The winners won't be revealed until tomorrow night, but two local barbecue competitors - brothers Mike and Joe Pearce of the Squeal Like a Pig barbecue team - will be seen in a smoking skirmish on the sixth season of Destination America Channel's show, BBQ Pitmasters. In the world of competitive barbecue, the Squeal Like a Pig team (and yes, the name was inspired by the famous line in Deliverance) has a third member, Brandon Whipple. "But the teams on the TV show can only have two members," says Mike Pearce. The show featuring the Pearce brothers - facing off against Fergolicious from Gardner, Kansas, and the Sugarfire Smoke House from St. Louis - will be aired locally at 8 p.m. on Destination America,
Mike Pearce says he sent off an audition tape last December and got the phone call from the producers of BBQ Pitmasters in early January. He says the show's staff was intrigued by having two brothers on a team - and ones who had grown up making barbecue.
"We've been cooking our whole lives," Pearce says.
"Our father wasn't a competitive barbecue guy, but he was passionate about it. We barbecued in our backyard in Liberty almost every weekend."
The Pearces and teammate Whipple didn't join the competitive circuit until last year, traveling to 13 different barbecue competitions. Mike Pearce says their first-year success was "above average" for a new team. "We competed in four categories and placed in the top 10 in every one," Pearce says. "We won first place in every category at least once last season. We put a lot of work into it."
The Kansas City round was filmed over three days in Tampa, Florida.
"We're not allowed to reveal who gets to go to the semifinals," Pearce says. "You'll just have to watch the show."
Despite the team's piggy name, Pearce says their specialty isn't pork. "Our signature dish," he says, "is brisket."