On Tuesday nights for the last couple of months my tweets have been filled with the #TopShot hashtag. Not only is Top Shot (Tuesday night 10 Eastern) my favorite show, there are several key players live tweeting while it airs most weeks.
The host, Colby Donaldson (@Colby_Donaldson), is very active on Twitter with behind the scene insights. He jokes with fans and answers questions and this is an excellent addition to the viewing experience. He was missed a couple of weeks ago as he was forbidden by the show’s brass from live tweeting. This was in response to his tweets the previous week asking fans to make some grassroots noise to convince The History Channel to renew the show. Hey History Channel! Renew Top Shot!!
Contestants have also been very active and interacting with viewers in Top Shot Season 4.
Terry Vaughn (@Terry_Empowers) added a British angle on the proceedings and brought a real enthusiasm and level-headed approach the the sometimes dysfunctional blue team. He seemed to enjoy the cannon most of all.
Gabby Franco (@GabbyFrancoTS4) was the first female contestant to wear a green shirt. This isn’t a fashion statement. For those unfamiliar with the show, team competitions pitting blue and red teams thins the field by eliminating contestants until the individual competition begin. The teams are then disbanded and contestants wear the coveted green shirt. Gabby was a fan favorite and after elimination continued to cheer on the remaining contestants.
Now for the business at hand. Tuesday’s program is the season finale and it has come down to Chris Cheng, Gregory Littlejohn, Augie Malekovich and Gary Shank. Who will it be? All four finalists have proven themselves to be very capable of winning the whole thing, and they got there with diverse styles.
Augie Malekovich is a strong shooter and keeps his cool under almost all conditions. He served in the United States Marine Corps and his military background has helped. He is not an active twitter use, but you can follow @malekovich to see what his wife Crystal has to say. I’d be happy to see Augie win because he is a father of four and seems like a real good guy and dad.
Gary Shank is kind of a sleeper candidate to win. He wasn’t involved in too much drama and is proficient in many types of weapons. His specialty is historic weapons. If a blunderbuss or trebuchet are involved he has to be your favorite. In all seriousness, he absolutely was flawless in the SWAT style elimination challenge which emulated what final challenges have been like in past seasons. I’d be OK with Gary winning because I was briefly in a Civil War reenactment group while in high school. It’s not easy being a history geek.
Chris Cheng (@TopShotChris) is an IT professional with no formal military or police training. He was a fan of earlier seasons of Top Shot, and became proficient with a diverse set of guns as an enthusiast. As you would expect from an IT guy, he brings an analytical approach to the game. This caused some friction with other contestants when team meetings determined who would go to elimination challenges. But those contestants are gone and he is in the final. I’ve had some interaction with Chris on Twitter and found him to be a real enthusiastic, nice guy. Because he is an underdog to a certain degree and I work in search engine marketing (kind of IT related), he is probably my favorite.
Which brings us to Gregory Littlejohn (@TopshotGregory). He is a Federal Police Officer and Air Force veteran. He is also one of the most derided contestants by fans online. He has gone to the elimination challenges more than anyone, but also has won enough Bass Pro Shops gift cards (by surviving the challenges) to outfit his outdoors activities in fine style.
He’s got a big personality that rubs some people the wrong way and brings out the critics. I really enjoy how he lets the criticism bounce right off of him on the show and in the twitterverse. He and I have had a couple of twitter exchanges, and his tweets reveal a very funny guy. The show has been edited to give him the role of “they guy who lets the pressure get to him.” This is one of the reasons I suspect he may take the grand prize. The producers know who won before they edit the season. It is better entertainment if there is a story arc that has a surprise ending. If you wanted to have a twist at the end you would edit Greg to look like a guy who would choke in the big game. But in the last few episodes he has shown real skill.
If you asked my who I think will win, my money would be on Littlejohn for that reason. Of course I could be wrong. In short (too late, I know) anyone could win and I’d be happy for any of the finalists.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to get back to the Top Shot Facebook game and clear Level 12. Boom go the exploding targets!
Thank you to everyone for your support over the past 3 months! It is such a rush to have won #TopShot Season 4!
— Top Shot Chris Cheng (@TopShotChris) May 2, 2012