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Caleb Gets Eaten by the Drama Llama

While I was happy that in the last episode of History Channel’s Top Shot, Caleb seemed to have finally learn his lesson about hostage shooting, it would seem that this episode caused Caleb to be eaten by the Drama Llama, having been eliminated after being compared to several species of the order Rodentia, and possibly the Mustelidae family as well (I’d have to go back and watch again).

Several people have stepped up to defend Caleb. Chris Byrne makes some very good points. Les Jones also makes some good points. I will stake out a middle position of saying Caleb is neither rat, nor fink, or any member of the Mustelidae family for what transpired on last night’s Top Shot. But I don’t agree he took the high road, because I’m not sure there’s much high road to be had. It’s not a shooting competition, where sportsmanship and excellence play the biggest role. It’s reality TV. Shooting is relatively incidental; a backdrop for the drama. Caleb was trying to survive the game, same as Adam. Any fan of reality TV shows knows that the nice guys often finish last. I’m not going to blame anyone for setting up voting blocks or otherwise thinking strategically about how to get to the end of this game. Adam probably figured he needed a voting block to get rid of some of the top shooters on his team if he wanted to have any prayer of winning. Caleb probably figured he was better off currying favor with the top shooters on the team. Unfortunately for Caleb, that turned out to be a bad political move, and you only get to make one of those, unless you’re a really good elimination shooter, which Caleb almost was.

On to the shooting.  In the last episode before this one James made me cringe where in a shooting style that called for a more tactical stance he took a traditional high-power style offhand shooting stance — very good for accuracy, not very good for speed. In this episode I cringed when Caleb chose a tactical stance for what was looking like an accuracy game. I think the fact that the target was basically rotated 90 degrees threw them both off from what they practiced on, and evened things up a bit. I think a more traditional stance would have worked out better, because you would have been more stable, and still been able to work up a reasonable volume of fire needed to sever the rope. But this is arm chair stuff… if Caleb ever hosts the gun blogger competition he’s talked about, I totally want to try traditional vs. tactical stance and see which one works better for the rope shot. I suspect that kind of game is something a silhouette shooter would be good at — we don’t have all day to aim at our targets like slow-fire standing in high-power shooting, but we still have to hit with reasonably good accuracy at long distances.

In other news, I think I really need to get a flintlock muzzle loader. It looks like fun. Anyone know a decent brand? I know little about smoke poles.

20 Responses to “Caleb Gets Eaten by the Drama Llama”

  1. Jeff says:

    I agree with what Caleb has said in the aftermath. What he should have done was come right out and tell Adam that he wasn’t on board with the plan instead of hemming and hawing and then telling Blake and JJ.

    I think flintlocks look a lot more fun when you edit out all of the cleaning and reloading.

  2. Papa Foxtrot says:

    “I think flintlocks look a lot more fun when you edit out all of the cleaning and reloading.”

    Not to mention the primary cleaning solvent being warm soapy water…

  3. Miguel says:

    Fast Forward is such a nice feature in a DVR. It has kept me from dealing with all the Drama and go straight to the shooting.

    I did hear that Spike TV will have a shooting show that we might enjoy. They will take a group of people who has never shot, pair them with a good shooter and train them.

    That I can sink my teeth in it.

  4. wfgodbold says:

    The drama is pretty handy for figuring out who is going to be in the elimination shootout; with all the focus on Adam and Caleb in the first bit of the show, it was pretty obvious they would have to go up against each other to see who would be eliminated.

  5. B Woodman says:

    I quit watching after the first couple of episodes. What I wanted to see was competition shooting between experts and amateurs.
    If I wanted to watch this pile-o-crap, I’d be watching “Survivor”. And I HATE “Survivor”.

  6. Sebastian says:

    I don’t know… watching other people shoot is like watching grass grow. I don’t consider shooting to be a very exciting spectator sport.

  7. Papa Foxtrot says:

    I like the competition format – especially weapons and situations that take the competitors out of their comfort zones. The notable exception was the first elimination round. Sniper rifles and Kelly – really??

  8. Cliff47 says:

    I enjoy the shooting format, it’s the Drama Kings (DK’s for lack of a better term) that rub me the wrong way…they just lost a viewer…

  9. Jeff says:

    “I like the competition format – especially weapons and situations that take the competitors out of their comfort zones. The notable exception was the first elimination round. Sniper rifles and Kelly – really??”

    Mike picked Kelly to shoot against in the long range challenge. Also, I like getting to see the competitors doing what they’re good at.

  10. Papa Foxtrot says:

    “Mike picked Kelly to shoot against in the long range challenge. Also, I like getting to see the competitors doing what they’re good at.”

    Neither knew the format of the elimination before they were selected. It just seemed odd that the challenge was classic military rifles and the elimination used modern sniper rifles. That oddity hasn’t been repeated.

  11. Jeff says:

    Well, there’s a little more time between the development of the long rifle and 1873, and the oldest military rifle they used and today.

  12. ExurbanKevin says:

    I did hear that Spike TV will have a shooting show that we might enjoy. They will take a group of people who has never shot, pair them with a good shooter and train them.

    The show is called “Conceal plus Carry equals Survival” and it’s part of a two-hour block of tactical / personal defense TV on Spike produced by Orion Multimedia: http://www.tvtango.com/listings/2010/07/17/conceal_plus_carry_equals_survival

    No word, no hint of this prior to premiere + no mention on gun blogs = social media FAIL

  13. hillbilly says:

    The simple truth is that if Caleb doesn’t rat out the plan to the other two shooters, he is still in the game.

    All he had to do was keep his mouth shut, and he doesn’t get nominated to the elimination challenge.

    But I will say, that this John-Wayne, speak-the-truth-and-shoot-straight crap is prevalent amongst some gunnies.

    It’s almost like they’ve seen one too many movies or something.

    I had one gunnie at a range, several years ago, complain to me that he thought the Viet-Cong were too sneaky and underhanded.

    He said, “You oughta just fly your flag and let the chips fall where they may.”

    Yeah…check….got it…….George-Washington cherry-tree-chopping honesty at all costs, and screw silly ideas like winning.

    hillbilly

    • Bitter says:

      That’s a very similar point that my mom made when she wanted to chat about it today on the phone, hillbilly. She is a big fan of reality tv (Survivor and Big Brother, IIRC), and she points out that this is the exact same thing. The only difference is that all of the competitions happen to feature guns.

      You could lose every competition and, based on the rules presented so far, still win the game. It has nothing to do with being a “Top Shot.” The guys and gals who want that title are out at Camp Perry right now (and other relevant national competitions). Show up at national competitions and consistently win, and you can call yourself a top shooter. Going on tv to win money? That might involve guns and you’re probably a damn good shooter, but it’s just a reality show at its heart. That involves strategy, alliances, voting blocs, and all of those things. Anyone who didn’t start working on a strategy as soon as they sized up the competition wasn’t in it to win the tv show contest.

      I think the show is absolutely hysterical. According to my mom, it was obvious Caleb was leaving the competition, not just from the editing, but because he went to tell the other guys. Apparently, this is a classic “get your butt sent home in the first batch of players” move, at least according to her observations. But, let’s face it, we’re going to see a lot of standard reality tv moves in coming weeks. No offense to the guys (and gal) on the show, but the producers are looking for a story to tell, not a bunch of close up gun shots. Those are fun and all, but they don’t sell the ad slots as well as reality tv does in this day and age. Every person on there was brought in partially by shooting skill (not knocking them, just saying it was only one factor of making the cut), but I promise you they also chose them for their ability to generate drama. Drama sells in this case. And it’s really funny.

  14. Brad says:

    Yes, the reality show dynamic is there. But, not only are many of the contestants refusing to play that way, the show itself is structured to make it ultimately a shooting contest.

    No one gets voted off like Survivor, every person nominated has a chance to win by out shooting his competition in fair one to one shoot outs.

    As for Adam blowing his cool against Caleb, I think Adam was indulging in projection. Adam was scheming to backstab his supposed team-mates and was outed. The anger he felt for Caleb ‘breaking the code’, is really transference for his own betrayal. It’s easier for him to get angry at Caleb than to admit his own wrong.

    Or the show just edited things to make Adam look bad.

  15. JamesLee says:

    “You could lose every competition and, based on the rules presented so far, still win the game.”

    On the other end, though, you could be the biggest P-rick that everyone hates, and nominates every time, but if you really ARE the “Top Shot,” you can still win. I suspect it will fall in the middle somewhere.

    Not a real fan of “reality” TV, even though MrsJamesLee is, and I must say I tire of of the scheming really quick. That being said, I actually am enjoying this show, and keeping in the back of my mind that the drama felgercarb isn’t aimed at us, it’s aimed at people that would not normally watch a show about guns.

    Now what I really want to know is 1) when do I audition for the next season, and 2) who do I call about signing up for doing these sort of shoots? The Zip Line is something I am absolutely DYING to do!

  16. I am just going to go on the record and say that Adam acted like an ass.

    And bad mouthing an entire corps, while making his corp look bad.

    Caleb, may have mangled the politics some. But he at least handled himself as a decent human being. Kudos to Kelly as well, for kind of putting Adam’s cards in place.

    • Bitter says:

      You have to keep in mind that this is reality tv. There is a lot of editing. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but remember that something that may have only been said a couple of times gets replayed a lot to make it seem like there’s drama all the time. These people were also picked because they would clash. Egos abound, and the point of housing them all in one place is to create these tensions. Add to that the fact that producers of reality tv want you to play up disagreements because it makes for good tv, and I think you just have to give it all a good laugh and let it slide.

  17. Miguel says:

    Kevin, thanks for the info. :)

  18. used to play Airsoft but i stopped after some guy accidentally shot my eye ..

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