Top Shot (season 1)

Last updated
Top Shot
Season 1
Country of originFlag of the United States.svg  United States
No. of episodes10
Release
Original network History
Original releaseJune 6 (2010-06-06) 
August 15, 2010 (2010-08-15)
Season chronology
Next 
Season 2

The first season of the History Channel television series Top Shot commenced airing on June 6, 2010, and concluded on August 15, 2010. The season contained ten episodes, and was filmed over a period of 33 days in the spring in Santa Clarita, California. The winner of the season was British ex-Army captain Iain Harrison.

Contents

Iain Harrison later appeared as a coach in Seasons 2, 3, and 4; J.J. Racaza appeared as a coach in Season 2; Kelly Bachand appeared as a coach in Season 4; and Blake Miguez appeared as a coach in Season 2.

Chris Cerino, Peter Palma, Kelly Bachand, Adam Benson, and Blake Miguez returned for Top Shot: All-Stars. Miguez finished in 15th, Bachand finished in 9th, Benson finished in 7th, and Palma finished in 6th, while Cerino was the season's runner-up. According to Colby Donaldson's Twitter, J.J Racaza became a father during filming and was unable to come out for the show.

Contestants

ContestantOccupation / backgroundOriginal TeamMerged TeamEliminated
Mike Seeklander
38, Owasso, OK
U.S. Shooting Academy, former Marine, Federal Air Marshal and firearms instructorRed Team16th Place
Frank Campana
47, Yonkers, NY
Retired police officer, FBI-certified sniper and instructorRed Team15th Place
Bill Carns
40, Pahrump, NV
Radio Gun Show Host, qualified 5-Weapons Range MasterRed Team14th Place
James "Jim" Sinclair
48, Dover, NH
Printer, Gunsmith, Truck Driver, Historical firearms collector, competition shooter with various awardsBlue Team13th Place
Caleb Giddings
27, Fishers, IN
Insurance sales, former Coast Guard, competition shooter with various awards, bloggerBlue Team12th Place
Andre Robinson
28, Pittsburgh, PA
Soldier, U.S. Army, former Marine, earned "Rifle Expert" status in four competitionsRed Team11th Place
Brad Engmann
26, San Francisco, CA
Project Manager, USPSA Grand MasterRed Team10th Place
Tara Poremba
36, Chicago, IL
Police officer, state champ in several states in conventional pistol, and a former National Champion, competition shooter with various awards.Blue Team9th Place
Denny Chapman
41, Ocala, FL
Cowboy Mounted Shooting competitor, horse trainer, Wild West entertainer, former benchrest rifle and USPSA/IPSC three-gun competitorRed Team8th Place
Blake Miguez
28, New Iberia, LA
Corporate lawyer, semi-professional shooter, USPSA Grand Master, Louisiana state championBlue TeamGreen Team7th Place
Adam Benson
44, Baltimore, MD
Construction project manager, former Marine, USPSA MasterBlue Team6th Place
Kelly Bachand
22, Kent, WA
Student, competition shooter, USA National Rifle Team Red Team5th Place
Peter Palma
29, Norristown, PA
Plumber, Marine Scout Sniper Red Team4th Place
Simon "J.J." Racaza
29, New Milford, NJ
Department of Homeland Security Agent, double grandmaster in the USPSA/IPSC Blue Team3rd Place
Chris Cerino
40, Wadsworth, OH
Law enforcement trainer, 42nd place in the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers AssociationBlue Team2nd place
Iain Harrison
42, Sherwood, OR
Construction manager, former British Army platoon commander, gunsmith, competition shooter with various awardsBlue TeamWinner

Contestant progress

#ContestantsEpisodes
12345678910
1IainWINWINWINNOMSAFEWINWINWINSAFESAFEWINWINTOP SHOT
2ChrisWINWINWINSAFESAFEWINWINWINSAFESAFEBTM2SAFESECOND PLACE
3J.J.WINWINWINSAFESAFEWINWINWINSAFEWINWINOUT
4PeterSAFESAFESAFEWINWINSAFESAFENOMWINSAFEOUT
5KellyNOMSAFESAFEWINWINNOMNOMSAFEBTM2OUT
6AdamWINWINWINSAFENOMWINWINWINWINOUT
7BlakeWINWINWINSAFESAFEWINWINWINOUT
8DennySAFESAFESAFEWINWINSAFESAFEOUT
9TaraWINWINWINSAFESAFEWINWINQUIT
10BradSAFENOMNOMWINWINSAFEOUT
11AndreSAFESAFESAFEWINWINOUT
12CalebWINWINWINSAFEOUT
13JimWINWINWINOUT
14BillSAFESAFEOUT
15FrankSAFEOUT
16MikeOUT
  The player's team (episodes 1–8) won the challenge.
  The player(s) won individually in the challenge.
  The player's team lost the challenge, but the player was not nominated for elimination (episodes 1–8); or the player did not finish a challenge at the top or bottom of the group (episodes 9–10).
  The player was nominated for elimination, but won an elimination challenge (episodes 1–8); or the player finished a challenge at the bottom of the group, but won a tiebreaker (episodes 9–10).
  The player lost an elimination challenge and was eliminated. (In episodes 9 and 10, every challenge ended in one or more automatic eliminations.)
  The player voluntarily withdrew from the competition.
  The player won the $100,000 grand prize and the title of Top Shot.
  The player came in second.

Episodes

Episode 1: "The Long Shot"

Premiere dateTeam challenge weapon(s)Team challengeBenched player(s)Winning team
June 6, 201019th/20th Century Rifles
M1903 Springfield
SVT-40
Mosin–Nagant 91/30
M14
Obstacle course/relay race with four shooting stations, one rifle per station and targets at 50/100 yards using iron sights. Each team splits into four pairs, with each player shooting one target and spotting the other.NoneBlue Team
Elimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeNominated for eliminationEliminated player
Scoped Remington 700 sniper rifleShooting targets at 200/400/600 yardsMike, KellyMike

The trainer for both challenges was Craig Sawyer, Navy SEALs instructor and former sniper.

Episode 2: "Zipline of Fire"

Premiere dateTeam challenge weapon(s)Team challengeBenched player(s)Winning team
June 13, 2010 Beretta 92F 9×19mm pistolShooting through seven tubes of decreasing diameter (4 inches to 1.5 inches), one player per tube, one shot per turn. Distance not stated, but described (for the smallest tube) as the equivalent of hitting a US quarter from 25 feet.BlakeBlue Team
Elimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeNominated for eliminationEliminated player
Beretta 92F 9×19mm pistolShooting targets while riding down a zip-line; maximum 15 shots per playerFrank, Brad Frank

The trainer for the team challenge was Ben Stoeger, practical shooting expert. The trainer for the elimination challenge was Matt Burkett, practical shooting expert.

^1 There was a second-place tie between Brad and Bill. It was broken by Peter's vote.
^2 Frank and Brad finished in a tie after the first run, but Frank lost on a tiebreaker run.

Episode 3: "Archer Enemies"

Premiere dateTeam challenge weapon(s)Team challengeBenched player(s)Winning team
June 20, 2010Fiberglass version of an English longbow rated at 40 lbs.Shooting at a 30-foot target from 100 yards, 30 seconds per player. Closest arrow to the center of the bullseye wins the challenge.Adam, ChrisBlue Team
Elimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeNominated for eliminationEliminated player
Modern hunting crossbow with scopeShoot apples on stands at 10/20/30/40 yards. A recreation of the William Tell legend.Brad, BillBill

The trainer for the team challenge was Chris Palmer, longbow and traditional archery expert. The trainer for the elimination challenge was Bill Troubridge, crossbow expert.

Episode 4: "Friend or Foe?"

Premiere dateTeam challenge weapon(s)Team challengeBenched player(s)Winning team
June 27, 2010 AR-15 rifleShooting at a grid of red and blue targets, one player at a time. Each player sees the grid for 30 seconds before it is covered up, then has 20 seconds to fire up to 7 shots and hit only the other team's targets.Blake, J.J., IainRed Team
Elimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeNominated for eliminationEliminated player
South African TZ99 pistolFire up to 4 shots at swinging targets in 15 seconds, trying to hit the red "foes" and avoid the blue "friends."Iain, JimJim

The trainer for both challenges was Craig Sawyer, Navy SEALs instructor and former sniper.

Episode 5: "The Good, the Rat and the Ugly"

Premiere dateTeam challenge weapon(s)Team challengeBenched player(s)Winning team
July 11, 2010 Kentucky rifle Shooting targets at 25/50/75/100/125 yards, one target per player, head-to-head at each distance. Closer shot to the center of the bullseye wins that distance for the team.Adam, ChrisRed Team
Elimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeNominated for eliminationEliminated player
Winchester Model 1873 rifleSever a rope with weights suspended from it, loading 3 rounds at a time. Based on Old West accounts of a superior marksman's ability to cut a hangman's noose by shooting through it.Caleb, AdamCaleb

The trainer for both challenges was Garry James, historical rifle expert.

Episode 6: "Wild, Wild West"

Premiere dateTeam challenge weapon(s)Team challengeBenched player(s)Winning team
July 18, 2010 Colt Peacemaker revolverFire at 50 targets set up in a shooting gallery styled after an Old West storefront, 10 rounds per player per turn. Shorter time to hit all targets wins the challenge.BlakeBlue Team
Elimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeNominated for eliminationEliminated player
Colt Peacemaker revolverFrom 25 feet, players take alternating shots at a deck of 52 playing cards arranged on a wheel, trying to make the highest possible poker hand. Maximum 7 shots per player; neither one may use any cards shot by the other.Kelly, Andre Andre

The trainer for both challenges was Spencer Hoglund, historical weapons expert and four-time national champion speed shooter.

^3 There was a second-place tie between Denny and Andre. It was broken by Brad's vote.
^4 Both players tied in the first round by making a royal flush. For the tiebreaker, each was allowed only 5 shots and could not use any cards shot in the first round. After 4 shots, Kelly hit three fives, making it impossible for Andre to win as he only had a pair of fours at that point.

Episode 7: "Trick Shot Showdown"

Premiere dateTeam challenge weapon(s)Team challengeBenched player(s)Winning team
July 25, 2010Winchester Model 1873 rifle
Smith & Wesson M&P Revolver
Schofield Revolver
Recreations of famous trick shots:
1. Fire the Winchester over the shoulder to hit a soda bottle, sighting the target with a hand mirror.
2. Using the M&P, hit the head of a nail driven partway into a board from 25 feet.
3. Throw a soda can into the air and hit it with a shot from the Schofield.
4. Same as 3, but using a smaller soda can.
One player per trick shot, three attempts each.
Adam, J.J.Blue Team
Elimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeNominated for eliminationEliminated player
Beretta Xtrema 2 shotgunThrow clay pigeon targets into the air and shoot them, starting with one at a time and working up to five. In each round, the shotgun is loaded with one shell for every target being thrown.Kelly, BradBrad

The trainer for the team challenge was Jon "Trick Shot" Wilson. The trainer for the elimination challenge was Scott Robertson, eight-time sporting clay shooting champion.

Episode 8: "The Razor's Edge"

Premiere dateTeam challenge weapon(s)Team challengeBenched player(s)Winning team
August 1, 2010 Throwing knife based on design of the Bowie knife Throw at 6 targets from 11 feet, while balancing over a mud pit on a beam whose width decreases from one target to the next. Maximum of two throws per player per turn; each target must be hit before the next can be attempted. Shorter time to hit all targets wins the challenge.Blake, Chris, TaraBlue Team
Elimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeNominated for eliminationEliminated player
Modern slingshot From 20 feet, fire up to 20 shots at a grid of 8/10/12-inch square targets in 60 seconds, trying to hit only the targets of the assigned color.Denny, PeterDenny

The trainer for the team challenge was Todd Abrams, member of the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame. The trainer for the elimination challenge was John "Chief AJ" Huffer, slingshot world record holder.

Tara received news of her father's rapidly declining health (due to lung cancer) and withdrew from the competition after the team challenge. A note at the end of Episode 10 stated that he has since died.

Episode 9: "The Shortest Fuse"

At the start of this episode, Donaldson announced that the teams were being dissolved, and that all players would compete head-to-head to determine who would be eliminated in each challenge. The seven remaining players were given green shirts to wear for the rest of the competition.

Premiere dateElimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeWinning player(s)Eliminated player(s)
August 8, 2010Beretta 92F 9×19mm pistolFrom 25 feet, shoot and break a burning fuse on an explosive charge; maximum 10 rounds per player. Failure to break the fuse (or shortest length of unburned fuse, if all break it) leads to elimination.Peter, AdamBlake
TZ99 pistol
Heckler and Koch HK93 rifle
Mosin–Nagant 91/30 rifle
SVT-40 rifle
Run uphill and stop at four shooting stations, with one weapon and one target at each (50 feet for the TZ99, then 100/125/150 yards for the rifles). Players must load and clear the weapons themselves. The two slowest times to hit all four targets are eliminated.J.J.Adam, Kelly

The trainer for the second elimination challenge was Craig Sawyer, Navy SEALs instructor and former sniper.

^5 In the first round, Iain, Blake, Kelly, J.J, and Chris failed to break the fuse. A tiebreaker was played under the same rules, with only Kelly and Blake failing this time. For the second tiebreaker, each player had 10 seconds to fire one shot at a target; the one who hit closer to the center of the bullseye stayed in the game.

Episode 10: "Season Finale"

No practice sessions were held in this episode. The five individual players eliminated prior to the final challenge returned to watch it.

Premiere dateElimination challenge weapon(s)Elimination challengeWinning player(s)Eliminated player(s)
August 15, 2010Beretta 92F 9×19mm pistolTwo players at a time shoot at 12 double-sided targets from 35 feet, trying to flip as many of them to the assigned color as possible in 60 seconds (maximum 40 rounds per player). The two losers play against each other, with the loser of this round being eliminated.J.J., Iain, Chris Peter
Rifles: Mosin–Nagant 91/30, SVT-40, HK93
Handguns: TZ99 pistol, Schofield Revolver, Smith & Wesson M&P Revolver
Each player chooses one weapon, target, distance, and shooting stance. All three players try each shot; the one who makes the fewest shots is eliminated. No weapon or target may be chosen more than once. Targets available include shot glasses, bottles, beer mugs, glass panes, and jars.Iain, ChrisJ.J.
Throwing knife
English longbow replica
Colt Peacemaker revolver
Winchester Model 1873 rifle
Beretta 92F 9×19mm pistol
AR-15 rifle
M14 rifle
Players run a course with seven shooting stations:
1. Throw a knife to hit a target at 11 feet.
2. Using the longbow, hit a target at 50 yards.
3. Shoot five bottles at 25 feet with the Colt.
4. Sever a rope at 35 feet with the Winchester.
5. Fire the Beretta through a 1.5-inch-diameter (38 mm) tube at 25 feet.
6. Use the AR-15 to hit six targets in a grid at 100 yards.
7. Hit targets at 100 and 300 yards with the M14.
First player to complete all stations wins.
IainChris

^6 J.J. and Iain were the first-round winners, and Chris won the playoff between himself and Peter.

Epilogue

The episode concluded with an epilogue revealing the recent activities and achievements of all 16 players, in order of their elimination.

  • Mike Seeklander is competing at the World Speed Shooting Championships.
  • Frank Campana is working part-time as a bodyguard.
  • Bill Carns continues to work on his radio show. Kelly has been a recent guest.
  • James "Jim" Sinclair recently won a national match with historic rifles.
  • Caleb Giddings now works for the NRA.
  • Andre Robinson has returned to his Army base in South Korea.
  • Brad Engmann is now competing nationally with a new pistol. It is not a Glock.
  • Tara Poremba's father died. She continues to compete in his honor.
  • Denny Chapman won the Men's All-Around World Championships (Cowboy Action Shooting + Mounted Shooting) at the SASS "End of Trail" Finals in 2011.
  • Blake Miguez is running his father's company, which is helping cleaning up the Gulf oil spill.
  • Adam Benson is looking forward to the start of hunting season.
  • Kelly Bachand has taken up pistol shooting. He returns to college in the fall.
  • Peter Palma's time as a reservist is nearly over. He is considering a move to Louisiana.
  • Simon "J.J." Racaza still holds the world record in the Iron Sight Division.
  • Chris Cerino just moved into a new house and still works as a shooting instructor.
  • Iain Harrison is back managing a construction company. So far he has no plans for his winnings.

Nomination range

Original TeamsMerged Team
#
Episode12345678910
NominatedKelly
3/8 Votes
Brad
3/7 Votes
Brad
2/6 Votes
Iain
5/8 Votes
Adam
3/7 Votes
Kelly
3/5 Votes
Kelly
2/4 Votes
NonePeter
1/3 Votes
NoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
EliminatedMike
3/8 Votes
Frank
3/7 Votes
Bill
2/6 Votes
Jim
2/8 Votes
Caleb
3/7 Votes
Andre
2/6 Votes
Brad
2/4 Votes
Tara
No Votes
Denny
2/3 Votes
BlakeAdamKellyPeterJ.J.Chris
ContestantsVotes
1IainNoneCalebNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
2ChrisIainCalebNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
3J.J.JimAdamNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
4PeterMikeBrad BradAndreBradDennyNoneNoneNoneNone
5KellyBradBillBillDennyBradDennyNoneNoneNone
6AdamIainNoneNoneNoneNone
7BlakeIainAdamNoneNone
8DennyBradFrankBillKellyKellyPeter
9TaraIainCalebNone
10BradKellyFrankAndreKellyKelly
11AndreMikeBillBradKelly
12CalebJimAdam
13JimIain
14BillKellyFrankKelly
15FrankMikeBrad
16MikeKelly

Ratings

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References