SI: What did you make of the overall experience of being on Top Shot? Do you have any regrets (apart from not winning)?
Lee: Despite not being in the show for very long, my overall experience was good. I met 15 incredibly talented people from all over the country who shared my passion for shooting. This definitely was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I do not regret doing. My only regret is not having time to prepare myself by practicing with guns that I was not familiar with.
SI: What was your reaction to being picked last when the red and blue teams were originally formed?
Lee: I certainly wasn’t excited at being picked last. The rational part of me was thinking, “These people don’t know what I do.” So I just sucked it up and hoped that I could prove myself to these people.
SI: What was your shooting experience prior to Top Shot? When did you start shooting? Who took you to the range for the first time and how old were you?
SI: Given that experience, how do you think you performed in the team challenges? Do you think you are a better shooter than your performance on the show indicated?
Lee: Well, having not hit a single thing on the team challenge definitely crushed my soul. I went into this competition thinking that as long as I follow the fundamentals of shooting (sight alignment, trigger control, etc.), it wouldn’t matter what gun was presented to us. I’m used to shooting with a camera behind me and crowds of people watching, so I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, but when you go to the line with guns that you barely have time to practice with or none at all (first challenge), that throws you off quite a bit.
I know I am a better shooter than what my performance on the show indicated. You don’t win two IPSC world championships by missing all your targets. I don’t mind losing or failing, because I know that only makes me a better competitor, but to failboat two challenges in front of millions of people is very disheartening.
SI: Did the paintball aspect of the team challenge effect the way you performed? Were you tired or anxious when you got the Colt Official Police revolver?
Lee: The physical aspect of the paintball challenge did not affect me at all. I am used to going on full sprints and stopping abruptly and engage targets. The only thing I stressed about was the debate in my head whether to shoot the Colt revolver single-action or double-action. Earlier at practice, I tried it both ways and found that I shot better in double action. How? I will never know but I think it was that inner argument that brought about my missing those targets. As any competitive shooter would attest, once those voices in your head start arguing, you’re pretty much toast.
SI: In that light, why do you think you were nominated?
Lee: Simply, I didn’t perform. I’m supposed to be a pistol shooter and I didn’t hit a thing.
SI: Had you ever fired full-auto firearms before the Thompson?
Lee: Never. I’ve seen the Thompson in movies and I’ve always wanted to shoot one because it just looks so cool.
SI: Changing the subject a bit. Being one of two women on the show, did you see any difference in the way you (and Maggie) were treated by the men? What were some of the differences in terms of accommodations, living space, conversations, etc. between you and Maggie and you and the male participants?
Lee: The guys treated us very well. They were all gentlemen and were like brothers. Maggie and I shared a room in an extended part of the house. As for conversations, etc., it was like family.
SI: What are your thoughts on the significance of Top Shot when it comes to exposing the public to shooting and allowing the normal person to see firearms in a different light?
Lee: When I first saw Top Shot, it made me happy. I love to promote shooting as a sport and emphasizing that guns aren’t things you should be afraid of. I like how Top Shot encourages shooting. I’ve heard so much feedback from people who never shot before wanting to go try shooting because it looked like FUN on TV. There are many schools of thought when it comes to shooting, and I’m more into the sporting aspect of it. It’s a great skill to have!
SI: Would you do this whole thing over again? Why or why not?
Lee: Only if I was cast with this Season’s Cast. I can’t imagine being with any other group of people. We have a lot of GREAT people from the military who definitely represented their respective branches very well. I can honestly say that I am glad we have these people protecting our country.
SI: Finally, who is your pick to win this season? Why?
Lee: Gosh, that’s hard. Of course I’m rooting for Maggie but there are so many talented and well-rounded shooters this season that it is difficult to pick!