The People of Top Shot: Season 4, Episode 3: The Mystery of Colby’s Tat

I loved the Batman TV show as a kid. Years later, I heard talk that the Adam West vehicle was “camp.” When the series finally made it onto [the now defunct] TV-Land channel I had to check it out. “Batman, join me,” a  leather-clad Catwoman purred into the PA as spiked walls threatened to skewer the Caped Crusader. “Together we can rule Gotham City.” Batman didn’t skip a beat. “But what about Robin?” ROBIN? What about Robin? What are you . . . oh yeah. Got it. Now I’m not saying that Top Shot is gay . . .

In fact, I wish Top Shot was gay. If the History Channel shooting show had genuine homoerotic undertones at least it would have some balls. As it currently stands, Top Shot is to testosterone what boxed red wine is to Chateauneuf Du Pape. And now the only contestant to have anything even remotely resembling sex appeal has left the program.

Michelle Viscusi’s departure had something to do with the fact that she’s a Munchkin. A perfectly formed Munchkin, but a member of the Lollipop Guild nonetheless. I’m not sure how many Tom Cruise-sized women could fire a 12-gauge shotgun more than, say, twenty times in a row. But Michelle must’ve pulled the bang switch on three Benelli variants on at least 100 separate occasions in a 24-hour period.

One can only imagine the bruises bedeviling her shooting shoulder.

Unfortunately. If only the producers had let Michelle go for the Flashdance look instead of an androgynous Team Boredom T-shirt and, gasp, ripped jeans. Then Ms. Viscusi could have pulled her shirt down over her black and blue flesh and cried “You don’t understand! I coulda had class! I coulda been a contenda!”

Instead, Top Shot played Puttin’ on the Ditz, peppering us with Viscusi sound bytes that made Cher Horowitz seem like a Mensa grad. Nurturing his three-day beard, Colby bid Michelle adieu. After Dylan and Michelle performed a Caucasian haka, Top Shot‘s first-ever babe walked off into the sunset (underneath the power lines), taking the show’s ratings with her.

My curiosity was well and truly piqued by Littlejohn’s episode-concluding statement that “some things happened on the blue team that needed to happen.” Was the Stay Pufft Man glad to see Michelle go ’cause Dylan and Michelle had done the horizontal mambo? Was Littlejohn glad that the blue pill was back to manly men doing manly things?

In any case, episode three was suffused with the usual reality show high school archetype thing.

Sparring siblings Dylan and William had an alpha dog pissing contest. Greg Littlejohn’s lower lip quivered at the prospect of breaking-up his pseudo family with an elimination challenge (that sounds gross). Father figure Kyle Sumpter figured that he’d whip those whippersnappers into shape (SHAPE IT UP!). Terry Vaughan tried to convince us he wasn’t Australian. And Colby Donaldson reaffirmed his love of S & M (Standing and Modeling).

Colby’s new prison tat provided some much-needed mystery and suspense. One can hardly downplay its significance; flashing it at the camera provided several seconds of screen time where Colby’s hands weren’t on his hips. I can’t read the damn thing. A less charitable man than I might suggest that Colby’s tat was a botched/abandoned attempt to inscribe the word VAPID on his arm while he slept. Or maybe even while he was awake.

The real star of tonight’s episode: the slow motion camera. Not even the editor’s juvenile innuendos—shotgun expert to Michelle: “get behind it shove it really hard”—could detract from the spectacular shots of ammo emerging from the Benellis to obliterate clay pigeons and rotate steel targets.

So we’re left with a half-empty (full?) mag of shooters with less personality than a Hellman’s mayonnaise sandwich. On Wonder Bread. The tally includes one woman who violated the Farago family rule about wearing horizontal stripes. None of the remaining contestants could make it onto the USA Network (characters welcome). They leave me longing for the inevitable way forward: Celebrity Top Shot.

Can’t wait. Celebrity Top Shot would provide some genuine snark. Imagine Larry the Cable Guy, TTAG’s Ralph and Kate Upton on the same team. Why not? Do we really care if any of the current crop of contestants will win? Top Shot is edited so heavily they could make it look like a trained monkey scooped the honors.

Never mind. We’ll keep track of the humorless sexless diva drama on your behalf. See you next week. Same bat time. Same bat channel.

comments

  1. avatar Monty says:

    Im surprised no one picked up on this… Terry went up last and ultimatley chose who to compete against at the elimination range. He picked Michelle because it was “performance based” I declare BS! He’s scared of losing and knew he could beat a girl. If I were there, i would of jumped on him for such a jerk move. She was sooo hot and preformed better than most of the guys throughout the competition.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      “He’s scared of losing and knew he could beat a girl.”

      Yes, because everyone knows that all women are weak, inferior, unskilled, need your protection and can’t shoot. You are right.

    2. avatar Slater says:

      Please… Terry is so gay. His father beat him into thinking he should only compete with girls. Why not? He is one too. For gods sake, that little girl drove a VW rabbit convertible that was baby blue! Little sissy girl. Only thing commando about him is when he doesn’t wear a bra and thong.

  2. avatar Jeff says:

    Thanks for the spoiler alert. Just freed up some DVR space…

    1. avatar Nemesis says:

      +1, Keep the spoilers out of the title next time…

      1. avatar RuffRidr says:

        Agreed. Putting it in title no less. Not cool.

  3. avatar Monty says:

    Im heartbroken :(. I may never watch top shot again

  4. avatar CJ says:

    Gee maybe I’m the weird one for thinking gun shows should be about guns, not sex. Hollywood has zero appeal for me. Trying to add sex to everything from cooking shows to income tax tips is why. Give me information. My wife provides the sex appeal. And gosh darn it I’m just not gay. Don’t want to watch gay, don’t want to hear gay, don’t care if you’re gay, don’t care if you want to be gay. That’s your business.

    1. avatar ak74fan says:

      +1 i 100% agree.

      1. avatar MadDawg J says:

        Wait, you agree that his wife provides the sex appeal?

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          Yeah, have you seen his wife?

  5. avatar Monty says:

    Yes they should be, but it’s nice to have a break from the continuity of guy shooters. My point is simply that she was a better shooter than many of the guys in the show. Terry was just scared.

  6. avatar Frank says:

    Does anyone else miss Histroy Channel’s old gun show Tales of the Gun? I’d kill for some new episodes of that show.

  7. avatar APBTFan says:

    This just reinforces my (easy) decision to not follow the show past the first episode. We need a real no bullshit shooting show. The soft steaming pile of “off the range drama” needs to be be dropped.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      Agreed. “Triggers: Weapons That Changed The World” on Military Channel is prety good, but still not free of the Hollywood BS.

    2. avatar Tim Tritt says:

      Ah – then only 9 or 10 people around country would be happy. I jest on the number, but it certainly would not carry enough ratings to make it worth producing. Doesn’t the Outdoor channel carry that sort of thing?

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    What they need is Larry the Cable Guy and TTAG’s Ralph.

    Boo-yah! I’m funny and I can shoot. And when it comes to sex appeal, I got Larry the Cable Guy beat. Not by much, but I got him beat. I think. Maybe.

    OK, it’s a tie. But that’s as far as I’m willing to go.

  9. avatar APBTFan says:

    “Michelle Viscusi’s departure had something to do with the fact that she’s a Munchkin. ”

    The greatest sniper in the world was a munchkin. During the Winter War the 5′ 3″ Simo Häyhä had 505 confirmed with the Finnish variant of the Mosin Nagant and another 200+ with the Suomi KP/31 subgun. Size has little to do with marksmanship and if Ms. Viscusi’s elimination was based on size I call bullshit.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      There is an enormous difference between 1) the recoil of a 12ga and a Mosin-Nagant and 2) shooting off hand and shooting from a rest. If you do not have the training and skill to properly absorb the recoil from repeatedly firing a 12ga you will need properly padded gear and/or the body mass to absorb it. Even professionals with a 12ga have days where they leave the range feeling like a very pissed off mule repeatedly kicked them in the shoulder. Any gun starts getting heavy after a while of shooting it off hand, more so when the butt stock has repeatedly bludgeoned your shoulder. Skill and training can overcome being small, but it takes more than the couple of minutes with the experts that they get.

      1. avatar Mr. Lion says:

        Em.. what? I’ve taught women as petite, if not more, to quite competently shoot trap with a 12 gauge, and virtually all of them had zero issue lobbing hundreds of rounds of bird shot into the air.

        If she didn’t have the skill to handle a 12 gauge all day long, my faith in National Guard training is reduced to about zero.

        1. avatar MadDawg J says:

          Right you taught them, you didn’t hand them the shotgun, tell them they are on a time limit and shooting for $100k on national tv. How long were these lessons that they lobbed hundreds of rounds of bird shot into the air in one day? Did you do that the first day of their training? When I taught full time we barely went through hundreds of rounds a day total. By the way birdshot does not have the same recoil as slugs and since as far as I know they don’t issue shotguns, I doubt the Guard does any training with them. Training for specialized weapons, like shotguns, is only done for the people who will actually carry them.

        2. avatar Mr. Lion says:

          Fine, remove the Guard training, even though I was referring to overall standards of physical ability and not so much “specialized” weapon training.

          So you’ve been selected to appear on a competition with thousands of applicants who are either professional marksmen, military, leos, or enthusiastic amateurs– and you can’t handle a 12 gauge?

          The only way that makes any sense at all is of Top Shot is stacking the deck with people who can not shoot at all and are just there to look pretty, and if that is the case, why isn’t half the field giggling blonds?

        3. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Well exactly.

        4. avatar Buuurr says:

          Birdshot has almost no kick though. Buck has much more and in quick succession can be punishing. Slugs are the worst but very fun to shoot. I’ve shot trap all day long and not had an issue and bird hunting too. However I have fired some nasty 00 and slug rounds and come home with a few bruises. I don’t think your comparison is fair.

        5. avatar Mr. Lion says:

          If you’re coming home with bruises, stop pulling the gun off your shoulder.

          Again, I’ve seen women smaller than her handle round after round of everything. Bird shot, BB, buck, slugs, etc.

        6. avatar Buuurr says:

          No, Dude. The gun isn’t coming off the shoulder. It’s called wearing a T-shirt in 90 degree weather in mid-September in South Oregon shooting traps and targets. If you don’t get bruises you don’t have skin or you have no blood flow to the covering on your body.

        7. avatar Mr. Lion says:

          I have both skin and blood in the required areas, but I’ve never had a bruise from a 12, or even 10 gauge shotgun.

          The only “owies” I’ve ever received from a firearm involved 1) A slug from a Winchester 1300 with a pistol grip (Mr. Lip did not approve), 2) Several boxes through an uncompensated Weatherby 460 (nicely tenderized), and 3) Hammer bite from an original 1911 (kept shooting anyway).

          Your mileage may vary of course, but I’d consider myself a representative sample among the pro-recoil crowd.

  10. avatar Randomhero says:

    Littlejohn needs to go. He wont vote for his “friends” and bitched out on his vote. He knew terry was going no matter what, yet instead of voting, he shot a target that was going anyway.

    1. avatar sdog says:

      i thought he was way over the top with his hugging after he voted to terry, weirdo, has he ever seen the show before? btw this was one of the most boring episodes of this show to date, some of the worst skeet shooting i’ve ever seen from team blue.

  11. avatar Shawn says:

    I watched Top Shot for the 1st season. But I can’t stand Survivor therefore can’t stand Top Shot. I don’t get the appeal of the format…..except the hot chicks. I dig shooting and would enjoy a one on one or even team style competitive shooting show. I just can’t stand the soap opera manufactured drama.

    1. avatar sdog says:

      funny, from my perspective this is the first season with “hot” chicks.

  12. avatar jkp says:

    A shame she went.

    I’d have rather seen Mr. “I can’t vote for any of my friends, please don’t make me vote for any of my friends,” Littlejohn go home. (In fact, he acted so strangely, I wonder if the producers put him up to it to create a little false drama.)

    1. Not sure they put him up to it. Seems more like they sprinkled his food with estrogen. New fave after last night: William.

      1. avatar sdog says:

        lol agreed.

  13. avatar Jim Barrett says:

    Is it just me or does it seem to anyone else that every season they ratchet up the drama a bit more. Seriously, this is starting to become Survivor, but with guns. Which turns out not to be as fun as it sounds. Seems to me they should put out a set of dueling pistols and let the contestants call each other out.

    That would be something worth watching.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      Ha ha. You know when I watch it and Colby talks about how bad someone is shooting (“just can’t find the target”) I can’t help but think one day someone is going to snap from the pressure and try to take a shot at him.

  14. avatar Frank H says:

    I’m amazed what Hollywood does once they get ahold of these shows. Perfectly good programs start out on the right foot. Not long after the end of the first season, they go all politically correct and dramatic. Examples: Mythbusters, American Chopper, the entire Food Channel, and on and on. Somehow, the Hollywood types keep injecting “human drama” into the mix and all of a sudden the notion of ‘reality’ goes swirling down the hopper. And then, of course, you have to have the ‘right’ gender balance.

    Uggghhhh…

  15. avatar Ropingdown says:

    Top Shot is a TV show, not a trip to the range. They have to have something for every key viewing-audience demographic. And they did (past tense). I thought the filming was good, and I enjoyed the “elimination round” targets: I definitely want a pair of them. As for Michelle: I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the guys has to leave the show for some family emergency and they substitute in another chick or bring back Michelle. I mean, listen to you guys. Maybe they do, too. As for adding more sexuality to a shooting show, that’s what Miami Vice and its successors are for. The trap shooting was fairly awful. I thought Chris Cheng was the class act. As for a show featuring The Cable Guy and Ralph, I can only ask “What the heck are they going to call that episode?”

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      How about Git-AR(15)-Done?

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Yep, that’d do fine. All I could think of was “Red Neck and Blue Lawyer: The Final TV Elimination Round”

        Credits to Springsteen (ASCAP):

        So I bought a .44 magnum it was solid steel cast
        And in the blessed name of Elvis well I just let it blast
        ‘Til my TV lay in pieces there at my feet
        And they busted me for disturbin’ the almighty peace
        Judge said “What you got in your defense son?”
        “Fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on”
        I can see by your eyes friend you’re just about gone
        Fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on…
        Fifty-seven channels and nothin’

  16. avatar Alanna says:

    Hey, could you guys not put spoilers in your post titles? I DVR the show and it’s not much fun to watch the next night if I already know who’s leaving.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Sorry. Headline amended. Won’t happen again.

      1. avatar Tim Tritt says:

        Well, the Headline spurred me to watch it on my DVR. Hardly a big deal since the show was about as exciting as watching grass grow – and then Michelle left… a cloud now hangs over the show …. (sigh) I have never seen so many guys I have so little respect for in one show.

  17. avatar Lemming says:

    I know I’m about to miss the point, but FWIW Me-TV has Batman now, and shows it Saturday nights. Also on the Saturday lineup is Lost in Space and ST:TOS (with the updated effects). So nerd joy for me!

  18. avatar Don says:

    Curious, I wonder if top shot contestants are “allowed” to CCW?

    -D

  19. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I only got to see the second half of the show. I was impressed by Michelle. She was shooting a LOT of 12 ga. buckshot and slugs in the elimination round. These kick HARD, not like trap loads, and she never quit, and didn’t complain. She didn’t figure out how the target worked, and couldn’t seem to get a cadence going that would rotate the thing, but I’m a big guy and I know that my shoulder would be sore after shooting that many high recoil rounds. Sad to see her go. I’m wondering if the blue team is going to get their act together and do a little more team work.

  20. avatar Buuurr says:

    I’ll be damned if I stand around here and have someone compare the noble condiment Hellman’s Mayonnaise and the Wonderful Wonder Bread to Top Shot. How could you spew such vitriol about two great things?! Why not compare the Bugatti Veyron to the earring that young boys used to get in the 80’s while you are at it!?

    The sandwich I have made in the fridge has far more personality than anyone on Top Shot. ‘Cept the lady that left… she was nice 😉

    *stomps off*

    1. avatar E. Zach Lee-Wright says:

      Yep. Buuurr is dead on the the boy and his earring buzz.

      I took my 13 year old son to a Ducks Unlimited Outdoor Fest years ago. One of the activities was a then new climbing wall/trailer rig. My son was in line behind a high school guy with one of those earrings hanging off his head. I heard the set up… my son said “nice earring”. The kid launched into how hard it had been to get a jeweler to break a pair to sell him just one. Then the high schooler asked my boy why he didn’t have one. “Cause I don’t wear a bra”. Funniest thing my son ever came up with. He stepped back into his fighting stance but the other kid clouded up and walked off.

      Son is now a TAC-P in the USAF with one tour done and another scheduled this spring. Proud? Well, just a little bit.

  21. avatar Derry M says:

    I think Michelle Viscusi beat herself with doubt and nerves. She did great in the instruction part and even got the instructor’s vote for “Most likely to win”…then she got into the competition and totally forgot to apply what she had learned.
    As far as the other drama aspects of the show…it stinks. I watch Top Shot then watch a recorded episode of “Full Metal Jousting” to restore my testosterone levels. (Although it has nothing to do with guns THAT show’s participants have “Huevos Grandes” and every time those 2klb Horses charge each other you have no idea what is going to happen.)

  22. avatar Scott says:

    I think last night’s show puts doubt on Top Shot being ‘fixed’ though. The way the camera would focus on her for her opinion on ANYTHING the last 2 episodes and ignore practically everyone else….

    I was sure she’d make it until the final few weeks because the camera obviously loved her.

  23. avatar Guy Gaduois says:

    but her shooting glasses at the nomination range were bad@ss. My wife wants some, but I couldn’t read the make on screen. Anybody catch the brand on those goggles? They were like a matte – mirror style. Pretty cool.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      The only company I know of that makes matte or satin finish sunglasses is Dillon Optics. I believe that’s also the brand that R. Lee Ermey wears (wore?) on Lock & Load and Mail Call, if you remember them.

      Not affiliated, yadda yadda. Bring your wallet.

      1. avatar MadDawg J says:

        That’s it! That’s how we fix Top Shot, R. Lee Ermey! No more nice Colby or experts, just Gunnie screaming at them to man up and get some.

      2. avatar twelve.gauge says:

        My guess is that the mirrored lenses were matted during editing to prevent a reflection showing the cameras and film crew. It’s a shame she left so soon.

      3. avatar Tim Tritt says:

        You are correct, I confirmed it with her on FB – They are called Logan and here is the link she provided.

        http://dillonoptics.com/Store_Catagory.aspx?CatID=28&D=1&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

        1. avatar Guy Gaduois says:

          Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it.

        2. avatar Buuurr says:

          Anyone know where to get the gold shaded ones? I been looking for them since I saw old gunny.

    2. avatar Michelle Viscusi says:

      Hey, they are indeed Dillon Optics and they are called LOGAN. I think they will be available this month. 🙂 Hope that helps.

  24. avatar GS650G says:

    A chick in ripped jeans flaunts around and likes to shoot. So what.
    Add 10 more hotties and make it a wet T-shirt contest and then you’ll have something there.

  25. avatar Seth says:

    BRING R. LEE ERMEY TO TOP SHOT!!!!! Make him the new host!

    Props to Mad Dawg!

  26. avatar Lightning Jeff says:

    Between the sour-grapes (“I applied but now hate Top Shot!”) rants, intentional (asshole) spoilers in the title, constant juvenile comments about women, and, of course, defaulting to the 6th-grade descriptor, “gay,” this site is becoming a total fucking drag. Worse, it’s an embarrassment to people who enjoy and appreciate guns whilst still being able to, you know, breathe through our noses and carry on intelligent conversations with real live women with BOOBS. Some folks around here have serious issues to work out if they can’t enjoy a simple shooting competition show that is, by the way, miles above the pitiful dreck that is “Sons of Guns.” As for Colby? He’s awesome: More man, and far more sense of humor, than most of what I see around here lately.

    1. avatar Buuurr says:

      So what you are saying is that Top Shot is your cup of tea? I have to disagree with the Colby comment. They sure have toned him down for this season though. They toned down his drawl a lot (not that a drawl matters to me… it’s the fake ones that get me) that’s for sure.

      If you don’t mind me asking. What are your reasons for liking Top Shot?

  27. avatar Glen says:

    A less charitable man than I might suggest that Colby’s tat was a botched/abandoned attempt to inscribe the word VAPID on his arm while he slept. Or maybe even while he was awake.

    I’m still laughing about this one as I type… touché.

  28. avatar Jason says:

    Not one comment on estrogen-boy forgetting his safety in the vote-off?

    That said, I like this batch of contestants a lot better than the ones in last season. Most of them actually do seem to know how to shoot, and more importantly, seem to enjoy shooting. And the challenges still look like fun. The rest of it, well, that’s what the fast forward on your DVR is for.

  29. avatar andrew says:

    my comment is to robert the …. fellow thaqt wrote the above article as it were
    robert i think you need to do some home work as there were a number of other female competitors before miss boobie girl
    so to say that michelle was the first is not only insulting but plain fucken wrong bud

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