By Paul Rackley
This season, Top Shot producers introduced the trick shooting a little early, and it threw an interesting twist into the show, sending home a strong shooter.
For the challenge, the remaining 15 shooters were split into three teams and required to perform five shots from the pages of history, including Annie Oakley’s famous mirror shot. Each person on a team tried his or her hand on one of the shots that consisted of shooting corncob pipes out of a mannequin’s mouth, knocking down a middle bowling pin without hitting the two outside pins, shooting a paint can in the air and spitting a .45 caliber bullet on an axe to pop a balloon on each side.
Once again, one of my favorites was dissed by being picked last for the teams, but Franks eventually has to gain some respect as he was the only shooter on the paint cans to hit three for three, including action-pistol expert Blake Miguez.
The competition was pretty close throughout the challenge, but the win eventually went to the Red Team, which sent the Blue Team of William, Blake, Gabby, Kelly and Kyle to the Proving Ground where they used an 1860 Henry to determine that Blake Miguez and Kyle Sumpter would face off in the Elimination Challenge. It looks as if the Proving Ground will feature a different firearm from history each week.
The Elimination Challenge also featured trick shots, and consisted of hitting three bottles with an upside down Smith & Wesson 686, three gumballs with a Volquartsen .22 and two plates simultaneously with two Ruger Security Sixes. In the challenge, neither did great with the event ending in a tie, which forced a tie-breaker of once again taking aim at the gumballs. Blake has serious issues with the Volquartsen, as he missed three for three gumballs, the same as he did is his first try, which sent him home early and ended his chance to become History’s Top Shot.
The show continued to eliminate the human-drama factor, showing the house only at the very beginning and during the packing. I’m still loving this new format, which is all about the shooting skill of the competitors, mirroring the way that shooters fire their last shot.