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!