Though no one noticed it at the time, former world hot-dog-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi clearly cheated in the closing seconds of his battle against champion Joey Chestnut on July 4 at Nathan’s in Coney Island. This video, shot by Kobayashi’s counter and Brooklyn Paper Editor Gersh Kuntzman, shows the last 10 seconds of the contest. Watch how Kobayashi continues to chew new food, even after announcer George Shea has completed his countdown to the finish.
Worse, watch how Kobayashi takes his food-filled hand away from his mouth and then puts it back up and continues chewing — all as head judge “Hungry” Charles Hardy looks on.
Kuntzman’s credibility is not in question here — indeed, Kuntzman is heard urging Hardy to make sure that Kobayashi does not chew new food. After all, Kuntzman knew that the rules clearly state that eaters can only finish what is in their mouth as the gun sounds.
The good news to this new “scandal”? Kobayashi lost the five-dog playoff round to Chestnut, who retained his title as the world’s greatest eater.