The People of Top Shot: Season 4, Episode 2


When I applied to Top Shot, I promised the producers I’d liven-up the place a bit. I pointed out that I’d seen funnier how-to embalming videos. That wasn’t exactly fair; both genres are rife with unintentional humor. In Top Shot‘s case, we have host (and Survivor survivor) Colby Donaldson’s struggle to maintain vocal mastery over his capped teeth (while playing-up his wandering western accent) and the show’s dubious historical references (the Browning Automatic Rifle altered the course of WWI trench warfare like Tang altered the course of the Apollo Program). In fact, Top Shot has enough snark fodder to stave-off Ambien’s incipient effects. Otherwise, I could be accused of doubling down on the sleep meds. Where was I? Ah yes, sex. If you can’t make ’em laugh, at least give ’em a stiffie . . .

There were 15 competitors on last night’s episode. If you expect me to keep track of that many “personalities” looking to become a professional marksman over a period of 72 weeks (subjectively speaking), name all eleven dwarfs. Wait, seven? Does Doc Holiday count? I know there was some hirsute shooter named Tim Tefren who had a major bro-gasm, gushing “I love you guys all like family . . . we’ve become a pseudo-family.” I was pseudo-touched.

Michelle Viscusi—and you knew that’s where I was going with all this—got touched for real. For the first time ever, we saw physical contact between Top Shot contestants that didn’t involve manly hugs, fist bumps and anal sex. Wait. I didn’t say that. Nor would Top Shot have let me say that if they’d picked me. So put that despicable remark down to petulance, jealousy and my own endless search for ratings.

Anyway, Michelle had a major tickle session with some blond guy who’s too fat for TV with worse root problems than a forest full of Dutch Elm disease. And a wedding ring. The Top Shot website tells us that “Dylan Fletcher learned how to shoot rifles and small handguns from his father before he could even ride a bike.” One wonders when Dylan learned to ride a bike; before or after his testicles dropped.

But drop they did, as witnessed by his flirting sessions with Ms. Viscusi. Quite what Michelle sees in the custom knife-maker I cannot begin to fathom. Provided she sees anything in him at all. For all we know, Ms. Viscusi was equally physical with a number of other Top Shots, whose interactions ended up on the cutting room floor. Still it was nice to see something, anything, heterosexual on a shooting program filled with men among men doing manly things.

As for the infantile nature of the Viscusi – Fletcher hook-up (chest bump!), remember that the contestants are isolated from everything and everyone during the four weeks’ production schedule. As any reality TV producer will tell you, whenever you do the Lord of the Flies thing with a carefully selected group of “characters,” the subjects quickly slot into archetypal roles. There’s the leaders (fighting for alpha status), the sheep-like sycophants, the plotters, the class clown, the Queen Bee and (let’s be charitable here) the babe.

With a bit of luck, we’ll see someone fighting Fletcher for Viscusi’s affections, or someone picking up the pieces with Michelle after Fletcher is eliminated. We could also see some cat fighting between the two women (on different teams at the moment) or some girl-supporting-girl against the guys action. Whatever happens or doesn’t happen, you can bet it will be carefully edited for dramatic effect. I can’t wait.

Oh and Colby lasered the two elimination contestants with a grenade launcher. How’s that for interpersonal drama? Not great. If it had been me I would have walked up to Colby and punched him in the nose, safe in the knowledge that his hands are surgically attached to his hips. JK. I think.


  1. avatar Skyler says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t get on the tv show. But your bitterness is showing.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Ya think?

      1. avatar Joel says:

        I think that they don’t let the really gun-savvy peeps on the show because then we’d constantly be interrupting and correcting them and their “facts”.

  2. avatar ryan says:

    There is no feeling better than staring down the muzzle of the M32A1.

    “Say hello to my little friend!”

  3. avatar XYZ says:

    That cracked me up. Well written Robert!

  4. avatar Eric says:

    Next you’ll be calling the grill of a Subaru Tribeca a vagina, oh wait, you already did that.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      Correction-“Flying Vagina”

      1. avatar BStacks says:


        I had totally forgotten that particular Flying V!

        1. avatar Chris Dumm says:

          Tell me about it: I have to look at the Tribeca dashboard every time my business partner and I take a business road trip to prison.

  5. They’re turned away talented multi-discipline shooters in exchange for drama. They specifically wanted a friend of mine for season 4 because he’s a vegan and it would create drama amongst the meat eaters in the house. He also dressed up as Katy Perry for a halloween shotgun match, and that really sealed the deal. They told him to be as arrogant as possible for his audition tape. He decided the weeks off work and selling himself out wasn’t worth it.

    Top Shot is filth for the masses. Be glad you didn’t get on the show. 3 Gun Nation is a legitimate competition show, broadcasting normal sporting events.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      3GN is also as close to watching paint dry as you can come on TV.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Sad but true. It should be sponsored by Sherwin-Williams.

        1. avatar Aaron says:

          Or Behr… 🙁

  6. avatar concerned_soldier says:

    It’s unfortunate that they are getting away from the shooting aspect!

    But I have heard that Ashley from Season 2 will beat the $hit out of some of the producers if he ever sees them again.

    “Why can’t it be about the shoot’in”

  7. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    Look closer. The launcher is open (foregrip to the side) during said “lasering”. Hence, inert chunk of metal.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      When someone points the muzzle of a gun at me I consider myself lasered. Period.

  8. avatar Mr. Carpenter says:

    I love the fact that the average joe has taken the title for the last few years. Beating big tough annoying shooting pros. Shows that shooting isnt really the focus here. Its…”can you throw a rock at a glass square while other idiots scream your name and people take your picture ?” I shoot every day, and can guarantee I could never make it on that show. Im not a wussy giggling catholic day camp teacher or a southern guy on welfare. Oh, did I mention I sent in my interest letter too? Its gotten out of hand, like most TV shows that are good ONLY the first season.

  9. avatar MadDawg J says:

    If they did not have the B.A.R. I would not have forced myself to keep watching the episode. That was a soap opera that had a couple of shots of some guns. I was glad the other team got nominated for elimination or the last half of the show might have also been clips of Slutty Spice every 5 minutes.

    1. avatar Austin says:

      Wow, seriously? Slutty Spice? More like MisogynistDawg.

      I’ve found that this season has been really drama-free so far. Maybe that will change, but everybody seems pretty civil.

      1. avatar MadDawg J says:

        My definition of a slut includes one who flirts with married men, Dylan Fletcher is married, and it seemed that she was also “making eyes” at the expert when he walked out.

        FYI having a problem with one woman does not make me a misogynist.

        1. avatar Austin says:

          IMO I didn’t consider anything she was doing to be all that flirty. If this Fletcher fellow is married, it sounds to be more his problem than hers. Sorry, calling her a slut for being friendly with a guy and looking at the expert a certain way still says that you look at women through a decidedly misogynist lens.

        2. avatar MadDawg J says:

          mi·sog·y·nist  [mih-soj-uh-nist, mahy‐]
          a person who hates women.

          Slut, noun, a term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous.

          I did not even say that I hate her, let alone all, or even some women. Hell I didn’t even say that I hate sluts, I love sluts, they made the short periods that we were in port much more bearable when I was still active duty. Slut by its actuall definition is not a derogatory term and many people including women do not feel that it is, nor is it a term that only applies to women.

  10. avatar Levi B says:

    It’s positively inhuman for a young attractive woman to flirt. Why would anyone allow such a despicable thing on TV?

    Move on, gramps.

  11. avatar Matthew S says:

    Wow a lot of haters here. I think its a great show. Also people keep talking about a lot of pro shooters not making it on the show but a lot of the ones that do dont end up doing that well.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      I suspect someone at the level of Todd Jarrett or Travis Tomasie wouldn’t do too bad…

  12. avatar Gerard says:

    I’ve never watched the program but I am in favor of boobs.

  13. avatar Gabe says:

    I stopped watching this show, it was turning into that old Nickelodeon kid’s game show Double Dare, but with guns.

  14. avatar Jwhite says:

    I hate this show like the rest of the “reality” shows. Shallow meaningless crap with people who are about as worthless as that piece of gum stuck to the sidewalk.

    Its crap TV for the masses.

  15. avatar LeftShooter says:

    I record “Top Shot,” skip all the inane clubhouse interactions, watch only the 10 minutes or so of shooting “competition,” erase it, and then watch “Justified” to get a way better dose of testosterone, gunplay, and comely women. Very satisfying, I highly recommend it.

    1. avatar MadDawg J says:

      Southland is also a good show on Tue.

      1. avatar LeftShooter says:

        Yes indeed!

      2. avatar Danni says:

        +1 for Southland.

  16. avatar Ropingdown says:

    As Francois Truffaut said, all you need to make a movie is a pretty woman and a gun. Apparently it works in Reality TV, too. A slut isn’t someone who flirts. A slut is somebody who knows it’s only for a night, but still agrees to get a room. There are pretty woman and handsome men in the world. People flirt. This post is about a Reality TV Show, not hunting or technical qualifications. The post features Michelle, just days after several Michelle posts and photos. She’s not flirting with a married man. She’s flirting with people on a Reality TV show, people dying for publicity, the limelight, some juice in their lives. I hope she enjoys the entire experience.

  17. avatar Robert Farago says:

    I’m dumb but I’m not stupid. And I used to work in TV (back when sets were steam-driven). The producers edited-in Ms. Viscusi’s sound bytes for maximum, semi-subliminal titillation.

    “I’m pumped hell yeah I’m excited” and “Who’s really keyed-up who’s excited?”

    Out of the hundreds of possibly quotes from the 15 competitors, they went with SOT that indicated Ms. Viscusi’s “excitement”.

    No coincidence. Go figure.

  18. avatar sdog says:

    dylan fletcher is one of the most uncool dorky looking people on this show to date.

  19. avatar Tim Tritt says:

    I wanted to chest bump her too! But in a purely gun-loving sort of way. I found it exhilarating as I was doing my elliptical rider at 3:30 am.

  20. avatar adam says:

    while watching this last episode, my wife asked why Guy Fierra was on Top Shot…She also said that John Locke from Lost would win. As I have learned from being married, she is hardly ever wrong.

  21. avatar JOSH says:

    HAHAHA… Men, not even my grandma said so many bad things about these two playing around like you guys… Just get over it LOL

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