Chrissy Teigen is unique among celebrities for a number of reasons. She’s a force to be reckoned with on social media, she has a lovely family with singer John Legend, and she’s an excellent cook. But Teigen’s brave palate didn’t save her when she appeared on a certain YouTube show. The spicy wings she was given weren’t just hot; they were hot enough to send her to the hospital. Here’s what happened, and what she had to say about the experience.
The ‘Hot Ones’ experience
According to The Verge, Sean Evans hosts the YouTube series known as Hot Ones, and its simple premise has turned out to be a huge hit. Evans interviews celebrities, but what makes his show stand out is one small thing. Well, actually, 10 small things. “It’s the show with hot questions and even hotter wings,” Evans explains at the beginning of every episode.
Guests not only face Evans and his questions, but they also square off with 10 wings, each doused in an increasingly spicy sauce. The challenge is to finish them all. All the while, the questions also get increasingly more interesting. The final hurdle is known as the dab, when the hottest sauce, made with a pepper that is even hotter than a Carolina Reaper, is dabbed on the last wing for an extra serving of spice.
The show sells the hot sauces they use, so Evans is able to produce the show without worrying about sponsored posts or advertising. In 2018, the spicy sauces brought in $7 million. But not everyone’s a fan.
The sauce so hot it sent Chrissy Teigen to the hospital
In 2018, Teigen appeared on Hot Ones, and her experience was certainly memorable. Just after the episode filmed, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Fallon knew she wasn’t feeling well that night, but it wasn’t until she returned for another appearance the next year that he got the whole story. When Fallon brought up her appearance on Hot Ones, Teigen explained that she started the show feeling pretty confident that she could handle the spice. In fact, she was so sure that she could take it that she licked the wings instead of just eating them.
But her hot wing intake had landed her in the hospital because she was in so much pain afterward. “My tongue was stripped, they said. I don’t even know what that means,” she recounted. “It was bloody and stripped. And I had acid reflux for a long time.” According to Women’s Health, spicy peppers won’t actually injure a tongue or cause acid reflux. But maybe they just haven’t experienced Hot Ones level of spice.
Sauces that harness the Scoville Units
The substance that gives peppers their burn is called capsaicin. Exactly how spicy a pepper is can be measured on a scale called Scoville Units. To give you an idea of how the scale works, according to The Recipe, sriracha clocks in at 2,200 Scovilles. The sauces they use on Hot Ones start off a little milder than that, at 1,800 Scovilles. The heat gets higher as guests work their way through the wings.
Within just a few steps, guests try Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce, which includes scotch bonnet and habanero peppers for a mouth-melting 10,100 Scovilles. But the most intense sauce is the final one. The Last Dab Reduxx is made with proprietary peppers called Pepper X, and it delivers an insane 2 million Scovilles. That level of heat was enough to send Teigen to the hospital to deal with the pain. Hopefully, she’s recovered enough to enjoy her food again.
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