The second season of the History Channel's "Top Shot" aired this evening. As you might expect, I have been waiting for another season of this show since the last season ended. It's not that I'm a huge fan of reality television, mind you. I truly enjoy shooting and watching what television executives can concoct for a course of fire to challenge some of the better shooters in the country is exciting to me. I'm guessing that I'm not the only guy who fantasizes about getting all of the people he has ever shot with together and trying our own luck at shooting a shot glass off a fence post, or picking off pool balls at varying distances. That's where Top Shot found an untapped pool of viewers dying to see something impressive.
The downside of this show, or any reality show, is the focus on idiotic drama. We all get enough of that in our real lives, we don't really need to see that a house full of random adults can't find a way to get along for 8 to 12 weeks. I have to give it to the History Channel, though. It turns out they seem to have a really great plan for recording the ridiculous things that come of the mouths of people fueled by ego when they know they are about to be broadcast on national television.
Let's say, the first episode didn't disappoint. While talking with some of the competitors about why they thought they made it, one of them actually says, "I believe I'm the best shooter in the world." Well, as you can guess, this kind of attitude has a tendency to leave a pretty bad taste in the mouths of people who like to believe they can shoot. I spent the next hour hoping, if not praying, that this guy would be the first one up for elimination.
The first round is shooting pool balls off of fence posts at staggering distances. To make things tougher, they are to shoot only the solids with the 8 ball being farthest away. The stripes are staggered in front of the solids so that the shooters have to shoot around them to hit their targets. Pool, played with a .45 Colt 1911. Teams are picked, and the red team shoots first. They have their misses, but finish the course in a respectable thirteen and some odd minutes. The blue team seems eager and confident. They lose at nearly double the amount of time. As the show goes, they are up for elimination.
At this point, I'm on the edge of my seat because "the best shooter in the world" failed to hit ANY targets. Along with three others, he is now singled out by his team. The team decides that those who made their shots are immune. The team is called to the voting challenge, and guess what? Our friend, the best shooter in the world, is selected to compete. The competition is on timed moving targets that fall off of their string when the shooter has waited too long to hit the target. Needless to say, at this point I am on the edge of my seat. I can hardly wait to see our humble competitor get eliminated. They step up to the line, one by one. Firing a Smith & Wesson .44 magnum revolver. The first, a pistol marksman, shoots 5 out of 8 targets. The second, our friend with the ego, shoots 3. Just like that, he has fired his last shot for the second season and is sent home packing.
I don't know that I can replicate the course of fire on Top Shot. I do know that I would love to have the opportunity to attempt to keep up with some of the best shooters in the country. Maybe, just maybe, with enough practice, I could make it past the first round ahead of "the best shooter in the world."