Reigning champ Joey "Jaws" Chestnut retained his Mustard Belt Friday at the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest while Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas was unseated for the first time since the woman's belt was added. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
It was an explosive upset as reigning hot dog eating queen Sonia "Black Widow" Thomas lost her crown at the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest Friday.
Newcomer Miki Sudo inhaled 34 hot dogs - far surpassing Thomas' 27 and 3/4 buns and dogs.
This is the first time Sonya has lost her title since the creation of a woman's belt in 2011.
"I was personally hoping to break the female record of 45 but you can't control the weather right? All the numbers were down but I'm happy to win," Sudo said.
The threat of rain drew smaller crowds than in years' past, though thousands of revelers still turned out for an event many say is a holiday tradition. When it did rain the crowd endured, even as it dwindled.
"It's not stopping me it's fine. This is where all the action is I'm not leaving," said one onlooker.
"This is bigger than the weather," noted another onlooker.
On the men's side, seven-time champ Joey Chestnut defended his title by beating his toughest competition, Matt Stonie.
Chestnut dunked and swallowed 61 hot dogs, falling short of his goal of 70, but still chowing down five more than Stonie.
"Unfortunately the dogs just turned hard. They sat out in the cold and they were hard to eat and swallow," Chestnut said.
Chestnut also won the hand of his longtime girlfriend, proposing before the contest.
She said yes.