Sunday, August 19, 2012

Top Tweets: Season Five is Underway

Last night Colby tweeted that the first challenge of Season 5 had been filmed. The accompanying picture confirmed what he had announced months ago that Season 5 would be an all-star competition featuring past contestants, but so far there is no indication of who those contestants might be. Not to mention, if the season has just begun filming, there is a strong likelihood it will not air until 2013. (Pray the Mayans aren't right)

Most reality shows cut off contestants from the outside world except in the case of family emergencies. Top Shot is no different. By examining the dates and nature of the tweets (and other social media outlets) from former Top Shot contestants, I've made a few guesses of who may or may not show up on the all-star season.
  • Season 1 fan favorite J.J. Racaza was tweeting up through August 17. His previous tweets were a whirlwind of world travels and shooting competitions. Reasoning that the first challenge is actually taking place on the second or possibly even third day of filming, it's a pretty good guess that Racaza will not make another run at the title.
  • Season 2's Jamie Franks stopped tweeting on August 12. That was about one week ago. This may be an indication that he put aside the social media to prepare for reentering the fray. However, he is also to be an infrequent tweeter, so this may just be another short hiatus.
  • Season 2's Jay Lim is a pretty avid tweeter. A tweet from August 16 replied to a follower who wrote they would like to see him, Chris Reed, George Reinas, Racaza, and Gabby Franco return for the all-star season. Lim replied that these were "good choices ;)," which may be an indication of who will show up. Or it may mean he just liked the support, especially since he was still tweeting as of this morning. I wonder if History has even informed all past contestants of who has and who has not been selected to participate. This could mean some past contestants are unaware that a new season has even commenced filming.
  • Season 3 winner Dustin Ellermann's backstory as a Christian camp director is widely known by fans of the show. Ellermann tweeted recently that he had ramped up camp, and even more recently that he was in California, the same state where Top Shot is filmed. This could be a strong indicator that Ellermann is back to defend his title.
  • Season 4's Gabby Franco was tweeting up through August 17 as well, but her last tweet connected to a Facebook post saying that she would be out of town for a while. Could this mean she is on her way back to the range? Time will tell.
  • Season 4's Michelle Viscusi tweeted this morning and has been frequently updating her Facebook fan page. This most likely means she will not be returning for Season 5.
  • Season 4 winner Chris Cheng has just started his shooting contract with Bass Pro-Shops, and while Bass is a big supporter of the show, it is unlikely that Cheng would jump off the pro circuit so soon after he started. Not to mention the fact that he replied to one of my tweets just this morning.
There are a handful of other  Season 4 contestants with Twitter accounts who either haven't used them in a while or haven't posted anything that would indicate one way or another about their involvement with the all-star season. Fan favorites like Tim Trefren and Terry Vaughan are question marks, as are William Bethards and Gregory Littlejohn. In addition many contestants from earlier seasons have not connected with fans through social media in the same way that contestants from more recent seasons have. This makes deciphering who will be a part of the all-star season more difficult.

The real test will come in the following days. Now that Colby has revealed Season 5 is being filmed, any former contestant tweeting or using other social media (some contestants have favored Facebook pages for connecting with fans over Twitter) after that point can (almost certainly) be ruled out as a contender in the all-star season.

Keep checking this blog as I will try to keep a running list of former contestants that can be ruled out as participants.


  1. Would love to see Gabby Franco return as an all-star competitor! I think she is the only woman on the show so far that has and probably can live up to a direct challenge with her male counterparts on the show. Her experience and accomplishments make her more of a contender than most of the other ladies who've made it onto the show.

    Many of the past female competitors who've been on the show tauted having World and National Championship titles but failed to clarify that their titles were based upon competing against only the other women entered into those championship matches. As the number of female competitors typically only totals between 10 and 20 (there have been as few as 5), there isn't any evidence that they can truly compete against their male counterparts as even on the fair playing field established, the overall match winner (and thus the true "National" and "World" Champions) had to defeat a field of 200-300 competitors; which includes the ladies...

    What makes Gabby different? As an Olympian she also competed against only women, but the field is substantially larger than the USPSA/IPSC lady's fields and are designed that way, not a separate award incorporated into the larger match for the ladies. She's also shown that she's in possession of extremely strong fundamentals (trigger press, breathing, sight picture) and a great deal of natural ability. However, should the challenge revolve around or heavily include movement, outright speed or stren, she'll be at a disadvantage against the stronger male competitors involved. Doesn't mean she can't complete the challenge nor that she'd necessarily finish badly, just that she'll be at a disadvantage even though it's an even playing field.

    It would be great to see her return and get another shot at the title of Top Shot, but realistically the only way a woman would win the title of Top Shot would be for there to be either a "Lady's" only competition or for there to be a separate award for only the women (which seems to be a common practice when women are included in male dominated competitions.)

    The female competitors who have appeared on the show with "National" and/or "World" titles on their resumes have won "Lady's" only awards which only pitted them against a small fraction of those entered in the "National" & "World" Championship matches. It's because of these separated comparisons that allow them to attain what appear to be such prestigious awards, when in reality it just further demonstrates that they are unable to beat out all of their male counterparts in order to win the whole match. As long as they continue to only compete against each other, they will never be able to be the actual "National" or "World" Champion who emerges victorious against all shooters, but only the winners of the consolation prize available to the small field of female competitors based solely on their performances against their own gender instead of as a competitor as a whole. Come on, a National Champ based upon competing against only 10 others when there're 175 total vying for the title? How would that person stand a chance against a much larger field of competitors? Accepting and revelling in such prizes do nothing to accurately demonstrate their proficiency. Want to really be seen as equals? Compete and only be judged that way!

    I honestly think it's possible that a woman can win overall National titles against but there needs to be less reward for performances that aren't based upon equal criteria. Only then can women show that they are equal to male competitors, by competing for same spots on the podium. You can't say you want to be equal when you're competing towards a separate standard, it's called being fair.

  2. wouldn't be right without Dustin. I think he's the strongest contestant on the show so far. I mean, shooting the golf ball at the end?

  3. I hop Justin is on #5 and he shoots George R.

  4. So, is it on in 2013 or not??? And when???