At last, it’s back! Top Shot All-Stars, Season 5, airs tonight on the History Channel at 10:00 pm. Eastern time, and 9:00 p.m. Central time.
Due to sensitivity regarding recent gun violence and the resulting firestorm of gun-control controversy, shooting-related television entertainment has been absent for the past several months. I’m not going to wrestle that pig; I’m just happy that some level of sanity has reasserted itself, and now it’s time for some outstanding, lead-slinging competition! The first thing Top Shot viewers will want to know is, who made the cut for All-Stars? The complete cast list is available at www.history.com, but be forewarned, some of you will be disappointed. Not a single winner is included among the cast, and only two runners-up, Chris Cerino (TS1) and Brian Zins (TS2). Some of the fan favorites aren’t there either, but before anyone screams boycott, let me explain.
As a competitor on TS2, I can tell you that after the show aired, strange and wonderful opportunities abounded. There were sponsorships, partnerships, and merchandising deals; competition expectations, and team recruitment. In short, business and legal entanglements that prevented many TS alumni from competing in another season, particularly the winners. The other issue is having the ability to drop everything in your life for six weeks, again, to go film the show.
That being said, some will say this is a diluted cast of shooters, not worthy of being called all-stars. I disagree. With one or two exceptions (I’ll entertain guesses as to my bottom two), these are incredible shooters, and if you don’t believe me check out the credentials in their bios. Many TS competitors have gone on to more diverse experiences, and may actually be even better this time around. This will be a real competition, and I expect to see some amazing shooting. And hey, just thank your lucky stars we don’t have to put up with Jake “The Snake” again.
In my opinion, this could be the best season yet. “Why?” you ask. Because somehow, all the complaints from fans and competitors reached the ears of the head-honchos at History Channel/Pilgrim Films, and the rules of the game have changed. Gone is the team concept, and the Survivor-like voting strategies. No more alliances protecting weak shooters, and eliminating the strong. This will be an individual competition from day one, with the weakest shooters being eliminated based on results! Imagine that.
Although I’m partial to the former Marines (Adam Benson, Peter Palma, Brian Zins, Joe Serafini, William Bethard and Chee Kwan), I also expect strong showings from Chris Cerino and Blake Miguez. With the team protection gone, I suspect the specialists will be even more challenged by the variety and pace of the competition. The wizards at History will do their best to keep the drama level high, but I think we may see an early separation of the haves, and the have-nots.
Join me in watching tonight, and check back here tomorrow, and every Thursday, for my in-depth analysis of the performances; who won, who lost, and my predictions for the future.
Top Shot All-Stars (Season 5) Contestants
|Adam Benson Top Shot Season 1||Alex Charvat Top Shot Season 3||Blake Miguez Top Shot Season 1||Brian Zins Top Shot Season 2|
|Chee Kwan Top Shot Season 4||Chris Cerino Top Shot Season 1||Gabby Franco Top Shot Season 4||Gary Quensenberry Top Shot Season 3|
|Greg Littlejohn Top Shot Season 3||Jamie Franks Top Shot Season 2||Joe Serafini Top Shot Season 2||Kelly Bachand Top Shot Season 1|
|Kyle Sumpter Top Shot Season 4||Peter Palma Top Shot Season 1||Phil Morden Top Shot Season 3||William Bethards Top Shot Season 4|
Did you watch the previous seasons of Top Shot? Are you watching Season 5 All-Stars? Share your predictions with us in the comment section.
About Daryl Parker
Daryl Parker is a combat veteran and retired U.S. Marine. He is also a 2002 Rifle Gold Medalist, Texas Peace Officer, firearms and law enforcement instructor, and standout marksman from History Channel’s Top Shot (Season 2). Parker is the author of Sacrifice of the Season, The Death of More and Journey of Fear.