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Match Up Among Friends

Match Up Among Friends

By Paul Rackley

The producers just couldn’t stand it anymore, I guess. This week’s Top Shot entered the house multiple times to show the competitors discussing various issues—I still only want to see shooting—and even baking brownies. It was probably to show that two people who actually got along well were going head to head to send one home. At least they didn’t try to invent drama for the sake of drama, and nobody has shown signs of being a queen.

In a twist on a previous season’s head-to-head match up with the Smith & Wesson .500, competitors faced off with the SIG Sauer P229 in a challenge that was about speed—the first to hit three targets at varying distances won—and choosing the right competitor to go against. Times were extremely fast, but Kelly, the long-range rifle expert, whipped them all and won a special prize from Bass Pro Shops. It was interesting to see that only two of the competitors who chose their opponents beat the person they picked.

I was, however, disappointed to see Jamie sandbag during practice to fool the others into thinking he wasn’t familiar with the SIG. I want to the winner to win because he or she is the best, not through trickery. It worked, though, as William chose Jamie, but was sent to the Proving Ground as a loser.

At the Proving Ground the seven shooters used the SIG P229 to determine that Chee and Gabby were going to the Elimination Challenge. While I like Chee, I was kind of happy that he was being sent, as twice now he tried to take the weak course by hoping to not have to choose anyone. It was also interesting to see this pair go head to head as they are good friends (they were the ones making brownies) and Chee fired the shot that sent Gabby home in Season Four.

In the Elimination Challenge, Gabby became the first woman to send a fellow competitor home by slowly and surely knocking down the four rows of six plates that required consecutive hits or all the plates in that row would rise up again. While Gabby definitely had better accuracy in the challenge, it was plan execution that ultimately sent Chee home. Every time he missed, he reloaded rather than just continue shooting and reloading when the gun was empty. The .45 Schofield is a top –break revolver that ejects the cases, he wasted a lot of time chasing down live rounds that he could have fired. Gabby just blasted away to victory, and proved that competition is not always about being the best. Sometimes it’s about being the smartest.

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