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Top Shot Season 4 Episode 3: Benelli Shotguns Galore; Season 2 Winner Chris Reed

A Young Contestant is Sent Home in an All-Scattergun Episode.


February 28, 2012

Progress! It's good to see.

This week, a player went home. Not a serious competitive shooter or contestant - a player. As in, one who plays.

The episode began with evidence that red team is an actual team, while the wearers of the blue shirts are not. Okey doke. That theme continued into the team training, where Top Shot Season Two winner Chris Reed trained the teams in shooting two Benelli semi-automatic shotguns: The M4 slug gun and the Vinci, which was to be used with bird shot.

Red team trained first. The team theme continued and Chris observed on that. Gabby had some trouble, but worked it out in the end.

Then the blue shirts went. We had to put up with the cocky, overconfident Dylan crying about a teammate (William Bethards) who offered him some advice. Jerk.

Team Challenge

Colby told the contestants that this challenge would "test your shotgun skills under the conditions a hunter would face." Really? I can't remember the last time I hunted at a bench while steel targets moved back and forth in front of me until I shot it with a slug from a Benelli M4 and triggered a couple of clay pigeons for a co-hunter, who would then try to bust the clays with a Benelli Vinci.

But that's what it was... each team had four minutes to go through these motions and at the end of four minutes, the team with the most broken clays would win out.

The best part about this challenge was the super awesome slow-mo video clips of clays being busted by shot in mid-air. They showed it almost too many times, but after all, it was pretty wonderful so I guess they were getting plenty of mileage out of it.

Despite some difficulty with the slug gun and a couple of no-hitters on the clays, read team did very well and worked together to break 17 targets in their allotted time. Then the cocky and disorganized blue team sauntered in and meandered through the challenge, missing many times. Dylan - the one who loudly pronounced how great he was at shooting clays - only hit one out of four clays. Others didn't even do that well. In the end, the score was 17 to 9 and blue was on the bottom.

Hee hee, snicker snicker. Sorry, couldn't help myself. Too many jokers on that team.

Back at the House

Back at the shack, Chris Reed visited to congratulate the red team. Then the blue team settled in to talk about elimination. Most seemed to have some sense (and agreed that it should be based on performance), but Greg Littlejohn got emotional and announced a list of "friends" whose targets he refused to shoot. Come on, man.

Terry said he wants to tell Greg, "Just shut the hell up! We're here to compete. Let's work together." I can't say that I disagree.

Terry and Michelle were nominated for elimination. Greg shot Terry's target and damn near cried about it. Gee, that guy sure makes tear-inducing friendships really quickly.

Elimination Practice

At practice, it was revealed that the Benelli Nova 12 gauge pump would be used. Really? Another Benelli shotgun? Folks, I own a Benelli SuperNova - and I like it - but an all Benelli episode? That's a bit much.

Colby said you can set the Nova up for turkey or deer hunting. Strange that he failed to mention using the gun to shoot clays or to hunt other birds. Dear producers: That was a wasted voice-over.

Taran Butler was their instructor. Michelle went first and did well. Terry didn't do quite as well, but Taran said he did "pretty damn good" at the end. Taran picked Michelle to win.


So much for cool elimination challenges like shooting from a motorcycle or slinging grenades downrange... but I've seen worse. They had to shoot steel "paddles" on a funky, um, thingamabob, in order to roll it down a track. It was all about hitting the paddles and timing the shots.

To nobody's surprise, Terry won the challenge. Michelle did abysmally and was booted back to Arizona. If she hadn't been immature and shallow, then it might be a shame... but to tell the brutal truth (which is part of my job), I think the show is improved by her absence.

Next time: Crossbows, pistols, and moving targets.

- Russ Chastain

Other Top Shot Season 4 Episode Reviews

- Season 4, Episode 1: Motorcycle Sidecar Shootout
- Season 4, Episode 2: Browning BAR and Grenade Launchers
- Season 4, Episode 4: Crossbows, Moving Targets, and Love
- Season 4, Episode 5: Flintlocks, Unpatched Balls, and Half-Cocks
- Season 4, Episode 6: From Cannons to Atlatls - and Beyond
- Season 4, Episode 7: Trick Shots and Cocky Teammates
- Season 4, Episode 8: Old British Guns
- Season 4, Episode 9: It's all About Rifles
- Season 4, Episode 10: SWAT Stuff
- Season 4, Episode 11: Machinegunning and Memory
- Season 4, Episode 12: Season Finale

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