“Am I dead? Am I still alive? Can I feel anything?”
Taking on the “Hot Ones” challenge is no easy feat — and the celebs who successfully complete it should be commended! In the interview series hosted by Sean Evans, stars are subject to eating 10 chicken wings that are marinated in hot sauces that get progressively spicier as they go along. And not only are they putting their taste buds to the test, but they’re also expected to answer some pretty in-depth questions while dealing with the heat.
Since the series premiered in 2015, over 200 celebrities have taken the hot seat, some faring better than others. In honor of the stars who didn’t tap out when the going got tough, here are some of the famous folks who handled the heat the best…
Lorde is perhaps one of the most impressive celebrities to take on the “Hot Ones” challenge, easily making her way through the sauces as the spiciness increased. Even when the Scoville scale hit over 100,000, Lorde was still able to pick out distinct flavor profiles in each one of the sauces.
“I feel like I’m being boring, I’m not sizzling out! But it’s delicious. I’m loving the wings,” Lorde said at one point.
As an avid fan of spicy foods, Jeremy Renner took on the “Hot Ones: challenge with relative ease, only very briefly experiencing moments of weakness to chug water and “find some peace.” Jeremy made it all the way to the last dab and, despite putting a little too much sauce on the wing, he fully committed to taking a double bite.
Paul Rudd kept it cool for the majority of his “Hot Ones” interview, holding it together so well that he inspired one of the biggest memes of the year. Who would have thought? And not only did Paul successfully make it through all 10 sauces but he also often popped the entire (cauliflower) wing in his mouth. To top it off, Paul decided to take the show’s signature last dab move to the next level by creating a dip with every single sauce on the table.
Not many people can discuss the universe quite like astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson — and absolutely no one else can do it while downing some of the spiciest hot sauces in the world. While taking on the “Hot Ones” challenge, Neil managed to share some of his vast scientific knowledge and even took two bites of the wing covered in tee infamous Da Bomb hot sauce. When he got to Mad Dog 357, which has a Scoville level over 350,000, he actually said he enjoyed it.
“I like this one. You know why? Its heat is very uniformly spread in all sensory points of my mouth. So my entire mouth is participating in this and I respect it for that. A full bouquet of hotness,” Neil said.
As the resident mayor of Flavortown, Guy Fieri sat down for his “Hot Ones” interview ready to take on the challenge — even though he wasn’t wearing his signature flames shirt. In the beginning, Guy noted that he wasn’t an “extreme hot guy,” but he did manage to make it through all 10 wings. At one point, he even simply popped a wing covered in sauce with a Scoville level of over 350,000 straight into his mouth with just some mere “eyeball sweat.”
Charlize Theron may have “hated her tongue” at points during her “Hot Ones: interview, but she successfully tasted all 10 hot sauce-covered wings. While she kept her cool throughout most of the challenge, she didn’t hesitate to let viewers know when it got tough towards the end. Despite the heat literally taking her breath away, she persevered and made it to the last dab.
“That’s tasty! Am I dead? Am I still alive? Can I feel anything? I like that. That I really like. That is actually really good,” Charlize said on her last wing.
Considering “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi makes her own hot sauce, it’s no surprise that she totally nailed the “Hot Ones” challenge. At one point, she even took a shot of the official Hot Ones hot sauce — and it didn’t even faze her. While she admitted that things definitely got pretty spicy at the end, she made it all the way to the final wing and had no trouble adding on the signature last dab.
Rachael Ray took things to the extreme on “Hot Ones,” completely skipping the wings and going straight for the hot sauce. The talk show host and chef explained that she’s pretty picky about her wings and she would much prefer to sample each sauce on a spoon. Rachael followed through and took a taste of all 10 hot sauces without any wings to lessen the heat — and made fun of host Sean Evans along the way.
Daniel Radcliffe may have taken part in the “Hot Ones” challenge from home, but that didn’t stop him from completely nailing it. Going into the interview, he said he liked spicy foods but wasn’t sure how he was going to do because he had never used the Scoville scale before. It turns out, he handled the heat better than he thought he would, even double-dipping at points.
When Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl signed on for the “Hot Ones” challenge, his goal was to do it as well as Lorde. He definitely achieved that, breezing through the 10 super hot wings — all while making cocktails in between bites. Even when the Scoville level hit over 700,000, he still maintained his composure. And when he made it to the final dab, Dave revealed that being on the show had been a dream of his.
“I am not kidding dude, I learned to love music watching ‘Saturday Night Live.’ And I walked onto that set for the first time in 1992 like, ‘Holy s—, I’m here.’ As a teenager, I watched ‘The David Letterman Show’ every f—ing night…I walked onto that stage like, ‘Oh my God, I’m here.’ For years, I’ve watched [‘Hot Ones’] and I finally walk on this set and saw those sauces and your face and I was like, ‘Yesss! Bucket list!'” Dave shared.