Yes. It went down today. Twelve of us entered The Hellmouth. But only one walked away victorious!
I wasn’t the only one who dressed up for the event. 1st Assistant Director Grant Boyle puts on a show. But nothing beats my chili socks.
Our twelve contestants included Sudz “Suicide Sauce” Sutherland, Drew “The Extinguisher” Cohoe, and, last and least…
Who was the only contestant not to reach the fifth and final round.
Our grand prize = the coveted Hellmouth 2019 championship belt!
Two FIERCE competitors: Mackenzie “Mall Day, March 29, 2019” Lawrence, and Nancy “I’m New, Nice To Meet You” Asiamah-Yeboah (Who I was convinced was a ringer because she just happened to start on the production the day after the competition was announced.).
ROUND 1 = The Spicy Chips!
I’ve had these ghost pepper paqui chips before and, while spicy, they’re not overwhelmingly so. The tricky part was chewing and swallowing all three in the 30 seconds allotted. Note Drew (above) using tongs to extract them from the package.
ROUND 2 = The Spicy Pickle!
Not all that spicy at first…but it delivered some residual habanero heat. Note Robbie David feeling the pain and ultimately tapping out.
ROUND 3 = VINDALOO!
Not too bad. Before starting the countdown, Block 2 Director Sudz Sutherland asked whether we would be required to lick our plates clean. Hellmouth Warden Naomi Ward unwisely put it out to the spectators who, of course, sadistically chanted back: “Lick the plate! Lick the plate!” Check out Nancy with the attitude after scoring multiple first place finishes.
ROUND 4 = HOT WINGS!
These were pretty hot. First up: Naomi distributing the wings. Bottom two: VFX Supervisor Greg “Twisted Firestarter” Behranes and Locations’ Alan “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” Cosby.
THE PUNISHMENT: 1 teaspoon of Blair’s Mega-Death hot sauce
Last place finisher in Round 4 had to consume 1 teaspoon of Blair’s Mega-Death before moving on to the final round. That, sadly (?), turned out to be Mackenzie.
FINAL ROUND: SPICY RAMEN!
Spicy and, to be honest, pretty horrible-tasting. Still, check out the fierce determination. Nancy (pictured slurping above) had the inside track and a clever strategy – that one of her fellow contestants ended up co-opting for the win. Note Grant feeling the burn.
Drew and Naomi present Pete (center) with the championship belt – before he retired to the bathroom at basecamp for the rest of the afternoon.
Fortunately, our on-set medic, Basset, was on hand to dispense zantac to those in need.
I made a point of lining my stomach before the big event, consuming: a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with sriracha, a bowl of steel cut oatmeal, some dark chocolate, half a protein shake, a cheeseburger with jalapeño bottle caps, and a side of fries. In retrospect, I think it was actually a little too much lining as when it came time for the contest, I was STUFFED.
Finally, I think I figured out the key to winning next year = Eat faster!
Photos courtesy of Sam Godfrey, Ivon Bartok, and yours truly.
I leave you with Akemi’s rendition of Bubba trying the merciless pepper of Quetzalacatenango – grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.
P.S. Thanks to Naomi Ward and her team for organizing the event!