Shoudt Wins Meatball Eating Contest Amid Controversy
Humble Bob Shoudt won the Carmines Meatball Eating Contest at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, consuming 9.97 lbs of meatballs in 12 minutes. However, the win was not without controversy.
Sonya Thomas disputed the ruling and refused to shake hands with Shoudt at the conclusion of the contest, instead turning her back on him and leaving the stage amid a chorus of loud boos from the crowd.
Thomas placed second with 9.91 lbs after a one-ounce deduction and Joey Chestnut placed third with 9.35 lbs of meatballs.
The contest was amazingly close -- the top five finishers all consumed more than 9 lbs of meatballs (Chip Simpson placed fourth and Rich LeFevre placed fifth).
At the official scale Thomas edged out Shoudt by less than 1/10th of an ounce. However, both Thomas and Chestnut received a one-ounce deduction for leaving an enormous amout of meatball debris on the table and on the floor, despite multiple warnings from George Shea, who spoke to each eater to urge them to place any remaining food back on their plate.
Thomas was not happy with the ruling and other eaters also expressed dissatisfaction. However, IFOCE representative George Shea said the deductions levied on Thomas and Chestnut were less severe than they could have been.
Shea said the total amount of meatball debris left between Thomas and Chestnut would have amounted to a total of three meatballs had someone taken the time to reassemble the meatballs.