Trick shooting makes its triumphant return to Top Shot, but as the contestants continue to dwindle, the tensions in the house continue to rise.
This week kicked off with blue team surprised that Chris Cheng had outed Tim Trefren in the elimination challenge, before everyone headed off to practice.
The Remington M1911 pistol and the Volquartsen Rutger 10/22 rifle were this week's featured weapons, but the real treat was Colby revealing that this would be the trick shot challenge.
Red team got to practice first and seemed pretty confident coming out that they would have a good chance at winning this challenge. Then in comes the blue team, who were starting to tire of William Bethards constant boasting of his skills. Despite coming off of two wins, blue team was a mess during their practice session. Their pistol shooting was fine, but Bethards insisted that he would be shooting pistols in the challenge, and it was therefore pointless to practice with the rifle. This rubbed his teammates the wrong way, especially when they all struggled to get a handle on the rifle. Bethards finally relented and showed he had the skills to back up his talk by nailing the targets with the rifle.
However, when blue team went back to the house to strategize for the challenge, Bethards boasting in practice became a point of contention for the rest of his teammates. Terry Vaughan called him out for not being a team player, while Bethards argued back that the rest of his teammates had backed down from the rifle because they couldn't handle it.
With five shooters, the challenge featured five different stations. At the first station, contestants would have three chances with the Remington to shoot a bowling pin straight back between two pins on either side of it. Each clean hit was worth a point. Chris Cheng continued his strong run this season, going three for three on his run. Augie Malekovich hit two for three on his turn, putting blue behind from the get-go.
The second station featured a similar set up, except this time the contestant had to hit the lead pin and knock it back into one, or both of the pins on either side of it. Each knock down was worth a point. Kyle Sumpter went two for three for red, while Greg Littlejohn only managed to hit on one of his attempts.
The third station featured three soda bottles with openers rigged to their caps. Using the Volquartsen rifle, contestants had three chances to open the bottle; each clean hit was worth a point. Terry Vaughan went first for blue, missing on his first shot, nailing the second, and demolishing the bottle in spectacular fashion on his third. Gabby Franco shot for red, and after missing her first two shots, nailed the third.
The fourth station brought back the Remington pistol. Down range there were two buckets placed ontop of each other. The contestant would have to shoot the bottom bucket first, which would then launch the second bucket in the air. Contestants would only score a point if they hit the bucket in midair; again three chances worth one point apiece. Gary Shank made it look easy, going three-for-three on his run. Dylan
Fletcher showed how truly difficult this challenge was though, bringing
up a goose egg on his turn.
The final station featured four gumballs placed atop golf tees, sitting 75 feet downrange. Contestants would use the Volquartsen rifle to hit the targets, but each gumball was worth three points. Bethards took up the rifle at the request of his teammates, but only managed to hit one target. With red team still in the lead at that point, there was no point in Chee Kwan shooting.
Blue team went back to the house, and Fletcher nominated himself before the team even got started talking. However, he also pulled a Tim Trefren by calling out who he wanted to shoot against, which was Bethards. The rest of the team seemed ok with this, and that's how it went down on the range, but not without incident.
While most contestants pick up the gun and focus on hitting their target (because no one wants to be the contestant who misses on the nomination range), Bethards took the shot one handed, and drilled the center of Fletcher's target, a stunt that didn't help his standing among the rest of his teammates.
At the elimination practice they found out they would be shooting two more kinds of pistols: the SIG Sauer P229 and the Browning Buck Mark. From the practice, it was pretty clear that Bethards was going in with the advantage, but Fletcher's practice wasn't bad, and it's always hard to say what will happen in a elimination challenge.
What happened was more bowling pins, this time ten of them, set up like at a bowling alley but on four descending tiers. The contestants wouldn't simply be shooting the pins though. Each pin had had the top sawed off, and placed back on top. Using the Browning, contestants would first shoot the tops off of all of their pins. Once they did that they would switch to the SIG and hit the bottoms. Each hit was worth a point, but no points would be awarded if they hit the bottoms first. They had two minutes to complete the challenge.
The challenge started off fairly tight, with Fletcher keeping pace with Bethards up to five hits, and both contestants losing a pin to an errant shot. However, Bethards pulled away and finished the rest of his run clean with a total of 18 points. Since contestants had two minutes to complete the challenge and time had not run out on the clock, Fletcher still had a chance to come back and tie, but another errant shot hit the bottom of a pin, and sent him packing.
Hey diddle diddle is still in the building, but have his showboating ways painted a target on his back? What do you think of Bethards newest portrayal as the cockiest guy in the room? Hit the comments and let me know.
I'll be breaking down all the good stuff tomorrow in my analysis of this episode.
Follow me on Twitter @cswiets