilli win a suitably satisfying revenge for the world's greatest belcher?

We asked Eater X pretty much that very question via Twitter earlier.

However, as he hasn't yet replied we don't actually know whether it was or not but as we're hacks we'll sensationalise it out of all proportion anyway because that's what people like us do for a living.

Then again, he might have a pretty good lawyer so maybe we won't.


Yeah, let's just congratulate him instead.

Nice one, Eater X.

And well done to Notorious B.O.B. and indeed everyone who took part in the whole chilli eating shebang, which this year included an amateur contest on the Saturday and a military jobbie for serving service men and women about an hour prior to the main event, i.e. the one won by the one known as Eater X.

Right now, we don't have the full details regarding either the amateur or the military gobfest except that we understand that the latter was won by Master Sergeant Jermaine Lewis of the USAF and the former by Ryan McMullan with half a gallon gulletised in 3 minutes 47 seconds.

Which to us at least makes it sound like it was a race as opposed to an all-you-can-eater, which the pro gobathon was.

We also gather from MLE's twitterification thing that Mike R came second and Bahman G third.

Sadly, that's about as much as we can tell you on that front so now it's over to Kok and the endless torrent of bum gravy that always spews out his trap on occasions like this...

"Fair fackin' play to Eater X," says Rake & Herald fashion editor, London cabbie and self-appointed competitive eating pundit Kok Wang.

"I've always been a massive X fan so it's top bollocks to see him lifting the chilli eating crown."

"No disrespect to Jaws, 'cos he's a bloody amazing gurgitator, but from the fan's point of view it has to be said that it's good to see someone else lifting the gong for a change or otherwise it can all get a bit predictable and stale."

"I gather from the fantastic Eat Feats website that this was also the first time Notorious B.O.B. has out chowed Jaws since the Wingstop World Wing-Eating Championship in April last year so big pats on the back to him too."

"I'm not sure exactly what it was that spurred Eater X on to victory in DC but I can't help thinking it was that shout I gave out to him after the tamale eating do in Texas the other day."

"No doubt it lifted his spirits and helped him to focus on the mission in hand."

"Obviously, I'm not claiming all the credit for his win but ever since my cab disappeared I've been a bit short of a few bob, so if you're feeling generous, Tim, how about a cut of the winnings?"

"How's 30% sound?"

"OK, 35% then?"

"Call it 50% and we'll say no more."

"Best send it by courier, though, or else that bloody Toxic woman'll get here grubby little hands on it and we don't want it light, now do we?"

"Anyway, big up yourself, Mr X."

"A well deserved victory and quite a bonkers upset, eh?"

graphic german elections 2005
Graphic: Ours was much better. (Check bottom for credit)

With the exception of Jaws, the top six gurgitators at this year's chilli chow-wow all upped their showing compared to the 2011 bash.

For instance, last year both Eater X and Notorious B.O.B. tied for second place behind Jaws with 1.5 gallons of chilli chucked down their craws.

As stated above, this year they both slammed on the gas to increase their tummy tallies to 2 gallons and 1.92 gallons, respectively.

Or, to put it more scientifically sounding, they upped their respective showings by 33.3% and 28%.

Not bad, eh?

Seriously, this calculator's ace.

Also upping her ante was the Rake & Herald's favourite alimentary athlete, Sonya 'the Black Widow' Thomas, who, eating on her home turf, or "manor" as Kok puts it, again came fourth but with an aggrandised gobitisation of 1.67 gallons, an improvement of 33.6% on the 1.25 gallons she bolted down the prior year.

Meanwhile, 'the Lovely' Juliet Lee expanded her chillification count by 25%, attaining a 2012 total gut intake of 1.25 gallons as opposed to the 1 gallon she wolfed back 12 months ago.

As a result, she once more placed one spot behind the Black Widow and one spot ahead of Micah 'Wing Kong' Collins, who increased his own belly bonanza by 30.8% over the same period, from 0.81 gallons to 1.06 gallons, to retain the number six position on the table.

We're not really sure what all that means but if you want to take it as further proof of gurgitatory evolution we won't bother arguing with you, even if Jaws' 6.5% chilli dip slightly buggers up your argument.

Being part of the media, we naturally wasted no time in turning all the above stats into a well snazzy graphic but as we couldn't work out how to export it from our spreadsheet program you'll just have to take our word for it that it looked the nuts and proper newsy in a pointlessly flashy manner.

Fortunately, we found a graph on the interweb pertaining to the 2005 German elections or something so you can have a look at that instead.

Obviously, ours was much better but tough tits.

But enough already.

Here are the full results.

1) Tim 'Eater X' Janus (2 gallons of chilli; $1,500; a tasty trophy);

2) Bob 'Notorious B.O.B.' Shoudt (1.92 gallons; $750);

3) Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut (1.87 gallons; $400);

4) Sonya 'the Black Widow' Thomas (1.67 gallons; $250);

5) 'The Lovely' Juliet Lee (1.25 gallons; $100);

6) Micah 'Wing Kong' Collins (1.06 gallons);

7) Larell Marie 'the Real Deal' Mele (0.75 gallons);

8) William 'Wild Bill' Myers (0.56 gallons);

9) Timothy 'Tomahawk' Connelly (0.5 gallons);

10) Katherine Leiden (0.31 gallons); and

11) Shawn McEvoy (0.13 gallons).

Again, top chomping by all concerned and hats off to the lot of them, especially Larell Marie 'the Real Deal' Mele, who MLE describe as "the most punctual competitive eater in the world".

A gurgitator you can set your watch by.

Top stuff, Real Deal.

By the way, we had a cursory scoot round YouTube earlier but couldn't find any footage of this year's chilli chowdown so here's some we found of last year's engorgement.

Have a watch.

It's ace and respect to Ben's Chili Bowl for posting it up on their YouTube channel.


It is with great pleasure that we can now report that Eater X has now exclusively responded to the Rake & Herald's probing-like-Paxman-before-they-dumbed-down-Newsnight questions.

Or question.

Can't remember now.

Anyway, in a move described by one imaginary legal eagle as "a bloody close shave", it appears that we were fully justified, i.e. right, not to over sensationalise Eater X's magnificent triumph over Jaws in Sunday's 2012 Ben's Chili Bowl's World Chili Eating Championship.

Asked via Twitter something along the lines of whether the victory was revenge for losing the Lewisville Western Days Festival World Tamale-Eating Championship in Texas and simultaneously his 2007 world tamale eating record to Jaws this past September 29, albeit in 140 characters or fewer, the world's greatest belcher exclusively replies via a subsequent electronic twitterisationalism: "Not revenge. Just a nicer day."

So there you have it.

It wasn't revenge after all.

However, it was nonetheless a well deserved victory and, Eater X, we salute you.

Respect to the X!

And cheers for getting back to us by the way.

Top stuff, sir.

Well done!

See also Jaws sets new tamale record, posted 30/9/12.


1) Seriously. DO NOT go sticking your John Thomas in the mains or even think about pissing around with scorpions. WE MEAN THAT. It's well dangerous and totally not worth the effort or injury, OK?

Picture credits

Top and thumb: © Major League Eating.

Bottom: Bundestagswahl Deutschland 2005 by Erstellt von Pflatsch. Actually, our German's a bit ropey so it might be by somebody else instead. Sorry.

For licensing information click the above link.

(Update 9/10/12)

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