update April 6 Joey Chestnut has an interview with WTSP about competitive eating dangers update April 4 Voodoo Doughnut has suspended the challenge at all locations KUSA reports that Travis Maloof passed away after choking during an attempt at the "Tex-Ass" Challenge at Voodoo Doughnut in Denver early Sunday morning. update KDVR has an interview with former MLE eater Brian Beard about the fatality who says “Every competitive eater has choked. It happens.”

34 Comments »

  1. anonymous said

    April 3, 2017 @ 4:15 pm

    The following comment was left on Voodoo Doughnut’s Denver facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1072546279518374&id=452456298194045

    “After the recent tragedy I hope you are eliminating the doughnut eating challenge it is a shame someone died trying to get a free doughnut”

    Moreover, the page to the Portland food challenge from foodchallenges.com was cited in the article.

  2. anonymous said

    April 3, 2017 @ 4:22 pm

    If you want to see this food challenge survive, you better get on their site and social media pages and show support for the challenge:

    http://voodoodoughnut.com/voodoo-doughnut-contact-us.php

    https://www.facebook.com/Voodoo-Doughnut-119262244761342/?rf=305500302813361

    https://www.facebook.com/Voodoo-Doughnut-Mile-High-452456298194045/https://www.facebook.com/Voodoo-Doughnut-Mile-High-452456298194045/

    https://twitter.com/voodoodoughnut

    https://www.instagram.com/voodoodoughnut/

    https://www.youtube.com/user/voodoodoughnut

  3. anonymous said

    April 3, 2017 @ 4:23 pm

    I hope the above post does not go to spam since it has more than one link.

  4. anonymous said

    April 3, 2017 @ 4:32 pm

    don’t practice at home, don’t eat without EMT present, don’t try to be a pro. you are risking your life.

  5. ojrifkin said (Registered July 27, 2005)

    April 3, 2017 @ 6:23 pm

    I am not sure if sprint contests / challenges with compressible “spongy” foods should continue, at least not without EMT always present.

  6. Guardian Angel said

    April 3, 2017 @ 6:42 pm

    OJ, I share the same conclusions.

    First and foremost, I want to share my condolences to the friends, and families.

    Now onto fellow eaters (since I know 99% of eaters who I come across use this site, I’ll take advantage of the megaphone) – and this especially goes to the amateurs since MLE (and I’m sure APE) have EMT’s present. PLEASE PLEASE teach yourself how to give yourself the Heimlich if necessary. There are tons of ways – this is my way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjhiSC2Vwgo . Find a way that you can use.

    We all know when there’s a time to beat, or a contest that you want to win, adrenaline kicks in and you become ‘super man’. Amateurs – you need to do due diligence and ask hosts if an EMT is present, and what they plan on doing in the off chance that someone chokes. If they shrug it off then GET OUT OF THERE. I know it’s not easy to just walk out of a contest, but it isn’t worth killing yourself to be a marketing tool. Guess what – that’s what we all are, just marketing tools. Don’t risk your life to be someone’s marketing tool.

  7. anonymous said

    April 3, 2017 @ 8:29 pm

    Below is an article about the incident. There is a video there that features Nela Zisser and competitive eater Blum Gum, who failed at the Tex-Ass challenge:

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Man-dies-trying-to-eat-giant-doughnut-11047491.php

  8. anonymous said

    April 3, 2017 @ 8:33 pm

    Doughy substances can get stuck very easily, especially if the eater does not use (enough) water or chew enough. It makes one big mass of doughy gunk which can easily gets stuck in the throat like thick cake batter. The same actually can be said for other foods like meat or ice cream, but there is slightly more risk with doughy foods.

  9. anonymous said

    April 3, 2017 @ 8:39 pm

    Dying in a food contest must be one of the most embarrassing ways to die.

  10. anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 2:10 am

    This is getting scary One more and the clique they come in 3′s will ring true

  11. Anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 7:53 am

    It is a tragedy that this man died.

    I noticed the article mentioned that he passed away in the early hours of the morning, while he was out “having fun” with his friends.

    Does anyone know if he was intoxicated when he attempted this challenge?

  12. FAKE NEWS said

    April 4, 2017 @ 7:55 am

    Not every competitive eater has choked. You can’t speak on behalf of all eaters like that.

  13. SMF said

    April 4, 2017 @ 10:32 am

    Bryan “Big Sexy” Beard is interviewed about the challenges and risks involved with competitive eating in response to the VooDoo Denver Donut Challenge death. FOX 31 Denver
    http://kdvr.com/2017/04/03/food-challenge-turns-deadly-at-voodoo-doughnut/

  14. BigWillTheChamp said (Registered February 1, 2009)

    April 4, 2017 @ 11:00 am

    I’ve had a few scary ones but I’ve become attuned to know when it’s going to happen and how to stop it.
    At the Chef One dumpling contest a few years back I DQ’d because it was the first time they switched to whole wheat dumpings. I knocked down about 14 in 15 seconds, but most of them were chewed up in my mouth, took a swig of water and couldn’t breathe because the dumplings became one big mass in my throat. It was scary.

  15. anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 11:04 am

    Beard looks different and sounds different from when he competed

  16. anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 11:07 am

    Voodoo is like the mecca of all doughnut shops. Almost like a museum of modern art

  17. Anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 12:14 pm

    The Hurts Donut chain has a 1.6 lb glazed donut (voodoo’s is half a pound) that must be completed in 90 seconds to get it for free.
    A few have reportedly done it, but that was a freaky one for me because it started reinflating in my throat. You may be able to swallow and keep eating, but it may catch up with you a bit later!
    Only and last speed glazed/yeast donut challenge for me!
    I doubt they get too many good eaters through and it is easy money, but I bet one of us is going to choke on that thing eventually.

  18. Anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 12:17 pm

    Honestly, guys, you’re kidding yourselves if you think there’s much difference between an amateur and the “pros”. The “pros” are very much at risk too. They don’t possess knowledge of how not to choke that’s much greater than an amateur’s. Everyone needs to be careful.

  19. anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 12:53 pm

    Eatfeats was cited in one of the comments on competitive eating fatalities:

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/articleComments/Man-dies-trying-to-eat-giant-doughnut-11047491.php
    [no way to direct link that comments; there are many comments to scroll through]

    “Nema Toda Rank 4740
    @bdachan12 These deaths have been going on for many decades, and yet “progressives” have not banned them. What does that tell you? (There’s actually a site that tracks death from eating contests: http://eatfeats.com/category/eating-in-general/health/fatalities).

    And, by the way, have you ever looked up the word “tyranny”? To quote Inigo Montoya, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Here’s a definition: “cruel and oppressive government or rule.” No matter how you slice it, banning eating contests to prevent unnecessary deaths is not tyranny. What you mean is “paternalism.” (I just want to do my part to ensure that your arguments, you know, make sense.)”

  20. anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 12:55 pm

    FAKE NEWS: Even the greatest competitive eater of all, Molly Schuyler, choked once:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdv6B6l8Kyc

  21. anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 1:01 pm

    I gotta laugh when i hear someone refer to these gluttonous jackasses as pros. Pros like MLB NBA NHL? Like the MLE pros are experienced enough to avoid a fatality . That’s right leave it up to the pros LMFAOOOOOO

  22. Anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 3:35 pm

    “Leave it to the pros” is a euphemism. To state it more accurately, there is a definite risk involved with competitive eating and the people who participate in it “professionally” know that risk is very real and accept it as par for the course. It’s sad that people might die this way, but it’s also sad when people die doing any voluntary activity.

  23. Kevin Ross said

    April 4, 2017 @ 6:32 pm

    Very sad. Although there is probably more risk getting into our cars every day, it is still a terrible way to die. I always tell people that have never done a contest before to start out slow and work into a speed they’re comfortable with. Even seasoned eaters should remember this. Most choking incidents happen towards the beginning when people are too eager. And of course don’t forget about water and clearing throat. Seems obvious but even experienced people get caught up and take risks, going beyond what their abilities are. I also think the risk is high with all the puking people do after…partially chewed food violently coming up never seemed wise to me. And any contest that limits or prohibits water is jackassery. I’ve ran into that a lot and I always complain to the host explaining how unsafe it is…they usually shrug it off and laugh. Kinda sick they wouldn’t take people’s life more seriously. We should all put our foot down (or our forks down) with any promoter who takes safety as a joke.

  24. anonymous said

    April 4, 2017 @ 10:31 pm

    Kevin: Voodoo Doughnut limits you to one 10 oz, cup of water during the challenge, though the enforcement varies.

    Also, don’t forget the risk of water training.

  25. Molly said

    April 4, 2017 @ 11:28 pm

    @12:55 I sure have . I put that video up for a reason. Even I have choked. It’s not fun.

  26. anonymous said

    April 5, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

    Do you think Brian Dudlight can re create his near death experience chugging down 3 gallons of water sending him to the ER in critical condition

  27. Anonymous said

    April 5, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

    I bet Wu is sad. I don’t think she ever made it to the Colorado Voodoo location to attempt the challenge a verified 19th time.

  28. anonymous said

    April 6, 2017 @ 6:51 pm

    LOL. At 2:38-2:41 of the Chestnut video above, the reporter is scrolling down the eatfeats list of contests on her computer

    http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/competitive-eater-chestnut-sees-dangers-in-events/428573900

  29. anonymous said

    April 6, 2017 @ 6:54 pm

    Aaron Wakamatsu’s video of the challenge appears on Jezebel:

    http://jezebel.com/voodoo-doughnut-wont-have-eating-contests-for-awhile-af-1794074234

  30. anonymous said

    April 6, 2017 @ 11:25 pm

    Very sad my ass . I think all of you are full of shit. Contribute money to the funeral expenses if you truly want to express you’re condolences

  31. Anonymous said

    April 7, 2017 @ 12:10 am

    Wu is verifiably upset at this.

  32. BigWillTheChamp said (Registered February 1, 2009)

    April 15, 2017 @ 9:50 am

    Whoever is saying there’s no difference between amateur and experienced eater obviously isn’t very good at this.
    Your body becomes attuned to when something like this is going to happen.
    If your any less than a full idiot, you become accustomed to a certain feeling and know when to stop and /or “manuver” your way out of it.

  33. anonymous said

    April 15, 2017 @ 10:12 am

    Food with density requires liquid. If you are an amateur and compete in food as dense as pancakes without anything to wash it down you are asking for trouble

  34. anon said

    June 3, 2017 @ 3:46 pm

    Something is wrong with the formatting of this post, or is it an update? It might belong with another post. This is how it appears when you scroll through the listings [at the bottom of the page]:

    http://eatfeats.com/page/5

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