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2005 US Open of Competitive Eating
Catch it: on ESPN2

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Anyone hungry? Sixteen competitive eaters go head to head and stomach to stomach until there's only one left.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
George Shea
Packager: ESPN Original Entertainment
Airs: Mondays at 2:30pm ET on ESPN2


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"Round of 16" - August 2

Welcome to the second round of the U.S. Open. This round is the Pasta Bolognese. It's a very easy dish to get down, and because of it, the time is upped from 5 to 14 minutes. The catch - no hands allowed. You HAVE to use some sort of utensil to get it down, and the technique is going to determine who advances to the Elite 8.

We start with Gourmet Chef Joe LaRue Vs. First round upset winner Steve Vise. On paper, this looks like a slam dunk for the bare-footed LaRue, but you can't discount Vise. Sure enough, Vise has an early 12 second lead on LaRue. It looks like Vise will hold on to that lead when he completes his second dish - and he does. The 25th ranked Vise gets to the Elite 8 on a HUGE upset on LaRue.

Will we see another one here between the 10th ranked Carleen LeFevre Vs. the #7 seed Ron Koch? So far, the answer is no, as Koch takes the first plate lead and now moves on to plate #3 as Carleen is in the middle of plate #2. Carleen does get to plate #3, but Koch finishes his third plate as time expires. Koch advances and Carlene's only participation now will be to root on her husband Rich.

Now on the last episode, the ingredients of cheese fries are pretty easy (potatoes, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon bits). For this dish, however, it gets more complicated. For the spaghetti, each dish comes with 20 ounces of the noodles, 12 ounces of Bolognese sauce, 1 tablespoon of Reggioano Cheese, and 1 Tablespoon of fresh basil. If you want to make your own eating competition, well there you go.

Next Up - Eater X Tim Janus Vs. Human X Dale Boone. With the first plate exchange, Boone and Janus are within 5 seconds of each other. At 6:02, Boone takes the lead with his next exchange. Janus is 16 seconds behind him, but takes the lead and he taunts Boone as he exchanges for his 4th plate. Boone is still on his third plate - and that's where he'll be when time expires. Janus will move on to the Round of 8.

Will we see a Cookie in the Elite 8? That would be Ed 'Cookie' Jarvis, who already holds the eating record in pasta. He goes up against Levi Oliver, and Oliver is just clearly outmatched. Jarvis gets through 2 plates in 5 minutes and he cruises through the third plate. He keeps focus and moves to the 4th plate, but he only needed 2 to win. Jarvis will play...

...either Leon Feingold or Eric 'Badlands' Booker. If you could see another upset, it would be here, as Booker barely got past the first round. There will be no upset here, as Booker quickly gets through his first plate. He starts plate #3 at the 11 minute mark and Feingold is still on plate #2. The scare of the first round may have charged up Booker, as he cruises to the win. Booker Vs. Jarvis should be a great match on the next show.

We still have 3 matches to go on this show. Brian Subich is in one of these matches, but he has a tall order against Rich LeFevre. Subich does do a very good job, but he is no match against LeFevre, who munches off the first plate in under 4 minutes. LeFevre has the match clearly in hand, and now he's going for the new world record. He gets it, as he nails over 9 pounds of pasta. That beats the old record of Jarvis, who is still in the tournament. I wonder what would happen if LeFevre and Jarvis meet up...

We get treated to another Booker rap as we see the eaters go to a buffet. Good luck with the bill. We also see 'hungry' Charles Hardy, who has retired from professional eating and is the new Commissioner of the International Foundation of Competitive Eating. (IFOCE).

Let's look at Sonya Thomas's Records, shall we? Armor Vienna Sausage, Asparagus, Bakes Beans, Cheesecake, CHicken Nuggets, Chicken Wings, Eggs, Fruitcake, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Hamburgers, Jambalaya, Maine Lobster, Meatballs, Oysters, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Quesadillas, Sweet Potato Casserole, Tacos, Toasted Ravioli and Turducken (a combination of Turkey, Duck and Chicken). Her opponent - Oleg Zhornitsky, who has set no world records but who was the World Mayonnaise Eating title. I wonder who is going to win this one. Sonya is called 'The Black Widow' because she enjoys beating up the men. She can add another one to her resume. She finishes the first plate in 1:14 and she could be going for the title that LeFevre just set only a few minutes ago. She does go for it - and she gets down an astonishing 10 pounds of spaghetti and all Oleg can do is watch. To make things even more impressive, she got it with over 20 seconds to go and she waved off any more plates.

After the competition, Sonya says that she waved it off because she wanted to save some room against Kobayashi, who she is obviously eying down the road. Speaking of him, Takeru also has records in eating Cow Brains, Krystal Hamburgers, and Rice - as well as Nathan's Hot Dogs, of course. He gets jalapeno champion Jed Donahue, who just...stares at him and mixes up the pasta. Kobayashi also stares and mixes the pasta, and maybe he doesn't even realize that the time has started. Kobayashi starts up anyways and Jed's stall tactic accomplishes nothing. Not only does it not stop him from advancing into the Elite 8, as he trounces Donahue easily, but it also doesn't stop him from breaking Thomas's record, and he sets a new one of 13 pounds, 8 ounces. We find out afterwards that Donahue's goal was to stop Kobayashi from breaking the record. Well that didn't go too well, did it?

We are done with Round 2. Here is the bracket going into the final day of competition -

1. Kobayashi
Vs
25. Vise

5. Jarvis
Vs.
4. Booker

3. Lefevre
Vs.
6. Janus

7. Koch
Vs.
2. Thomas

This seems to be a barn burner. Join us in 24 hours to see who, if anyone, can stop Kobayashi from walking off with the title.

 

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