Second season of Top Shot, on the History Channel, ended last night. If you've been following it, you know who won, and if you haven't, the spoiler won't matter. If you are going to get the DVD, stop reading now.
Came down to three for the final two challenges. Gunny, Chris, the good old Mississippi boy, both ex-Marines, and George, the Air Force sniper from Noo Joizey.
Gunny, early forties, was a pistol guy, slabside expert, but fairly good with any handgun. George, twenty-something, who taught at the USAF sniper school, the best with a long gun. Chris, from Mississippi, shot a mean bow and was the best shotgunner.
Penultimate challenge, they got to choose their weapon from a half-dozen, and their target and range.
All along, I figured George was going to come up the winner. He was consistent, usually at or near the top, and good with a variety of weapons. He was also a big, muscular, arrogant, and cocky kid, and I was rooting against him for that. He was good, knew it, said so loud and repeatedly, come to kick ass and take names, self-centered, and it all irritated me. Plus he could bench two of me, and curl more than one of me ...
Host asked them what they'd do with the hundred grand if they won. Chris and Gunny said they'd put their kids through college. George offered he'd buy a couple new guns every month.
In the elimination, Gunny scored enough points to guarantee he'd be in the final challenge. Chris missed shots, and it looked as if he was going home. Chris was down a point, two rounds left to go, all George had to do was hit one of two. So he picks a .357 Magnum revolver, the largest target there, a chalk board, and sets it up at twenty-five feet. These guys could step up there blindfolded and hit that, seriously.
George shot. Missed. Said, "Oh, my God!" but with a hint of a grin.
The son-of-a-bitch tanked it on purpose.
The host said, "What just happened here?"
Chris made the shot, they were tied, so it went down to the last round. Civil War era Sharps rifle, a dinner plate.
Chris shot first, hit.
George shot. Missed again.
On purpose? A sniper? Oh, yeah, I could have made that shot without my glasses.
So the arrogant, self-centered kid tanked on purpose to give his good old boy buddy a chance to win.
And Chris did win.
I didn't see those thrown shots coming. And I hated having to revise my opinion of George, but I did.
Of course, the producers set it up that way. Gave me a reason to root against George, and kept at it going all the way through, then caught me flat-footed with his reversal of character when he shifted into unselfish mode at the end.
Hokey as the show is, that was clever.