This was one of the most elaborate, creative and crazy Top Shot Challenge yet. Last season the final 5 had to shoot at balloons while falling from a crane. This season we were strapped to a carnival style contraption and spun in a loop 33 feet in the air while given the chance to shoot 20 targets 35’ away with an H&K SP89.
With Jake out of the picture, it is now a house of gentlemen, an episode with no drama. The entire atmosphere has changed and we are enjoying one another’s company. At practice we were strapped onto a wheel from Season 2 so we could try our best to shoot upside down. To my surprise I actually grouped better firing from upside down, I suppose my extra focus helped here. I was hoping they would show me after I turned in the pistol. That’s when I grabbed onto the handles and told them to spin me as fast as the practice wheel would go. They didn’t let me play though.
The Challenge Contraption
In the challenge we had about 20 seconds to get prepare to fire as we went through the “acceleration loop” to get the contraption to speed. That’s when I realized that the “ambush method” would best help me complete the challenge. I had a focus that I never experienced before. I zoomed into the sights and targets so much that the targets looks the size of a large basketball at arm’s length, and my front sight seemed as large as my fist, pulling off the shots were quite easy at that time. I hit 12 in a row out of 20 right out the gate, but on the 13th my rhythm was interrupted by a shift in speed due to my body weight not perfectly matching the ballast. I knew I had extra rounds in the magazine so I tried to backtrack to pick up the target and never hit another. If I had simply skipped it I probably would have picked up more, but those split second decisions can cost you in this competition. The coolest thing (and if you listen closely in the episode you can hear it) is that the camera crews applauded for me when I shot the 12 in a row. I think they got in trouble though so it’s not cool for them, but it felt awesome!
Chris ended up beating me by one 9mm round this challenge, and Gary, Mike and Alex ended up eligible for nomination. Mike and Alex battled it out with the Styer SSP on a backwards zipline. Super Mike cleans the course and Alex goes packing, which is interesting since Alex sided with Jake on the bully mentality to vote the stronger shooter (Mike) out in Episode 9. You reap what you sow I suppose. So now I have an entire wing of the Top Shot house to myself while the other fellows bunk in what was mostly referred to as the “Red Team Room”. We are now known as the Final Four as we enter next week’s Finale – you won’t want to miss this!