- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Four members of Insider's entertainment team took on the "Hot Ones" challenge.
Surprisingly, most of the 10 sauces in the season 22 lineup weren't as spicy as we anticipated.
However, the Da Bomb Evolution hot sauce, the eighth in the lineup, was truly rancid.
I, Olivia Singh, and three of my teammates —Libby Torres, Callie Ahlgrim, and Palmer Haasch — decided to test our spice tolerance by taking on the "Hot Ones" challenge.
The show, hosted by Sean Evans, was created by First We Feast founder Christopher Schonberger and launched in 2015.
"Hot Ones" began as a unique and unconventional way to interview famous guests while eating wings covered in increasingly hotter sauces.
In disarming the guests, "Hot Ones" has generated some of the most viral celebrity moments, from Paul Rudd's "Look at us" meme to Jennifer Lawrence's panicked "What do you mean?" clip.
So, after years of being fans and loyal viewers of "Hot Ones," we wondered: How hot can these sauces possibly be? Is the sweating, crying, and body numbness warranted? Are celebrities just being over-dramatic? Does this challenge still hold up for us non-famous folks?
To get to the bottom of this, we volunteered to see what the hype is all about.
We started by recreating the "Hot Ones" setup, from the black tablecloths to the pitchers of milk and water.
We also had wet wipes, toothpicks, and plenty of napkins on hand.
The Heatonist team sent us the official season 22 lineup of sauces for our challenge.
We coated our boneless chicken wings using the "Hot Ones" method.
To ensure an even coating on the wings, the "Hot Ones" team pours each sauce into a bowl with the corresponding wings and covers it with another bowl, in a clam-like manner. Then, the bowls are shaken.
As we meticulously sauced the wings, the room was overtaken by the various aromas of the different hot condiments.
At the onset of the coating process, the smell in the room was pleasant. But the further along we got in the process, as more sauces were opened, the odor became less enticing.
"It doesn't smell spicy, but it doesn't smell good either," Callie said.
Once the coating was complete, we placed the wings on wooden boards.
"My main takeaway right off the bat is that you should never put green hot sauce on a chicken wing, ever," Callie said.
Before diving in, we gauged all the contestants' comfort levels when it comes to spicy food.
This is a common question that "Hot Ones" host Sean Evans asks his guests before they take on the wings of death.
I, Olivia, the pickiest eater in the group with the lowest tolerance for spicy foods, wasn't too optimistic about my odds going into the challenge.
Libby felt that she had a solid tolerance, but acknowledged that some peppers she's previously eaten have required "a certain amount of emotional strength."
"I love spicy food," Callie said. "I like my food to feel like a challenge. But I don't want to over-promise and under-deliver. So, I will say I am moderately confident."
Palmer's affinity for spicy food traces back to the days of eating spicy ramen in college. Even though the hotter sauces in the lineup seemed daunting, she said, "I will make it to the end. That's a promise."
With everything in place, we were excited to start the challenge.
Beyond looking forward to sampling the hot sauces, we were also eager to eat the wings because we unintentionally scheduled this experience during lunchtime and were fairly hungry.
Our 25-minute "Hot Ones" journey began with the classic Buffalo sauce.
It was tangy and mild in taste.
Next, we moved on to Angry Goat Pepper Co's blistered shishito and garlic hot sauce.
We admittedly judged this sauce based on its green hue, but it turned out to be delicious.
The third sauce was also quite mild but with a surprising sweetness.
Pisqueya's spicy-sweet passion-fruit sauce tasted more sweet than spicy.
Los Calientes Barbacoa, developed by "Hot Ones," also had a reasonable heat level.
We were feeling pretty confident at this point, though Palmer noted that she felt a "cumulative burn" building.
The fifth sauce, Djablo's Power Jab hot sauce, packed a punch.
Immediately upon consuming, I was hit by the sauce's blend of serrano pepper, Thai chile flake, and dried scorpion pepper. The heat also caused a tingling sensation on my lips.
We kicked off the second half of the lineup with the Whiskey Smoked Ghost by Marshall's Haute Sauce.
It was sweet and smoky, and a crowd favorite for us.
As we moved on to sauce No. 7, Ginger Goat's Tropic Star hot sauce, we took a moment to applaud ourselves for making it this far, largely unscathed.
It was a real "Hey, look at us" moment.
"I am starting to wonder if the celebs are playing us, because I feel completely fine," Callie said.
Palmer, on the other hand, began to feel the heat on her lips and noticed her nose running.
Then we arrived at Da Bomb's Evolution hot sauce and things started to go downhill.
Typically, it's this point in the challenge when guests on "Hot Ones" truly feel the heat – and we were no exception.
The sauce didn't taste great to us and felt like it was designed with enough heat to torture us. Its ingredients include red-hot chili peppers, paprika, turmeric, minced garlic, lemon juice concentrate, and cilantro.
"The saliva is welling in my mouth," Palmer said, reaching for a cup of milk.
Callie, channeling previous "Hot Ones" guest Lorde, was unmoved.
The heat kept coming in increasingly worse waves and I tapped out.
My eyes started tearing up as my nose started running. No amount of milk helped, so I decided to drop out of the challenge.
We looked over at Libby and noticed that she had gone non-verbal.
"I either need more milk or I need another moment," she said.
So, we paused for a brief intermission while I walked off sauce No. 8 and got more milk for the table.
Sauce No. 9, Zuzu 7-Pot by Dawson's Hot Sauce, was a welcome reprieve from the harsh spice of the Da Bomb Evolution.
"It's definitely less intense," Callie said.
"And it tastes better," Libby added.
Before eating the final wing, we put a little extra sauce on it per the "Hot Ones" tradition.
The Last Dab: Xperience is a "Hot Ones" original that's brand new to the lineup and the hottest Last Dab ever featured on the show. The main ingredient is Pepper X (91%, to be exact).
The effects were instantaneous, but not as unbearable as expected.
For Libby, the spice lodged in the back of her throat.
Palmer's eye makeup started running, but she insisted she was fine. Her red ears (pictured above) betrayed her.
Callie, meanwhile, was unfazed and glowing.
Instead of weakening Callie, it seemed like the hot sauces fortified her.
"I think it's fine, honestly," she said of the final sauce. "It actually feels anti-climatic after Da Bomb because that one was so unpleasant."
We were shocked that a majority of the hot sauces weren't as spicy as we thought they'd be.
We didn't have the added stressors that celebrities deal with when they take on the challenge, like multiple cameras recording them from different angles so the world can watch later or having to form coherent responses to insightful, career-encompassing questions.
That said, we are impressed by the stars who have eaten all 10 wings without drinking anything.
We were surprised by how mild the first half of the sauces were, with the punch of No. 5 being the exception.
Would we do this challenge again? Probably not. No one should ever be subjected to Da Bomb's hot sauce more than once in their lifetime.
But at least now we can confidently say that we're more resilient than some of our favorite stars who have taken on the "Hot Ones" challenge.
Read the original article on Insider