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Q&A With 'Top Shot' Winner Chris Reed

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April 27, 2011

Q&A With 'Top Shot' Winner Chris Reed

By Editors

We can say that we knew Chris Reed before he was famous. In 2009, Reed competed in the Total Outdoorsman Challenge finals for the first time, and made a name for himself with a second-place finish. He returned to the TOC in 2010, and looked like the favorite to win for a while...only to finish second again, barely losing to champ Chad Weatherford.

But, if we learned anything about Reed after both of his near-victories in the TOC, it’s that he doesn’t quit and the guy can flat out shoot—attributes that were on display last night when Reed fired his way to fame and first place (and $100,000) during the finale of the History Channel's Top Shot. We spoke with the marksman of the minute this morning to talk about his big win—and his chances at continuing his winning streak in the 2011 Total Outdoorsman Challenge.

F&S: Congrats! How’s it feel to be the Top Shot?
Chris Reed: Indescribable, man. At this point, it truly is. It’s a blessing just to be in the position I was in and to hold out all the way until the end against some of the best shooters in the world. It’s an honor.

F&S: How long has it been since the taping of the show ended?
CR: Since Thanksgiving of last year.

F&S: Must’ve been tough to keep the results a secret for so long…
CR: Extremely! But the longer it went on, the more fun I had with it. I would build up the anticipation for each challenge. Friends would ask, “How’d you do?” And I’d say, “I don’t know, man. You’re probably gonna have to watch this one.” I kinda led everyone along the entire season—never alluding that I made it to the finals, let alone won. My kids didn't even know I won—they had me picked for third place!

F&S:
Not even your kids thought you could win?
CR: Well, their thinking was, when I brought home my target that was hanging in the Top Shot house, there was a hole right in the middle of it where it was nailed up on the wall. My kids saw the hole in the center of the target and they said, “We know you didn't win because you have a hole in your target.” I said, “How do you know that wasn't the hole to hang it up?” My daughter just said, “No, George and Joe beat you! Just go on and tell us.”

F&S:
How much fun was it to watch the finale last night?
CR: We had a big party last night here in Franklin, Tenn., and probably had 300 people. It took me probably an hour to get from the parking lot to the front door because so many people wanted autographs. I spent the remainder of the night signing autographs and thanking people. It was just overwhelming. We had another party going on in Mississippi, where I’m from, and we were filming everyone there. And got a reaction shot of the crowd when I won, and they just erupted. It was an awesome, awesome feeling.

F&S: Going in, what did you think your chances were to win it all?
CR: Very slim. These guys were experts in different fields and skill sets. I knew I was kind of the jack-of-all-trades with most of the weapons. But going up against a 10-time champion pistol shooter, I knew that’d be next to impossible. There’s no way to prepare for something like that. Either you have it or you don’t. It was purely instincts.

F&S: What was the toughest challenge?
CR: The two revolvers. It was a trick-shot challenge, shooting in opposite directions. Double action. Both guns had different trigger pulls. It was cold, so my hands were freezing—I could hardly feel the tips of my fingers and I’m trying to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. And I’m trying to maintain sight alignment, and of course one goes off before the other and the recoil totally throws your shot off on the other hand. Yeah, that was the most difficult shot by far.

F&S: How much fun was it to have the chance to shoot all of these cool guns?
CR: They were awesome. I had to handle a lot of guns that I probably never would have. And we had some of the best experts in the country come out, and we learned a lot from one another. I lived in a house with some of the best marksmen in the world.

F&S: How did your experience from the Total Outdoorsman Challenge help you on Top Shot?
CR: Well, the Total Outdoorsman Challenge opened up the door for me to even be eligible for this competition. That was my claim to fame to get involved with Top Shot, and I’m grateful for it. And I knew from the TOC that when the cameras come on, you’re really gonna see some people fold under pressure. Knowing every move you make is being recorded for national television, there’s not a lot of ways to practice under that kind of pressure. So for me to compete in the TOC under those stressful situations prepared me for it, and a lot of the others were not as prepared.

F&S: You’ve come so close to winning the TOC the last two years. Do you think your Top Shot victory will help take some of the pressure off for this year’s TOC?
CR: I go into every year, man, “no harm, no foul.” I’m gonna do my best every time. If you beat me, you’re gonna know that I played to win and you’re gonna deserve it. I try not to put any pressure on myself to win the whole thing—of course, I’d like to. But there are so many variables, so many events. If you have one bad showing, that’s it. So, I’m gonna go out there and have a good time and enjoy the people around me.

F&S: What’s been the best part of your experience on Top Shot?
CR: The kids. I never expected it, but my largest fan base has been 5- to 15-year-olds. I can’t tell you how many kids are using me as a role model. I just hope I can live up to their expectations and encourage them that there are other sports. You might not be the best at basketball or football, but hey man, you could do something with a bow or rifle. There are endless opportunities.

F&S:
You’re becoming something of a reality competition TV star now. What are the odds we’ll see you next on the Celebrity Apprentice?
CR: [laughs] Or maybe Dancing with the Stars! Honestly, it’s all a blessing at this point. With my background—after my brain surgery—everything since then has been a gift from God. I sincerely mean that. Just being able to compete and be out there with people is good enough for me—win, lose, or draw.

Comments (30)

Top Rated
All Comments
from jeffo52284 wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

glad to see him win i picked chris reed from the start not knowing any of his background with the TOC. He just seemed like a genuine down to earth guy without all the arrogance some of the others had

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from campns wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Top Shot is one of my Favorite shows by far. Chris, is that example of a Godly man (humble, helpfull, and leads by example)that we all should aspire to be. Working hard and putting up a good fight whats more american that that? Cant wait for season 3, btw i think i would have been better George v. Chris, that would have been a flying end.... IMO.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I'm glad Chris won. He was my pick from the beginning. He seems like a guy you could just walk up to and talk to him.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Just a good ole boy. Way to go Chris!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

A southern boy can and will survive!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I'll give him a 10 shot lead, and STILL BEAT HIM! lol..

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I'm glad Chris won too. I liked his attitude and approach. But George and Gunny were excellent shooters and going against them shows how good Chris is.

Each of the three had a bad day during the competition, but I think they were the best three of all.

Any one of them is Top Shot in my book.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gautrey wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Heys guys let me tell you from expierence. I competed against Chris in the Total Outdoorsman Challenge and he is as good as they come. He is as focused and determined as any of us that get out to compete and he has my respect. As I will say it again like I said last night after the Top Shot final " CONGRATS BROTHER YOU EARNED IT". See ya in Dogwood Canyon!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from smulhollan wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Chris also got a gift from George. If it wasn't for what George did, Chris would not have won. Probably the most selfless act I've ever seen on one of these reality shows.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Chris Reed seemed like a good guy on the Top Shot show and now that I know more about his backstory, I'm especially glad he won. And I'm really glad George didn't win; I'm not so sure that was such a wonderful gesture he made at the end. What if Chris had missed? But he didn't and he won. On another note, considering the way most "reality" shows work, I was wondering how much of Top Shot was scripted.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blueridge wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Congratulations, Chris Reed. Your humble, Southern ways won my family over, early on. Underneath it all, was a fierce competitive spirit, and yet you were not wishing anyone ill, that we could see. I liked your remarks about other sports versus our own, where most any determined young person could shine.

I'll bet Franklin, Tennessee was sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering how you would do.

May your tribe increase, Hoss.

Blue

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I think 'Top Shot' and all other reality stuff like 'Survivor', 'Biggest Tits' on the beach, etc. is crap. Don't waste my time. Money for you, bs for me.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from fortycal wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Let's hear it for quiet determination, skill, and humility!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterusmv wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

It was great to hear Chris Reed won,he seemed to be just a good ole down to earth country boy,just an average Joe, I watched every episode up untill the last,which I had to miss due to a hunting trip of my own ,but I hope to catch the rerun. Chris was my choice of who Id like to see win from the very begining,although I think George is a great marksman I just didnt like his cockey attitude. Way to go Chris

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from QDMGuy wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Congrats Chris! It was great to see the good guy come out on top for once! I'm sure you are up for the task of being a role model to so many.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

With Chris being from Mississippi, I can't help but think of Jerry Clower saying"Shoot up here amongst us..... one of us got to have some relief!" or Hank Williams Jr. "shotgun, rifle and a 4 wheel drive.....". Chris ya dun da South proud, son! What I really want to know is where you go a duck huntin at boy!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

i am glad Chris won. it makes me 2 for 2. i picked both Ian and Chris in the second show of each season to be the winner. but more important than that, Chris seems to be a good down to earth kind of guy with good values, and most importantly, respect for everyone. i think he will be able to fill the shoes of a role model just fine. if the world was full of well mannered respectful and humble people, like the Chris we saw on t.v., it would be a wonderful place. i wish i knew Chris, but i don't. so my only impression of him are what i saw on t.v. and it was certainly a favorable impression!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

OK who's the bums that gave me -2s? I was joking you goof balls!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kydave wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I thought one of the most touching moments I've seen on "reality" TV was when it was down to 3, and the night before they were talking about what they'd do with the money. You could tell it hit George that the older guys would be using it for their kids. Then the next day during the competition, George picked out that big ass close target and pulled his shot so Chris didn't get eliminated. That was class!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Neil Mcmillan wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Well Chris, you sure act like a straight up guy and if that is who you really are then you'll be one of the few worthy of having kids look up to you.I dont think you'd act like some of these other "STARS" I hope NOT!!
Congrats on a great win against some REAL PROS no matter how it worked out,YOU WON!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fromthepeavine wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Was rooting for him since episode 1! Don't think he would have made it without George's help though. Even if he hadn't made it to the finals, he still seemed like the most well rounded shooter out of the 16.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Terry Wilkerson wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

I think a lot of us with a spot in our hearts for hard working down to earth country boys picked Chris. From the first episode, he was the one I wanted to win (I'll say wanted not picked to). Class act, true outdoorsman, true American. Thank you Chris Reed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Terry Wilkerson wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

I think any among us with an appreciation for the indenpendent man rooted for Chris all along. I know he was my favorite (I won't say pick to win) from the start. Chris showed us all what a country boy can do. Class act, true outdoorsman, true American.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Was there EVER ANY doubt? Way to go Chris. I bet shootin' doves outa the back of a pickup really helped on the clay target test!! (just joking) Congrats, the South Gonna Do It, Again!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from akhadley87 wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Hey Chris I know you busy and all with everything going on but I think Tom would like to hear from ya. We talked to John Stanley yesterday. Hoping to get to meet you at the TIC finals this year. Congrats on the Top Shot!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ck1reed wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Thanks to everyone, for your comments. I have been blessed with a great family and great friends. Shooting will always come second to that. But, it has allowed me to become fairly well known, and I just hope that I can inspire others to compete with whatever skills that they may have. Competition will always make us better, and it will allow us to spend more quality time together, as families and as friends. I look forward to seeing y'all around some time, and thanks again!

Chris Reed

p.s. "Field & Stream Rocks"!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cody Christenberry wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

Congrats Chris. My wife and I were pulling for Chris from the start. I especially liked the episode after the finale, Behind the Bullet, about how Chris picked his team. Just talking about common every day stuff, and studying the people. I thought it cool that a good ole southern boy showed that keeping things simple and listening to what people are saying and observing what they do can tell you more than a formal interview. Congrats again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thegreatsantini wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

way to go chris!! A true example for a teenager like me.I love ya I think you are awesome but why did you guys give jamie such a hard time? That really bothered me.I was knida hopeing you were going to kind of control it or something you setting the example but I didnt see it,can you please explain.

Lucas

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kubilai wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Was anyone watching the same show I watched? The one where the four finalists acted like catty, cliquish, little school girls? Role model for my kids (who happen to be girls)? I think not. Sorry I'm late to the party. Just saw that crap on Netflix. Never again. They took the coolest thing in the world, guns, and made the show more "Survivor" than a competition.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from big_buck_hunter_2013 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Chris Reed was my pick from the beginning and i stuck with him throughout the whole show. I had faith in his shooting. Good Job Chris! Keep it up. Hope to see you next season as a trainer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

A southern boy can and will survive!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from smulhollan wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Chris also got a gift from George. If it wasn't for what George did, Chris would not have won. Probably the most selfless act I've ever seen on one of these reality shows.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from QDMGuy wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Congrats Chris! It was great to see the good guy come out on top for once! I'm sure you are up for the task of being a role model to so many.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

i am glad Chris won. it makes me 2 for 2. i picked both Ian and Chris in the second show of each season to be the winner. but more important than that, Chris seems to be a good down to earth kind of guy with good values, and most importantly, respect for everyone. i think he will be able to fill the shoes of a role model just fine. if the world was full of well mannered respectful and humble people, like the Chris we saw on t.v., it would be a wonderful place. i wish i knew Chris, but i don't. so my only impression of him are what i saw on t.v. and it was certainly a favorable impression!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jeffo52284 wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

glad to see him win i picked chris reed from the start not knowing any of his background with the TOC. He just seemed like a genuine down to earth guy without all the arrogance some of the others had

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from campns wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Top Shot is one of my Favorite shows by far. Chris, is that example of a Godly man (humble, helpfull, and leads by example)that we all should aspire to be. Working hard and putting up a good fight whats more american that that? Cant wait for season 3, btw i think i would have been better George v. Chris, that would have been a flying end.... IMO.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I'm glad Chris won. He was my pick from the beginning. He seems like a guy you could just walk up to and talk to him.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I'm glad Chris won too. I liked his attitude and approach. But George and Gunny were excellent shooters and going against them shows how good Chris is.

Each of the three had a bad day during the competition, but I think they were the best three of all.

Any one of them is Top Shot in my book.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gautrey wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Heys guys let me tell you from expierence. I competed against Chris in the Total Outdoorsman Challenge and he is as good as they come. He is as focused and determined as any of us that get out to compete and he has my respect. As I will say it again like I said last night after the Top Shot final " CONGRATS BROTHER YOU EARNED IT". See ya in Dogwood Canyon!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blueridge wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Congratulations, Chris Reed. Your humble, Southern ways won my family over, early on. Underneath it all, was a fierce competitive spirit, and yet you were not wishing anyone ill, that we could see. I liked your remarks about other sports versus our own, where most any determined young person could shine.

I'll bet Franklin, Tennessee was sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering how you would do.

May your tribe increase, Hoss.

Blue

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fortycal wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Let's hear it for quiet determination, skill, and humility!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterusmv wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

It was great to hear Chris Reed won,he seemed to be just a good ole down to earth country boy,just an average Joe, I watched every episode up untill the last,which I had to miss due to a hunting trip of my own ,but I hope to catch the rerun. Chris was my choice of who Id like to see win from the very begining,although I think George is a great marksman I just didnt like his cockey attitude. Way to go Chris

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

With Chris being from Mississippi, I can't help but think of Jerry Clower saying"Shoot up here amongst us..... one of us got to have some relief!" or Hank Williams Jr. "shotgun, rifle and a 4 wheel drive.....". Chris ya dun da South proud, son! What I really want to know is where you go a duck huntin at boy!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

OK who's the bums that gave me -2s? I was joking you goof balls!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Neil Mcmillan wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Well Chris, you sure act like a straight up guy and if that is who you really are then you'll be one of the few worthy of having kids look up to you.I dont think you'd act like some of these other "STARS" I hope NOT!!
Congrats on a great win against some REAL PROS no matter how it worked out,YOU WON!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Just a good ole boy. Way to go Chris!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Chris Reed seemed like a good guy on the Top Shot show and now that I know more about his backstory, I'm especially glad he won. And I'm really glad George didn't win; I'm not so sure that was such a wonderful gesture he made at the end. What if Chris had missed? But he didn't and he won. On another note, considering the way most "reality" shows work, I was wondering how much of Top Shot was scripted.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kydave wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I thought one of the most touching moments I've seen on "reality" TV was when it was down to 3, and the night before they were talking about what they'd do with the money. You could tell it hit George that the older guys would be using it for their kids. Then the next day during the competition, George picked out that big ass close target and pulled his shot so Chris didn't get eliminated. That was class!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fromthepeavine wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Was rooting for him since episode 1! Don't think he would have made it without George's help though. Even if he hadn't made it to the finals, he still seemed like the most well rounded shooter out of the 16.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Terry Wilkerson wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

I think a lot of us with a spot in our hearts for hard working down to earth country boys picked Chris. From the first episode, he was the one I wanted to win (I'll say wanted not picked to). Class act, true outdoorsman, true American. Thank you Chris Reed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Terry Wilkerson wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

I think any among us with an appreciation for the indenpendent man rooted for Chris all along. I know he was my favorite (I won't say pick to win) from the start. Chris showed us all what a country boy can do. Class act, true outdoorsman, true American.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Was there EVER ANY doubt? Way to go Chris. I bet shootin' doves outa the back of a pickup really helped on the clay target test!! (just joking) Congrats, the South Gonna Do It, Again!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from akhadley87 wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Hey Chris I know you busy and all with everything going on but I think Tom would like to hear from ya. We talked to John Stanley yesterday. Hoping to get to meet you at the TIC finals this year. Congrats on the Top Shot!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ck1reed wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Thanks to everyone, for your comments. I have been blessed with a great family and great friends. Shooting will always come second to that. But, it has allowed me to become fairly well known, and I just hope that I can inspire others to compete with whatever skills that they may have. Competition will always make us better, and it will allow us to spend more quality time together, as families and as friends. I look forward to seeing y'all around some time, and thanks again!

Chris Reed

p.s. "Field & Stream Rocks"!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cody Christenberry wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

Congrats Chris. My wife and I were pulling for Chris from the start. I especially liked the episode after the finale, Behind the Bullet, about how Chris picked his team. Just talking about common every day stuff, and studying the people. I thought it cool that a good ole southern boy showed that keeping things simple and listening to what people are saying and observing what they do can tell you more than a formal interview. Congrats again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thegreatsantini wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

way to go chris!! A true example for a teenager like me.I love ya I think you are awesome but why did you guys give jamie such a hard time? That really bothered me.I was knida hopeing you were going to kind of control it or something you setting the example but I didnt see it,can you please explain.

Lucas

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kubilai wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Was anyone watching the same show I watched? The one where the four finalists acted like catty, cliquish, little school girls? Role model for my kids (who happen to be girls)? I think not. Sorry I'm late to the party. Just saw that crap on Netflix. Never again. They took the coolest thing in the world, guns, and made the show more "Survivor" than a competition.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from big_buck_hunter_2013 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Chris Reed was my pick from the beginning and i stuck with him throughout the whole show. I had faith in his shooting. Good Job Chris! Keep it up. Hope to see you next season as a trainer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I'll give him a 10 shot lead, and STILL BEAT HIM! lol..

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I think 'Top Shot' and all other reality stuff like 'Survivor', 'Biggest Tits' on the beach, etc. is crap. Don't waste my time. Money for you, bs for me.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report

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