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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Fri
Hi: 83
Lo: 68
Sat
Hi: 81
Lo: 67
Sun
Hi: 84
Lo: 70
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Emcee Van McNeil from WMYX and the winner of the audience round, Daniel.
Emcee Van McNeil from WMYX and the winner of the audience round, Daniel.
Celebrity round winner, Brian Gotter. We all do a lot of nose blowing after the competition.
Celebrity round winner, Brian Gotter. We all do a lot of nose blowing after the competition.
See?
See?
This is not how I will approach the tater next year. Live and learn.
This is not how I will approach the tater next year. Live and learn.

More than just cheese up the nose

For the second year in a row, I lost the no-hands, baked potato-eating contest at the Wisconsin State Fair. WTMJ’s Brian Gotter cleaned up. However, I did a lot better this year and got more than just cheese in my nostrils from the experience.

First of all, I cannot believe how many people are interested in watching a potato-eating contest. The event was packed. But best of all, almost everyone was smiling. While I sat on the stage, I looked out at the sea of faces that ranged from amused to enthralled and felt more affirmation than most adults get in a year much less a five-minute time period. It’s pretty awesome.

After the "celebrity" contest, six people from the audience competed as well. This was where the real learning happened for me.  As a witness to the gross hilarity of it all, I was able to observe others’ technique. Obviously, I can’t do this when my face is planted in a spud.

I watched Daniel, the winner of the audience contest, and I was enlightened by his technique. He became my Mr. Miyagi of the competitive eating world.

Instead of doing the aforementioned face-plant smack dab in the tater, Daniel ate some of the top part of the open-faced potato and then picked up one side with his teeth and ate it in a vertical fashion like one might hork a hot dog without use of their hands.

He also did not take time to drink water until the end.

I learned a few other things from watching the contest, but I’m not sharing everything because I plan to (s)mash the competition next year.

Hear that, Gotter?

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