Would you eat an octopus for a cheeseburger? How about a snail for some chicken nuggets?
Well, that is exactly what a group of children were willing to do at the Nancy Carson Library Fear Factor Food Challenge on Friday.
The challenge put the young contestants’ stomachs to the test with an array of foods not so pleasing to most taste buds. The menu started off easy, with a date, and quickly escalated when the next item on the menu was lime Jell-O with olive juice and olives.
Most of the children were fine in the beginning stages of the challenge, but trouble really began when they were asked to eat seaweed covered in marmite, a yeast extract. The combination was too much for multiple children.
Angel Riley, the mother of four of the challenge hopefuls, said that she knew her kids would stand strong. The family often times comes out to the library for events, and, when they saw this, they really wanted to participate.
“We always do the summer reading program,” Riley said. “We heard about this, and the children wanted to come out.”
There did not seem to be any particular food that took out too many contestants at once, so when it was time for the grand finale, the pressure was on to find the winner.
The final entree for the event was a combination of the previous items put together. When the sound of the blender came through the room, the contestants’ expressions finally made it seem as though some may bow out. Much to the dismay of the audience and host, the concoction did not take out the strong-willed contestants, and the winner of the McDonald’s $10 gift card came down to who could drink the last drink the fastest. Each child prepared to guzzle down the tangy, spicy concoction as quickly as possible, and there was finally a winner.
Avery Prather was excited when she realized she was the overall winner for the challenge. “I was happy, amazed and proud that I did it,” Prather said. When asked about how she would spend her winnings, she already knew what selection she was going to choose from. “I like to get the wraps,” she said with a smile and gift card in hand.
The first runner-up was Andrew W. Bellanger, and he was happy to walk away with his $5 McDonald’s gift card. The second drink was not the hardest obstacle for Bellanger, he admitted. The first drink was what gave him the most trouble. “It was so bad, Bellanger said. “I kept thinking, ‘I’m gonna puke. I’m gonna puke.’” Despite everything his stomach went through to earn the gift card, he was still ready to claim his prize. “I heard there’s new stuff on the menu.” Bellanger said as he begged his mom for a McDonald’s run. “I want to check it out.”
Heather Wright is a reporter at the North Augusta Star. She is a North Augusta resident and majored in communications at USC Aiken.
Photo by Scott Rodgers Brandon Riley, 11, and Matthew Faglier, 9, react to eating a snail at the Nancy Carson Library.×
Photo by Scott Rodgers Leann Deal, 10, Adeline Dean, 10, and Penelope Dean, 8, react to eating some blue raspberry tuna Jell-O at the Nancy Carson Library.×
Photo by Scott Rodgers Jamie and Emilie Black, 15 and 9 respectively, react to some spicy jalapeno jelly at the Nancy Carson Library.×
Photo by Scott Rodgers Avery Prather, 10, raises her hand and wins the Fear Factor Food Challenge at the Nancy Carson Library. Andrew Belanger, 10, came in second. Working at the blended concoction are also Luke and Ruth McGovern, 15 and 12 respectively.×
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