ORLANDO, Fla -- It's only fitting that a hot dog joint who's branded off an elusive lucha libre wrestler named Franco Furtero would embrace the idea of competition. Cholo Dogs hosted its second-annual hot dog eating contest, welcoming hungry amateur eaters from Orlando to the competition.
Grant Tharp competed in the first competition last year and finished in second place. He is a purveyor and own
"Everything vintage, from records clothing home decor all sorts of stuff," said Tharp.
Grant hasn't competed in many food competitions before, and he said that he typically eats normal amounts of food. But he can't shy away from the competition.
"It's just a competitiveness of human nature, you know what I mean? Not all of us can be pro athletes, not all of us can be pro chess players," said Tharp. "Everyone eats."
Last year's defending champion Michael Jenkins returned, dawning his champion wrestling-style belt. Everyone else is trying to ketchup.
"I'm feeling hungry," said Jenkins. "Just eat as fast as I can, swallow as fast as I can and try not to throw up."
"I'm only worried about him, the guy with the belt," said Tharp.
Grant is ready to relish in the spotlight, hoping to top his hot dog count from last year. One fear, however, does loom.
"Oh I’m nervous. Of course I am, there’s so many people here," said Tharp. "My biggest fear, throwing up. Win lose don’t matter. Throwing up."
More than a dozen eaters took to the checkered table cloths, channeling their inner Joey Chestnuts and dove in in front of an excited crowd at the Gnarly Barley.
While Grant had high expectations for redeption, he came up short of the podium this year. For the second straight year, competitive eater Michael Jenkins was victorious.
"Dropped the ball this year I’ll come back," said Tharp. "That's [Jenkins] Nick Saban I’m Brian Kelly. I’m leaving Notre Dame, I’m going to LSU. I’m not just beating Alabama, I’m beating Nick Saban. And that’s my Nick Saban."