Top Shot

Season 2 Episode 1

Sharpshooter Surprise

Aired Unknown Feb 08, 2011 on The History Channel

Episode Recap

The episode begins with the 16 new contestants for the show arriving at the land where the competition will take place. This season features 14 men and 2 women competing for the title of Top Shot. The group arrives at the gates and host Colby Donaldson is there to greet them. Colby welcomes all of them to the second season of Top Shot. Colby informs them that thousands of people applied to try and compete on the show. He says that the 16 of them displayed skills using a wide range of weapons and that is why they are here. He does remind them that only one contestant will win the $100,000 prize and the title of Top Shot. Colby is hoping that they are ready because the competition is actually starting right now.

The group arrives at the challenge site. Kyle admits that when he heard they were starting the competition right off the bat, it did make him excited but a little nervous about what to expect. George sees U.S. Cavalry signs and tents set up along the challenge field. He can't wait to see what's in store. Colby tells them that they are going to be testing their marksmanship skills right now with a challenge. Colby says that the 16 contestants are going to compete head to head against each other and there will be no practice. Colby recounts that approximately 150 years ago, the American Civil War was about to begin and the United States Army was putting together the first sharpshooting regiment. He states that the marksmen had to pass a test if they wanted to join the regiment and the group is going to take that test. Colby says that it's the same distance with the same weapon. They are going to shoot the Sharps Falling Breach Load Rifle. Colby tells them that the Sharps is considered the first sniper rifle due to its accuracy at a long range. Colby shows them a 10 inch bulls-eye at 200 yards out. He tells them that they will only have one shot to shoot at the target to get as close to the center of the bulls-eye. Colby tells them that if a soldier didn't make the shot he wasn't allowed into the regiment. Colby tells them that the two shooters that hit closest to the bulls-eye will be allowed to pick their own team. The contestants realize how much of an advantage this could be for their games. Colby tells them that he will draw out of the ammo box to determine the order of the shooting.

Athena is drawn as the first one to shoot at the target. Athena tells the audience that she has been a pistol shooter for the last 21 years. She says that despite her small size she can still kick butt on the course. Athena takes her shot and hits the bottom of the black target one foot up from the bottom. Jermaine is chosen to go next. Jermaine's shot is closer only being 24 inches away from the bulls-eye. Joe is the third contestant to shoot at the target. Joe's shot lands closer to the bulls-eye. At this point, Jermaine and Joe are in the lead, but there are still plenty more shooters. Chris. T is up next to shoot. Chris. T tells the audience that he has won hundreds of shooting competitions. He says that he has won a lot of national competitions and junior national competitions. Chris T's shot isn't close enough to beat Jermaine and Joe. Chris R is the next shooter up. Chris R says that shooting is a very important way of life for him because he uses it to sustain his family with food if necessary. Chris R says that shooting has helped him stay centered and have a focus on his life. Chris R's shot is able to make it closer than Jermaine's shot. This puts Joe and Chris R in the lead. Daryl is chosen to shoot next. His shot doesn't make it closer. Brian, nicknamed Gunny, comes up to make his shot. Gunny is not able to make it closer to the target either. Jamie is chosen to shoot next. His shot is also farther away from the bulls-eye. Ashley is selected next to shoot. Ashley says that he loves the history of combat whether he's fighting in Afghanistan or studying the history of Sparta and the Mongols. Ashley's shot is also farther away from the target. Joe and Chris R are still in the lead. Maggie is selected to shoot next. Maggie says that everything that she does in her life revolves around shooting in some way. Maggie's shot is also too far from the target. Eric is chosen to shoot next. Eric tells the audience that God didn't create all men equal, but Smith and Wesson did. Eric states that shooting revolves around being able to hit the target. Eric's shot is also far away and still doesn't change who is in the lead in Joe and Chris R. George is up next. George says that he's here to crush the competition. He says he loves competing and he wants to beat the other 15 competitors at the game. George's shot ties with Chris R and Joe. The three are neck and neck for the lead. Jay is up next. He says that he is a threat to the rest of the players because of the fact that he has physical and mental skills. Jay says he's good at everything he tries. Jay's shot hits dead center in the bulls-eye which puts him in first place. Jay is very happy to hit the bulls-eye and the fact that he hit it dead center was even better. Colby asks George if he thinks Jay hit the shot with skill or luck. George honestly thinks that Jay just got lucky and couldn't make the shot twice. Travis is up next to shoot. Travis states that he has a lot of plaques and gold medals on the wall at his house. He thinks he's the greatest shooter in the competition. Travis' shot doesn't come close to the center, which leaves Jay and Chris R in the lead. John is up next to shoot. John's shot isn't close either. It all comes down to Kyle. Kyle steps up and takes his shot. His shot is also too far away. This means Chris R and Jay are choosing the teams. Colby tells the group to head to the house and get cozy. He knows that there will be lobbying going on in the house over night. The group will have their first team challenge tomorrow. Chris R admits that being team captain right off the bat isn't something he wanted, but he was glad that he could prove right off the bat that he was a good shot. Jay says that one shot doesn't make him the team captain right off the bat, but it does prove that he can shoot and he can be a valuable asset to the team.

The group arrives at the house. Everyone is impressed with the house and it looks exactly like it did the first season. Chris T says that everyone got settled in and was trying to get the feel of the house environment. Jay says that his skill places him in a difficult position because he has to pick the teams. Jay starts to talk to Jermaine, Maggie and Travis about their shooting skills. Later that night, he also talks to Chris T about his shooting skills. Jay notes that nobody else is interviewing anyone so he's the only one that knows everyone else's shooting skills. He says that he can build his team and understand how to interact with them. Inside, Jay's interviewing hasn't gone unnoticed. Many people note that they weren't interviewed by Jay so they probably won't be picked for his team. Ashley states that he understands that Jay is trying to figure out which people he wants on his team, but he's interviewing people in ways that are awkward to most. Chris R isn't as concerned about strategizing his team members and thinks everyone deserves to be here. He has no preference in picking people because they are here for a reason.

The next morning, the group meets Colby for the Team Pick. Colby greets the shooters and hoped that they had a good first night. Colby says it's time to pick the teams. Colby tells Chris R that he is picking for the Red Team and Jay is picking for the Blue Team. Jay tells the audience that he knows who he wants to have on his team. If Chris R picks one of them, then he is just going to go to the next one on the list. Colby tells Jay that since his shot was closer, he is going to allow him the first pick. Jay's first choice is Chris T. Jay tells the audience that Chris T has a lot of credibility and is the top handgun person in the game in his opinion. Chris R picks George for the Red Team for his first choice. Chris R says that George is a sniper in the Armed Forces and he is experienced with several weapons. Jay's next pick for Blue Team is Daryl. Chris R chooses Joe for the Red Team. Jay picks Ashley for the Blue Team next. Chris R chooses Gunny for the Red Team. Jay chooses Jermaine for the Blue Team. At this stage in the game, the teams start to discuss who they are going to pick next. Chris R picks John for the Red Team. Jay picks Kyle for the Blue Team. Chris R picks Eric next for the Red Team. Jay's next choice is Maggie. Chris R's next choice is Jamie. This leaves two shooters left: Travis and Athena. Jay picks Travis and Athena is left for the Red Team. Colby tells them that their team colors are under the benches that they are sitting on. The group puts on their team colored shirts and jackets. Chris R thinks that they've put together a good Red Team and he can't wait to see what comes of it. Jay admits he got most of the people he wanted on his team and he thinks it's a good spread of talents.

These are the teams:

Red Team


Chris R







Blue Team


Chris T







Colby tells the group that they look like teams. He tells them to take a moment and look at the rest of the players. He tells them that if they want to have a chance at winning the $100,000, they are going to have to work together as a team and depend on each other. Colby tells them the way the game is going to work. Colby says that they will have a team challenge. The losing team has to vote two people into the elimination challenge. The player that loses the elimination challenge will go home. Colby says that since they are on the topic of challenges, he informs them that the first one is starting right now. Colby takes the team members to the team challenge location. Chris R is glad that they are starting the competition now so that they can start eliminating players.

The group arrives at the team challenge site. Eric admits that arriving at the challenge gave him the feeling that he was in a monster movie. There was a lot of dense fog at the challenge site. Jamie notes that there are billiard balls on posts and platforms with the number of the ball on it. Jamie says that this is the type of challenge that he wouldn't be able to do if he wasn't on Top Shot. Colby notes that they have tested the group's skills on shooting a Civil War Era rifle with no practice. He says now they are using an iconic pistol. Colby shows them that they are using a .45 Colt 1911. Colby notes that the Colt was the standard issue sidearm in the American military from 1911-1985. The pistol saw action in World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War. The .45 Colt 1911 is still the longest used weapon in the U.S. Army. Colby tells the group that they have a nice game of pool on the range. Colby says that Pool Balls numbered 1-8 are set up on the field with the 1 being only 25 feet away and the 8 ball is 50 feet away. Colby tells them that they will start 30 yards behind the starting line. They will run one person at a time up to the course. They will start with the 1 ball and 1 person will take a single shot at the ball. After they take their shot, they have to run back and tag the next person. They must shoot the balls in ascending order. There are also striped balls in front of the solid balls so they have to shoot around them. Colby tells them that they are going to see who can adapt in challenges with weapons they may not have shot before. Colby notes that there is fog moving in so the targets are going to be hard to see.

Red Team is chosen to shoot first. Chris R admits that he is nervous about going first, but he thinks he can make the best of it. Chris R is going to take the first shot for the Red Team. The challenge starts for the Red Team. Chris R races up to the platform for the 1 ball. He loads the .45 Colt and takes aim. His shot shatters the 1 ball. Joe runs up to the course to shoot the 2 ball. Joe is able to hit the 2 ball and heads back to tag Eric. Eric takes aim at the 3 ball, but misses his shot. George steps up to shoot the 3 ball and also misses. Jamie also misses the 3 ball. Athena and John have no better luck, and the Red Team has trouble hitting the 3 ball. John notes that the pool balls weren't in front of their faces and they had to run to the platforms. He notes that has an effect on the heart and they have to accommodate the heartbeat for shooting. Gunny also misses the 3 ball. Chris R steps up and also misses the 3 ball. After George shoots and misses, it comes back around to Eric who took the first shot. This time, Eric makes the shot and the 3 ball shatters. George is able to the 4 ball with his next shot. Chris R notes that after they got the 3 ball, there was no pressure and they were able to come back together as a team. John is able to shatter the 5 ball. John says that he really felt the pulling in his hamstrings, but he knew that he had to get back to the line if he wanted to tag his teammate. Gunny is able to hit the 6 ball and Red Team is moving along well. Chris R is back up to shoot and hits the 7 ball. The group is down to their last ball, the 8 ball. Joe steps up and misses the 8 ball. George follows up with a miss. Gunny is the shooter that hits the 8 ball. He makes it back to the finishing line and the clock is stopped. We don't find out the time it took until after the challenge. Chris R states that he told the team that if someone missed a shot they weren't going to worry about it. He knew that they would have an opportunity to make it up and he thinks they did.

Blue Team starts their rounds. Jay thinks that the challenge is going to be easy after he saw Red Team do so well on it. Jay tells Chris T to go first because he's a pistol shooter and should have no problem shooting with the .45 Colt. The challenge starts and Chris T steps up to the 1 ball. But when he makes the shot, he misses. Jay can't believe that Chris T missed. Travis also can't believe that Chris T missed the shot. He notes that Chris T was picked for Blue Team because he is a professional in pistol shooting. Daryl is up next and misses the 1 ball. Chris T says that it doesn't matter if the target is 1 yard or 100 yards. He says that adding time to the challenge is going to make that shot hard. Maggie shoots next and also comes up with a miss. Ashley takes aim and also misses the 1 ball. Jermaine is finally able to make the shot for the Blue Team. Jay notes that it took 5 people to hit the first target and he knows it's a true race now. Kyle hits the post where the 2 ball is, but doesn't hit the ball. Jay steps up and is able to hit the 2 ball. Travis steps up for the 3 ball, but misses his shot. The second round starts and Daryl hits the 3 ball. Maggie and Chris T miss again. Ashley is able to step it up by hitting the 4 ball. Jermaine misses the 5 ball and Kyle hits the post again. Jay is up again. He says that he really likes to depend on himself because his team wasn't performing as well as he had hoped. Jay misses the 5 ball. Chris T and Travis miss the 5 ball as well. Ashley is finally able to hit the 5 ball. Ashley says that everyone was starting to feel stressed and upset after they had trouble on the 1 ball. He knows it threw off everyone in the challenge. Everyone takes a shot at the 6 ball once and miss. Jermaine is finally able to hit the 6 ball. Travis has another miss with the 7 ball. Jay hits the 7 ball with his shot and they are down to one ball. Kyle and Maggie have more misses with the 8 ball. Ashley is able to hit the 8 ball and the challenge is over for Blue Team. Jay is upset because only he, Jermaine, Ashley, and Daryl were able to hit the targets. Chris T, Maggie, Travis, and Kyle missed all of their shots in the challenge. Jay was very embarrassed. Daryl notes that Chris T and Maggie were put at the beginning because they are pistol shooters. He can't believe that they missed every shot. Kyle knows that he missed 6 shots and he is very humiliated at that. Travis is also angry with himself for missing all of his shots.

The Red Team and Blue Team reconvene for the results. Colby knows that this challenge was tough and had a very wet environment. Colby reveals the results. Red Team did the challenge in 12:26. Blue Team did the challenge in 23:15. Colby announces that Red Team has won and they are safe from elimination. Ashley says that this challenge was a real eye opener and definitely humbled several of the competitors with their performances. Colby tells Blue Team that they have a few hours to decide who is going to the elimination challenge. Travis knows that the challenge was an ugly display and he doesn't think any of them could have hit the broad side of a barn. The teams head back to the house.

Back at the house, Jay says that he takes no responsibility for the loss of the team. Jay says that the people that were supposed to perform well in the challenge didn't perform well at all. Travis knows that they have to pick two people and they need to find a fair way to do it. Jay says that they should decide based on performance. Jay, Jermaine, Daryl, and Ashley were the only team members that hit targets. Daryl says that the performance was the only thing they had to go on. Daryl says that Kyle, Maggie, Chris T, and Travis are the ones that are up for elimination. Travis admits that this is tough because there are four people that didn't perform well. Travis says that he likes everyone in the house, but he knows that something has to be decided on. In his eyes, he knows that Chris T and Maggie are the pistol shooters and they hit nothing. He thinks that they should be the ones nominated. Kyle thinks they should do Chris T and Maggie as well since they are the pistol shooters and they are at least keeping one of them on the team. Maggie admits she isn't used to coming in the bottom of any competition. Maggie says that if she is voted into the elimination challenge then she's just going to have to deal with it and perform well.

The Blue Team arrives at the Nomination Range. There are 8 targets set up with each person's name on it. The Nomination Range is different from last season. There is barely any living plant in the area and many of the places are rocky and barren. The fog makes the Nomination Range even drearier. Jermaine sees just how barren the area is and it makes him realize that this isn't a place they want to come to. Ashley notes that it's like a place for lost souls where nobody wants to be. Colby welcomes the Blue Team to the Nomination Range. He says that since they lost the team challenge, they have to vote two of their team members into the elimination challenge. Colby wants to talk about the challenge. Colby knows that there were many of them that had no hits today. Colby notes that Chris T was one of them and he was even picked first in the team pick and first for this challenge which means that Jay thinks highly of his shooting. Colby notes Chris T went 0/7. Colby asks what happened. Chris T states that he didn't perform well today and he just wasn't into the challenge. Colby asks him if he feels he wasn't ready for it. Chris T says that he didn't feel as serious about the challenge as he should have been. Colby notes that there were a lot of missed shots at the challenge. Travis adds that it was more than what there should have been. Jay tells Colby that when Blue Team saw the challenge, they saw it was a pistol challenge and the odds were in their favor. He notes that two of their team members are pistol shooting professionals and two others are pistol shooting trainers. He feels that they should have won that challenge. Colby tells the group that it's time to get to the vote. He tells them that behind him are 8 targets with their names on them. Colby tells them that when he calls their name they will step up and cast their vote with a bullet. Colby states that they will shoot the target of the person they want to nominate. The only rule is that they cannot vote for themselves. Colby says it's time to start and chooses Jay to shoot first. Jay steps up and shoots his bullet at Chris T's target. Jay says that when he heard Chris T say that he wasn't into the challenge. Jay doesn't think that's the attitude needed to win. He says that if Chris T wins the elimination challenge, it will show that he does care. If he proves himself, he has an even playing field in his eye. Kyle steps up and shoots his bullet at Travis' target. Kyle says that Travis simply didn't perform well today and that's why he shot his target. Jermaine steps up next to vote and casts his vote for Kyle. Jermaine says that in his mind, Kyle is the weakest link on the team. Maggie notes that Jermaine's shot was right in the center of Kyle's target. Colby notes that Chris T, Travis, and Kyle all have one vote. Daryl is up next and he votes for Chris T. Daryl says that Chris T didn't perform when he needed to perform and he should have hit the target more times since he is a professional pistol shooter. Maggie is up next and she shoots Travis' target. Maggie says that she didn't want to vote for any of them so she just made a decision with Travis. Chris T steps up and casts a third vote for Travis. Chris T says that he isn't the only one that let the team down and he thinks Travis let the team down today in particular. Colby notes that with 3 votes, Travis is going to be one of the shooters in the Elimination Challenge. Colby asks Travis why he thinks the team voted for him. Travis says that he thinks the team thinks of him as the weakest shooter, but he hopes to prove them wrong. Colby tells Travis it is his turn to vote. Travis votes for Chris T. This also puts Chris T in the elimination challenge. Travis notes that Chris T was their best shooter for this challenge and he failed to perform. Because of this, Chris T should go home. Colby notes that it will be Chris T and Travis in the elimination challenge. Colby notes that all of the feelings are out in the open. He can tell that Travis is bothered by what happened and he knows who voted for them. Travis says that he can forgive, but he won't forget about who voted for him. Colby tells Chris T and Travis that he will see them tomorrow morning for the elimination challenge practice.

The next morning, Chris T and Travis arrive at the practice session for the elimination challenge. Colby tells them that they are going to be firing one of the most powerful and accurate handguns ever made: the Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum. The gun first came out in 1955. The six-shooter is mostly used by hunters and law enforcement personnel. The gun wasn't known until the year 1971 when the movie Dirty Harry came out. Clint Eastwood's character, Dirty Harry Callahan, used the gun as his sidearm and made it a household name. Colby says that the Magnum will help them stay in the game and he wonders which one of them feels lucky enough to stay in the game. Colby tells them that they will only have a limited amount of shots and time to practice. Colby notes that the .44 Magnum has such powerful recoil due to the bullet and they will have to compensate for it. Expert Bill Davis is here to help train them in the .44 Magnum. Colby tells Travis that he will practice first and Chris T will practice after him.

Travis begins his practice with the .44 Magnum. Travis notes that the .44 Magnum is a very tough gun and could stop anyone in their tracks. Bill Davis notes that the .44 Magnum has a right hand twist on the rifling of the better. This would mean the recoil is up and to the left. He notes that most shooters would compensate for this by jerking the trigger. Jerking the trigger means an uneven pull of the trigger that affects accuracy. Travis is having issues with pulling the trigger without jerking it. Travis notes that if someone jerks the .44 Magnum, that shot won't hit the target at all. Travis gets the next few shots in the center of the target and he feels that he is ready. Bill Davis notes that Travis is fast with a handgun and he has a good shot winning the competition.

Chris T is up next. His first few shots are very accurate and in the center of the target. Chris T knows that the .44 Magnum is not going to be an easy gun to shoot. Chris T says that the .44 has a long barrel so he needs to be aware of the sight radius as he moves from target to target. The sight radius is the distance between a gun's front and rear sights. Bill Davis thinks that Chris T felt that shooting the .44 Magnum was all in a day's work. He thinks that Chris T might be a little arrogant coming into the challenge and that's the one thing that will kill a shooter in the end.

Travis and Chris T arrive back to the house after practice. Chris T knows that he didn't perform well in the team challenge and he wants to put it all behind him to start fresh. Chris T says that he was homeschooled starting at age 14. He says he focused on the shooting and he and his father practiced a lot. Chris T says that this is what he likes to do and what he is always going to do. Travis says that he thought he was the best when he was younger. He says he won a National Junior Champion Shooting Competition and blew his chance at the Olympics because he partied too much in college. Travis knows that he threw all of the opportunities he had away at college, but now he has something to do with Top Shot. He wants his family to know that he is a good shooter and his kids to look up to him. Chris T says that when he goes into a new competition and he's nervous he works off of that nervousness. Travis says that he needs to prove it to himself and the Blue Team that he deserves to be in the game.

The Blue Team arrives at the elimination challenge to watch Chris T and Travis compete. Jay knows that Chris T has a lot of competitions under his belt and he hopes that Chris T goes into the competition with the confidence that he can beat Travis. Kyle thinks that the competition is going to be tough, but despite that Travis is the one that has more confidence. Chris T sees the ropes stretched out and he knows that it's going to be a moving targets competition. He is curious to see what is going to happen in the challenge. Colby welcomes the Blue Team to the first elimination challenge. Colby states that in the next few minutes, either Chris T or Travis will be the first shooter eliminated from Top Shot. Colby tells them about the challenge. Colby says that 80 feet out on the course are 8 targets suspended on tracks toward the firing line. When they start, they will have the targets coming at them at different speeds. Colby notes that along the track is a stopper. If the target hits the stopper before it is shattered, it will fall off the course and will be out of play. The player that hits the most targets will win the elimination challenge and remain in the competition. The loser will be eliminated. Colby notes that they have a lot to think about before they start the competition. Chris T realizes that he isn't going to have all day to aim at the targets. Chris T will shoot first. Chris T knows that he needs to have a plan going into the challenge. He knows if he doesn't keep calm then the challenge will unravel before him.

Colby tells the group that the winner of every elimination challenge this season will win a $2,000 gift card to Bass Pro Shops. The group is pretty excited about that. Colby tells Travis that he has to step away from the course so he doesn't have an unfair advantage. Chris T begins his round of shooting. The targets start to move towards him. Chris T notes that when the targets start moving towards him he has no idea what speed they are going at or how long they will be up and in play. Chris T misses his first shot. Chris T's second shot connects with a tile. The next four shots are also direct hits. He hit a total of five tiles. Colby notes that Chris T shot very well. Maggie notes that Chris T really stepped up to the plate and had a good run.

Travis steps up for his round. Jay notes that the one thing Travis has over Chris T is his go getting attitude. Jay knows that Travis wants to be here and prove himself. Travis says that he feels pretty lucky and he's ready to do the challenge. Travis begins the challenge. Travis is able to pinpoint which three tiles are the shortest in distance. Travis misses his first two shots. His third shot hits a tile. Travis notes that when his beginning strategy was off, it threw off the rest of his plan. The tiles start to hit the stoppers and fall when Travis aims at them. Travis misses another shot. Travis' last two shots are able to hit and he gets three targets.

Colby notes that Chris T hit 5 targets while Travis only hit 3 targets. This means that Travis has been eliminated from Top Shot. Travis says that the targets came at him at different times and when he missed a shot, it threw off the rest of his plan. Travis says that when the targets dropped, his heart dropped at the same time. Colby congratulates Chris T for staying in the game and hands him his gift card. Chris T is happy to stay in the game and notes that he proved himself as the shooter that he knows he is. Colby tells Travis that he has fired his last shot and has been eliminated. Travis takes some time to say goodbye to the Blue Team. Travis notes that he's going back home to his family to see them. He admits he might cry a little over this loss. Travis is hurt to leave and he thinks the competition is very great. He wishes that he would've been able to stay for a little while longer and starts to tear up a little bit. The episode ends with Travis leaving the game.

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