A Star is Born in Chicago

Eric Booker. Sonya Thomas. Eater X. Juliet Lee.

Before they were ranked in the Top 10, before they even had nicknames and rap albums and profiles on national TV, they were all just regular people with an appetite and a dream. Until that one showdown at high noon, where they faced down a plate of steaming hot HDB's, and performed the unthinkable.

And now, in the humble confines of a Chicago-area Sam's Club, a fresh-faced young man has outdone them all. In his second-ever attempt at the grueling hot dog discipline, he outshone the #13-ranked eater on the planet and turned in the best rookie performance in competitive eating history (for the second week in a row). That young man's name is Patrick "Wham Bam" Vandam.

First Place: Patrick Vandam, 31 HDB's
Second Place: Gravy Brown, 28.5 HDB's
Third Place: Mike Fitzgerald, 22.75 HDB's

(On May 10 in Minneapolis, Vandam finished second to Pat Bertoletti with 30 HDB's, and Mike Fitzgerald had his first of two impressive third place finishes with 23.5).