Top Shot Episode 3: Archer Enemies

And so we have 3 episodes of Top Shot in the bag now, with only 7 episodes to go there are 13 contestants left vying for the $100,000 grand prize and title of Top Shot.  Spoilers beneath the jump for anyone who hasn’t yet seen Episode 3 of Top Shot.

The episode opens with Brad returning after eliminating Frank.  On Blue Team, I don’t think anyone was particularly surprised to see Brad come back – despite some of the complaining he did, he is/was an excellent shooter with a pistol and as we found in Episode 2, that particular elimination challenge played pretty strongly to his skill set.

Then we have drama!  Kelly made an inappropriate joke that offended Bill (for the record, I’m just as bad as Kelly because I thought the joke was funny).  Bill did not react well to this and set himself to feudin’ with the rifle prodigy.  Now, I have my personal feelings on this – I thought what Kelly said was wicked inappropriate, but at the same time I was also 22 once and I’ve said a lot dumber stuff than that.  So when he apologized to Bill but Bill continued to hold a grudge about it, well – I didn’t like that.

The practice was pretty cool.  We were shooting an English-style longbow, and I have to be honest that after a while in practice, I really liked it.  Aiming the longbow is more like throwing a baseball from right field than aiming a firearm, there are no sights and there’s no trigger to pull.  After practice, we had quite a few good hits on target, and we decided that going in to the challenge our goal was simple.  “Our arrows will blot out the sun”, or “accuracy by volume”.  The machine gun approach worked alright, but during the entire challenge we were chasing Kelly.  He had a GREAT shot that no one seemed to be able to beat.  Jim had two hits, I had two hits, Iain had a couple of good hits, but we just couldn’t get one in closer than Kelly’s.  Enter JJ Freakin’ Racaza.  JJ really did rain arrows from the sky – he got off 6 or 7 good shots, and his very last shot buried itself in the target 8 inches closer to the bull than Kelly’s shot.

The thing about the archery challenge was that unlike the previous challenges, luck was a HUGE factor in this.  No doubt, JJ is a stud, and making that shot took a ton of athletic ability.  But pinpoint accuracy with this weapon wasn’t our strong suite, hence the “accuracy by volume” approach we were taking.

Back to the drama now – this was probably the most political vote yet in the elimination challenges, as lots of personalities and interpersonal conflicts started to play out in the voting.  Brad voted for Andre, Andre voted for Brad, Kelly voted for Bill, Bill for Kelly, Denny voted for Bill, and Pete voted for Brad putting Bill and Brad head to head in the elimination challenge.

That was a crossbow challenge, shooting 4 apples at various distances.  10 yards, 20 yards, 30 yards, and 40 yards.  First to get all 4 hits win.  Brad won, Bill went home.

Looking back on it now, I wasn’t sorry to see Bill go.  His loss definitely mad the house a much quieter place, which in and of itself was odd – you don’t realize how big a personality someone has until they’re gone.  I do stay in contact with Bill, as we’re working on a project together with his show and Gun Nuts Radio, so stay tuned for details on that.

My final thoughts on the longbow?  Do want.  There was something primitive and appealing about shooting the longbow – the same part of me that enjoys athletic USPSA stages really enjoyed doing something physical and shooting.  I’m still thinking about picking one up – we’ll see what happens!


  1. Did you all get to bring your EDC to the house? What were the rules (or local laws) on that front?

    1. Lee: no we did not. In fact we were forbidden to posses weapons of any type, including pocketknives. I actually had to surrender my friggin’ LEATHERMAN.

  2. You can build a pretty functional wood bow out of basic carpentry supplies from your local home depot. Total cost is around $10-20, but it’ll probably take you a few tries to get it right.

  3. POCKETKNIVES?!? Wow, even in a business suit, I have a small Swiss Army knife. . . anything less formal not invloving a courtroom, mental hospital, jail, or airport, and I have a CRKT M16EDC. . .

    I have to say that Caleb has (based on the footage form the first three epidodes) earned the personal cognomen “No-Drama Llama”, vice “The Little Giant” {snort!}.

    {Grabs Caleb, holds him over the cliff to show the gathered animals of the savannah}

    I present to you No-Drama Llama!

    {snicker, duck}

  4. Winning the team challenges really helps keep the drama at bay as well. It’s easy to avoid the drama when your team keeps having the whole day off of the elimination challenge!

  5. I have heard worse, had worse said to me, and said worse to others.

    This was in the Navy, typically at sea when giving crap to your fellow sailors is raised to a fine art of seeing who you can break and how fast you can break them.

    My wife did chastise me for thinking it was funny, too.

    I didn’t like Bill for holding a grudge either, as the etiquette I’m familiar with means if someone gives you crap you can’t handle, and they apologize, you’re supposed to let it go.

    I remember shooting bows in high school gym class, does that make me old?

  6. Ok, Ok, Ok, my husband and I only caught the last 20 minutes or so of the episode as church ran later than normal….Totally missed what Kelly said to Bill to tick him off so much – will someone spill the beans already? What exactly did Kelly say???

  7. kelly found out that Bill’s ex-wife’s fiance had committed suicide, and Kelly said “wow, was she that bad?”

    It was inappropriate, kind of funny, but definitely not worth Bill’s reaction.

  8. Bill’s ex-‘s new husband had shot himself in the chest.

    Kelly said something along the lines of, “Wow. Was she that bad?”

  9. Come on! Kelly insulted his EX wife, not Bill’s mother! I’m glad the kid is still in there. He’s a heck of a shot!

  10. i thought what kelly said was wrong, although his remark might have sounded funny (i laughed a little), kelly didnt know what the relationship between bill and him were so i dont realy think bill over reacted and kelly realy needs to watch his mouth

  11. I just watched the episode last night. Was there more that Kelly said that didn’t make the show? If not, Bill really dwelled on that one remark, probably to his detriment.

    I hated to see him go, but if he was bringing that much drama into the house, it probably was for the better.

  12. I laughed at Kelly’s remark too.

    Sorry Bill, but if it’d been my Ex i would have responded with a “Hell Yes!”

    That said you don’t make comments like that unless you know someone really well. A lesson I also learned at a young age and the hard way.

  13. I agree that Kelly’s comment was immature and inappropriate, but Bill’s reaction was way over the top.

  14. Bill may be the sweetest guy in the world for all I know, but the way it was portrayed in the show, his ‘tude had become a cancer to Red Team’s morale as much as had Brad’s “But I’m A Grandmaster!” chant.

  15. Am I the only person surprised that the military/exmilitary members of the red team don’t seem to have a clue what it means to be a part of a TEAM. Yeah, they all want to win the $100,000. But the military guys seem hellbent on destroying the chances of everyone on the red team. I’m rooting for the red team to lose every challenge now because of the drama. The cowboy seems like the only guy with his…uh…stuff together.

  16. I honestlyt think having Mike go early SERIOUSLY screwed with the Red Team’s feeling of teamwork. (Even though, given what happened on teh first challenge, Mike needed to be up for elimination, as manned up and he said so himself.)

    I think losing the former NY cop hurt the team dynamics.

    Kelly’s problem seems to be that he is a 22 year old (who strikes me as a fellow geek), trying to fit in with older, more experienced men. In other words, the shiny new second john, or the guy who enlisted after some college and is trying to “fit in”. He occaisionally does and says inappropriate, immature stuff.

    I’m shocked, shocked, shocked, to find he acts like ALMOST ANY OTHER 22 year old male would act under the circumstances. Except when push comes to shove, he delivers. When he thinks he might need help, he speaks up. When he screws up, he apologizes, if clumsily. That’s the difference between “cocky” and “conceited”. Hmmm. . . a young gun who is among the top in his chosen field, hanging with 15 top shooters who are pretty much twice his age? Yeah, “cocky” is normal. . . I was a cocky 20 year old sergeant, I understand.

    I’m with Tam — Bill came off as a cancer in the locker room once he got his hate on for Kelly. Wouldn’t matter if he could shoot better than Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, based on what was shown, he needed to go.

  17. Caleb,

    Long time no see bud! Congrats on the show I just caught up on all the episodes. Layman, my wife and I are cheering for you, hope you win the whole thing!

    Good to see your doing well!


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