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Kyle Sumpter survives second round of 'Top Shot All-Stars'
It was a close call for Federal Way Police Department Cmdr. Kyle Sumpter on "Top Shot All-Stars" this week, as he found himself in the elimination challenge, trying to nail some of the most difficult "trick" shots the History Channel show has ever presented to competitors.
It came down to a tie-breaker against one of the world's best competitive speed pistol shooters in Blake Miguez, with Sumpter surviving by nailing a gumball off the head of a golf tee with a Volquartsen .22 rifle.
Sumpter said that this elimination challenge had some extra factors, compared to the one he was involved in during Season 4.
"To be up against a world champion, that added a little bit of pressure, of course," he said. "A factor that the viewing audience doesn't see, though, is that the wind is always blowing up there at that range. The wind presses on the shooter in unpredictable patterns. The pulses of the wind are unpredictable, and it adds a degree of difficulty that you don't just get a sense of watching it at home."
In the elimination challenge, Sumpter and Miguez had to shoot beer bottles while holding a Smith and Wesson 686 upside down, attempt to tag the aforementioned gumballs on the golf ball tees with the Volquartsen, and also attempt to hit two plates simultaneously using a pair of Ruger Security 6 pistols. Sumpter took an early lead with the S&W 686 and the beer bottles, but Miguez was able to catch up at the end by nailing one pair of the plates with the Ruger Security 6.
"I'm glad to survive," Sumpter said.
For the episode, the 15 remaining shooters were broken out into three squads to perform various trick shots. Among them were the "Annie Oakley" shot, where one fires a rifle over their shoulder while looking in a mirror. Another shot involved two paint cans where the shooter had to hit the bottom one to make the top can fly up in the air and then hit that can in the air. Finally, and arguably the most difficult shot of all: shooting the blade of an axe to split the bullet and pop balloons on either side of the axe blade.
It was that last shot that meant Sumpter and his temporary squadmates would face the "Proving Ground" because William Bethards, Sumpter's fellow Season 4 castmate, missed every attempt — something Sumpter found surprising, he said.
"I was surprised. That's the type of shooting that William can do. That's exactly the type of shooting he's best at, and he was the only competitor of all 15 who didn't score any points for his team," he said. "I was very surprised. It's not an impossible shot."
At the Proving Ground, the competitors were faced with firing a Henry 1860 repeating rifle. Sumpter's shot, which ended up 7.5 inches off the bullseye, is something he's still mystified about.
"I expected to hit the center of the bullseye on that, and I have no explanation for why my shot was so high," he said.
The other squad members were mystified by their difficulty with that shot as well, Sumpter said, and they "sat around and talked about it for hours at the house."
Regardless, Sumpter is moving on toward the chance at $100,000 and a Tahoe Q5i speedboat. Even though he survived, he said he felt some of his fellow competitors were sad that Miguez had been eliminated.
"Everybody was sad to see Blake go, he's very likable," he said. "Frankly, I think there were several people in the house who were disappointed he was gone and I was there."
"Top Shot" airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on The History Channel HD. For full episode replays and extra content, visit www.history.com/topshot.