Top Shot Episode 8: The Razor's Edge

I watched last night’s Top Shot with Kelly Bachand of the Red Team – it was a lot of fun to hang out with another contestant and watch the interaction of the packed crowd during the episode.  As usual, spoilers fall under the jump so don’t read if you’ve not seen it.

Tossing knives!  Again, filled with disappointment that I missed this challenge.  I spent many an afternoon in my youth throwing knives and tomahawks at various targets attached to a chunk of pine in my backyard.  To the people ripping on the contestants for not being able to throw very well, let me tell that throwing edged weapons is hard.  It’s not like throwing a baseball or a football or anything that you’re used to throwing, and it requires a specific set of skills to get it right.

The team challenge was cool.  You had to throw knives yes, but you had to do it while standing on a fairly precarious balance beam.  JJ once again proved himself to be a beast, despite struggling in practice with the knives, when it came down to game time he hit 4 out of the 6 targets that Blue Team needed to hit.  The people throwing for Blue Team were JJ, Adam, and Iain – JJ hit 4 targets and Iain hit 2, which gave Blue Team a total time of 3 minutes and five seconds.  Pretty cool.

Red Team was up next, and it was a tight challenge.  Once again, Kelly showed what a beast he is!  He hit 3 out of the 6 targets, Pete hit one, and Denny hit the final one.  Sadly, Red Team’s time was 3 minutes and 10 seconds, giving them their final loss in the team competition.

Off to Elimination Challenge – Kelly and Pete voted for Denny, and Denny voted for Pete.  So those two shot it out in the elimination challenge, which was with slingshots.  The expert for the slingshots was Chief AJ, a champion slingshot shooter.  Seriously, he’s whacked all kinds of game with a slingshot, and if there is someone out there more qualified, I don’t know who it is.  Plus, he was HILARIOUS.  Seriously, the funniest expert yet.

Anyway, long story short is that Denny lost and was sent home.  Pete did well enough in the elimination challenge to stick around for another week…with only two episodes left!  Next week is going to be cool – the teams go away and it’s every man for himself with some kind of crazy run and gun action that you’re going to see.  You’re also going to see multiple get sent home next week, which will definitely help narrow things down to the final episode where the winner and title of Top Shot will be given out.

It’s going to be a GREAT ride!


  1. I’ll be surprised if Kelly doesn’t make it to the final episode. He has consistently demonstrated the ability to pick up new skills very quickly.

  2. I like Kelly the most in this show. JJ is awesome, but Kelly just quietly gets no matter what pressure he is under.

  3. So once again Denny demonstrates his skill? set. He actually did better with the slingshot than with any other challenge. The only reason he managed one hit with one knife is that he lost his balance just as he threw. How does he stand up on the back of a galloping horse if he can’t balance on a board? To his credit, he took elimination like a gentleman.

  4. I’m surprised it took red team this long to figure out that it was a fool’s game sending people to get eliminated by Kelly at each challenge.

    And really, could Adam have possibly whined any more?

  5. You if Pete wanted to be a “gameplayer” like some that will remain nameless from your former team. That way Kelly would have a tough choice of voting for Pete for revenge or Denny as planned. If he voted for Denny then Denny could have shot Pete for a tie. Wonder how they would have broken it? Thankfully Pete has more class than that.

  6. Were the skillsets of the group at the beginning more diverse, and you just eliminated them early? It just seems strange to me that they’d have knives, bows, black powder rifles, and slingshots in the competition but then have all of the marksmen be essentially pistol or rifle shooters only.

  7. I guess JJ was right…it’s a Filipino thing when it comes to knives. It just comes naturally for us. LOL.

  8. @Mike,

    Like most things on TV, Top Shot is orchestrated as entertainment; it’s not really a shooting competition. And the producers have little real knowledge of the shooting sports or the skills involved. The most “unreal” shows on TV seem to be the “reality” programs, which turn out to be as phony as the daytime “soaps.”

  9. I’m just a little surprised, since they seemed to get a really good assortment of quality pistol shooters on the show, so they had some idea of what they were doing there.

    Just watched this episode – that’s actually a really tough/unfair competition for a new knife thrower. Knives are all about rotation, so every thrower has a natural distance that they’re going to hit one rotation at. For a taller thrower, it’s going to be a longer distance. You can see that with JJ, the targets were close to his natural distance. At 6’2″, for normal accuracy competitions I’m throwing from a full yard or more behind where a lot of people throw.

    You can adjust the rotation, with the speed of your throw or adding some flick, but that’s a much more advanced skill than just getting it to stick the first day.

    Just thought it was interesting.

  10. I just realized – you can actually see that when Pete’s throwing. If he were 6 inches farther back he’s have a solid stick on a lot of them.

  11. @Mike,

    It has been (more than) a few years since I threw knives (and tomahawks) in competition. At that time, everyone could move behind the foul line as far as necessary to accommodate his natural rotation. That wasn’t possible for the Top Shot contestants and you are right: the fixed distance required them to adjust with a change in either flip or grip. That’s just another example of how the producers didn’t understand the skills involved and thereby created an uneven playing field for some of the competitors.

  12. I’m really curious to see how/if they adjust the format for the next season. With a few tweaks I think this could be an awesome show. As it is it’s a fun diversion, but it could easily be so much more.

  13. Checked Chief Aj’s website..he has the same type of slingshot used on the show for sale on his site for $20 a pop (including shipping). REALLY not a bad deal for a decent slingshot.

  14. Wow..and further on down his site he has a slingshot that shoots friggin crossbow bolts.

Comments are closed.