Monday, December 3, 2012

Top 3: Theories on the "Proving Ground"

Chris Cheng asks and I answer.

If you ever visit my other blog (which you should, it's not bad) you may know I do a semi-regular feature called "Top 3." I figured it would be a good fit here after Twitter blew up this afternoon (and by blew up I mean Chris Cheng and Dustin Ellerman tweeted about it) after this picture was posted online:
Still looking good Colby.
Now, this photo was originally posted by Season 1 competitor, Kelly Bachand. If you've been checking in with this blog regularly, you'll know Kelly recently posted comment on my Season 4 All-Star Picks post. All of which leads me to believe that we have pretty good confirmation of at least one contestant for Season 5.

This photo leaves a lot to speculate about. The language itself almost leads me to believe we might be in store for a very different season of Top Shot. I'm thinking radical format changes. It's a bold move, but one Top Shot needs to make if it wants to stay alive in the ratings.

(Sideshot: Here's a thing I don't understand, if a show like Duck Dynasty is beating a show like American Horror Story in the ratings, why isn't Top Shot doing better? I would think the audiences are similar.)

But as we need to wait another month or two (Or three? Or four? Seriously, History, gives us an air date) for Top Shot to return, I offer my top three guesses as to what the "Proving Ground" is.

1. A Brand New Format
The teaser above says there will be twelve episodes and three rounds. It doesn't specify whether those three rounds take place within each episode or over the course of the season. One guess would be that either the first third or the final third of the series will be dubbed the "Proving Ground." If it takes place in the first third of the series, imagine an elongated version of how teams were picked in Season 4. A single challenge where contestants play to stay and the losers are eliminated.

If it's in the final third of the season, I imagine a twist on what happens when the shooters don the green jerseys. Instead of continuing with a one-on-one elimination at the end of each episode, there would be a series of challenges where no one is eliminated. Each challenge has a points system which are tallied through the final challenge. The person sitting with the most points at the end of the final challenge takes the title.

2. A New Way of Doing Something Familiar
Consider this option a slight twist on the the normal elimination proceedings. The person with the most hits on their target still gets sent to elimination, but they get to choose who they get to face-off against. Hence the person sent to elimination gets to "prove" they belong in the competition. It wouldn't be radically different from the current elimination proceedings, but it might make for some interesting TV.
Sure, the voting on Top Shot has always been pretty easy to manipulate, but this way we could really get to see some personal vendettas among contestants get played out.

3. A Way to Bring Back Eliminated Contestants
This is my best guess, but the one I'm also hoping is not true. Survivor has used this tactic a few times (I think, when was the last time I watched Survivor? Oh yeah, when Colby was a contestant the first time around) and it works for that show because that game is all about manipulation and disturbing the status quo. On a show like Top Shot, though, it would feel cheap, not just for the players, but the audience as well. Top Shot contestants fight to be there every week. That title is earned through every challenge the contestants face, and watching someone get knocked out early, only to have the opportunity to jump back in towards the end, would feel undeserved.

I don't know about you, but I am excited. this is either going to ruin the show the completely or be an epic turning point that redefines the show.

Agree? Disagree? Share your theories on the "Proving Ground" in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Would love to see an air date-driving me nuts!!! LOL