Personal life[edit | edit source]
Tara is a police officer and K9 handler from Chicago, Illinois. She fired her first gun at 18 years old at a Marine Corps boot camp. When she joined the Chicago Police Department, she was told that no female has or would ever become "Top Gun". Tara tried out for this, and became the first female to win it. She has also competed nationally at Camp Perry.
Top Shot[edit | edit source]
Week One[edit | edit source]
- "Initially, I kept looking around saying, 'where are all the women? I mean seriously. Where are all the women?'."
- ―Tara Poremba[src]
Tara arrived for Top Shot almost instantly after Iain Harrison, immediately being assigned to the Blue Team. After everybody had arrived, Colby Donaldson, the host of the show then arrived, and stated the rules of the competition. After this, he showed them to the house they would be living in during their time during the competition.
After getting comfortable at the house, both teams headed to a Practice Session using four historic weapons, the M1903 Springfield, SVT-40, Mosin-Nagant, and M14 under guidance by expert, Craig Sawyer. During this, she spotted for Iain while he shot the Springfield, and Iain did the same for Tara. Here, she noticed that she was not very good at spotting, but her skills with the firearm helped make up for her weakness. Both teams arrived home, where the Blue and Red teams decided who would be firing which weapon during the following Team Challenge. Along with Iain, Tara was assigned to the M1903 Springfield.
After being given a night of rest, Tara and the other fifteen competitors headed down to compete in a Team Challenge using each of the four weapons. There was a station with each weapon, with an obstacle standing in the way of the contestants. The station for the M1903 Springfield was first, and in her way was low barbed wire. When both her and Iain got through the barbed wire, Tara fired immediately, quickly followed by Mike Seeklander and Andre Robinson of Red Team. Tara was able to shoot her target on her second shot and then had to spot for Iain. For a while, Tara was unable to find Iain's target, delaying the Blue Team, but not by much. When she finally managed to find the target, Iain hit his target before Mike of Red Team was able to hit his. Afterward, the Blue Team was able to win, while the Red Team was unable to get past their first station.
Later in the day, Red Team headed to the Nomination Range to send two contestants to the Elimination Challenge. After the Red Team returned, Blue Team had known that Mike Seeklander and Kelly Bachand had been sent to the challenge. The following day, when the Red Team arrived without Mike, Blue Team knew he had been eliminated, and had hung his shirt as a tribute to him.
Week Two[edit | edit source]
After being given time to rest, Blue Team and Red Team got up to attend their second Practice Session, this time using a far different weapon, the Beretta 92F under guidance by USPSA practical shooter, Ben Stoeger. Tara was comfortable with the weapon, because she had used a variant of the weapon in her job at home for twelve years. Blue Team walked away with their only concern being James "Jim" Sinclair.
The following day, both teams headed down to the Team Challenge, where seven tubes had been set up which grew smaller as they went down. Blue Team members were planning on having Jim sit out, but they were disappointed to hear that Red Team would decide who would sit out. They decided on Blake Miguez, because they had heard that he "destroyed" the targets during the Practice Session. Before Blue Team went, Red Team finished the course in 2 minutes and 34 seconds. Due to their concerns for Jim's skills with the weapon, he was assigned shooting the largest tube while Tara shot at the second smallest. After only Jim had missed on his first shot, and everybody before her had shot, Tara was up to shoot her target, quickly destroying it. Afterward, Chris Cerino quickly hit his target, and after a long while, Jim was able to hit his target on his second shot. Blue Team ended up finishing the course in 2 minutes and 7 seconds, resulting in the second Blue Team victory.
Later that day, the Red Team headed to the Nomination Range again. When the Red Team had arrived later the same day, Blue Team had known that Brad Engmann and Frank Campana would be competing in the Elimination Challenge. The following day, Red Team returned from the second Elimination Challenge, in which Brad had come out victorious. Brad had hung Frank's shirt after his arrival.
Week Three[edit | edit source]
After Blue Team's second victory, they were feeling pretty confident. The remaining fourteen contestants were given a night's rest before heading to the third Practice Session, using the longbow under guidance by bowman, Chris Palmer. Tara was a little out of her comfort zone, but was able to maintain good form while using the bow. Blue Team was, however, surprised to see that Simon "J.J." Racaza was doing well with the longbow, due to his main focus of pistol-shooting. Blue Team walked away from the Practice Session a little unsure of how they would perform the following day.
Both teams arrived for the Team Challenge the following day, where a large target composed of four colors, blue on the outside, followed by green, yellow, and red in the bullseye. Whichever team would be able to hit closer to the bullseye would win the challenge. Iain Harrison was up first, shooting near the green in the yellow. Then Kelly Bachand was up for Red Team, who started off rough, but in the last second managed to shoot an arrow in the yellow closer to the bullseye than Iain. After this, Tara was up, but did not shoot closer to the bullseye than Kelly had. At that point, Red Team was feeling confident that they might win until J.J. was up. In order for the Blue Team to win the challenge, J.J. had to beat Kelly's shot. On his last shot, J.J. was able to shoot an arrow closer than Kelly had by only a slim margin. In order for Red Team to win the challenge, Bill Carns had to hit the target closer than J.J., which he was unable to do, resulting in Blue Team's third consecutive victory.
Later that day, Red Team headed to their third consecutive trip to the Nomination Range, where Bill Carns was nominated due to performance, and Brad Engmann once again, due to his personality. The Red Team arrived from the Elimination Challenge the following day without Bill, indicating that Brad had been victorious. Bill's shirt was later hung by Brad in tribute.
Week Four[edit | edit source]
- "Our military and law enforcement should help, because we have trained in decision-making drills."
- ―Tara Poremba[src]
After Blue Team had won three consecutive challenges, both teams headed to the fourth Practice Session, using the modern AR-15 rifle shooting at friend and foe targets under guidance by the returning expert, Craig Sawyer. When Tara was up to practice, Craig assigned her to shoot at white foe targets, while black friend targets were up. Due to her background, Tara was able to do well during her run. After Jim Sinclair had gone, Blue Team noticed that he was very accurate, but a little slow, which was believed to be costly to the team. They returned to the house, only concerned about Jim's speed.
The following day, both teams headed to the Shooting Range to participate in the fourth Team Challenge. A 6×6 grid was set up, and would have seven friend and seven foe targets on it. Each contestant would be able to look at the grid for 30 seconds before it was concealed. If a contestant hit a friend target, that would cost a point, and if they hit a foe target, it would gain a point. When it was Tara's turn to shoot the targets, Red Team had 19 points and Blue had 10. Before shooting however, Tara accidentally set the weapon to safe, when it was already on fire, costing her valuable time. She hit four foe targets, but shot one after Colby called time, raising the Blue Team's points to 13. After Andre Robinson's run, he hit two foe targets and one friend target, but also hit a friend target, bringing the Red Team's points to 20. Jim was the last to shoot, and had to have a perfect run to tie the challenge for Blue Team. In the end, Jim only raised the points to 16, resulting in Blue Team's first loss.
Both teams returned home, where Blue Team held a team meeting on who to send to elimination. Jim and Tara immediately volunteered themselves due to bad performance. Then Iain Harrison volunteered, stating that he thought he owed the Blue Team for the first challenge and doing bad in the Practice Session. At the Nomination Range, Adam Benson was the first to shoot, hitting Iain's target, followed by the same shot by Chris Cerino. Then Caleb Giddings was up, shooting at Jim's target due to performance. Tara then shot at Iain's target, which was followed to another shot by Blake Miguez, and yet another by Jim. After Iain was definitely going to be in the challenge, J.J. Racaza was up, shooting Jim's target. Despite Tara's longing for being in the Elimination Challenge, she did not end up in it, because Iain and Jim were the two with the most shots.
The following day, Tara witnessed the Elimination Challenge, in which Iain was able to hit four of his foe targets with the TZ-99. Jim was also able to hit four foe targets. After Jim's run, Blue Team was wondering what they would do about the tie-breaker. However, it was revealed that Jim had accidentally also shot a friend target while shooting his last foe target, resulting in his loss. Blue Team returned to the house without Jim and hung his shirt in a tribute.
Week Five[edit | edit source]
After Blue Team's first loss, they were in hopes that they would not lose another challenge. After a night's rest, both teams got up to attend a morning Practice Session using a very old firearm, the Kentucky long rifle under guidance by historical firearms expert, Garry James. Before Tara shot, Caleb Giddings and Adam Benson tried to decide how high to shoot to be as accurate as possible. When Tara was up to shoot, her third shot was a hang fire, so she had to use a different Kentucky long rifle. Her replacement also hung fire, and she was given another, which ended up shooting. Blue Team went home, unsatisfied with their results.
The following day, both teams headed down to the Shooting Range to participate in their fifth Team Challenge. For the challenge, five targets had been set up, the first four being worth a point each, and the last being worth four points. Before the challenge, Colby asked Tara how she thought Blue Team was doing, and she stated that she thought her team was doing pretty well. Colby then asked Adam the same question, but he stated that living in the house was maddening due to Caleb, who in turn told Colby about a plot against J.J. Racaza and Blake Miguez. This caused tension between the Blue Team, and noticing this, the Red Team decided to sit the conspiracy leaders, Adam Benson and Chris Cerino, out. Afterwards, the teams decided who would be shooting which targets, and Tara was assigned to the second target. Blue Team was up for the first target, and shot the ring connecting the orange from the bullseye. Then Brad Engmann was up for Red Team, hitting closer to the center of the target than J.J. Then Andre Robinson was up for Red Team, hitting the target in the dead center. Tara was up after him, but only shot just outside of the bullseye, bringing Blue Team's points to 0 and Red's to 2. By the time the contestants were to hit the fourth target, Red Team had already gained four points. It was up to Caleb Giddings to hit the target better than Peter Palma to tie for Blue Team. However, Caleb was unable to hit the target where designated and caused Blue Team's second loss.
The teams returned home, where Blue Team held a meeting that became debated over the conspiracy mentioned prior to the challenge rather than deciding who to eliminate. After a while, it eventually ended, and the Blue Team headed to the Nomination Range to send two people to the Elimination Challenge. Tara was the first to vote, hitting Caleb's target. In the end though, Caleb had four shots to his target and Adam had three to his target, ensuring both of their spots in the fifth Elimination Challenge.
The next day, Tara and the rest of Blue Team witnessed the Elimination Challenge, in which Adam came out victorious. Blue Team headed home without Caleb and when they returned back to the house, Adam hung Caleb's shirt on the railing.
Week Six[edit | edit source]
- "The blue team has a lot more handgun shooters, so that hopefully will put us at the advantage tomorrow. The Red Team has a lot more rifle shooters, so that gave them the advantage the last few days."
- ―Tara Poremba[src]
Both teams were given a night's rest before heading to another morning Practice Session using the Colt Peacemaker while shooting at a target under guidance by historical weapons expert, Spencer Hoglund. Tara evidently did well, and the only concern for Blue Team as they went home was Chris Cerino, who was not doing as well as he hoped in practice.
The following day, both teams headed to the sixth Team Challenge, which was unlike all of the challenges that they had done so far. A saloon was set up with fifty targets, in which the contestants would have to shoot in a quicker time than their opposing team. Blue Team was up first, having Chris Cerino shoot first, after it was decided that Blake Miguez would sit out. After Chris had hit ten targets with his ten rounds, Tara was up, also having a perfect run. After every other Blue Team member was up, Chris was back up again, only having to shoot five targets. Chris ended up hitting his five targets with only five rounds. Colby announced that Blue Team's time after they had ended, which was 7 minutes and 35 seconds. Then Red Team was up, but due to their sloppy performance, was unable to beat Blue Team's time, resulting in the Blue Team's victory.
Both the teams returned home, where the Red Team decided who to nominate for elimination. After they had returned from their trip to the Nomination Range, Blue Team had known that Andre Robinson would be going against Kelly Bachand in the Elimination Challenge. The Red Team left the house the following day to witness the sixth Elimination Challenge. When they returned later that evening with Kelly, it was clear that Andre had been eliminated. Tara then witnessed as Kelly hung Andre's shirt on the railing.
Week Seven[edit | edit source]
After Blue Team had regained ground from their last victory, they headed down to another Practice Session using three weapons, the Winchester Model 1873, Smith & Wesson M&P, and the Smith & Wesson Schofield under guidance by Jon Wilson. With the Winchester, contestants were to have their backs to the target and use a mirror to help guide them. Using the M&P, they had to shoot one-handed at small dots. Finally, using the Schofield revolver, contestants were to throw a cabbage under a line and shoot it before it hits the ground. Tara was proficient with shooting the Winchester, however, she struggled with doing trick shots with the M&P and Schofield. Blue Team headed home, not very confident.
The following day, both teams got up to head to the Shooting Range to compete in the Team Challenge. Here, targets were set up for each station. For once, Blue Team decided who to sit out, choosing J.J. Racaza and Adam Benson. Tara was assigned to use the Winchester Model 1873 for her part of the challenge. Peter Palma of Red Team was up first for the Winchester, and managed to hit all three of his targets while looking into the mirror. Then Tara was up, being able to shoot all three of her targets, gaining the Blue Team three points as well as a tie with the Red Team. Nearing the end, Blue Team was up three points to Red Team, and it was up to Kelly to shoot half-cans thrown under a rope for two points each. However, Kelly was only able to hit one of the half-cans, only gaining Red Team two more points, resulting in the Blue Team's second victory after their short period of losses.
Both teams arrived home, where Red Team held a secret meeting deciding who to nominate for elimination. The Red Team later left the house for the Nomination Range. After they returned Blue Team had known that two previous Elimination Challenge survivors, Brad Engmann and Kelly Bachand would be going head-to-head. The following day, Red Team left to witness the seventh Elimination Challenge. When Kelly walked through the door later that night, it was clear that Brad had lost. Kelly hung his shirt in tribute, which was witnessed by the entire house.
Week Eight[edit | edit source]
After the seventh contestant was eliminated, the nine remaining contestants had a night's rest, and woke up to see that it was raining. Despite the rain, the contestants headed out to a Practice Session using throwing knives based off of the bowie knife under guidance by Todd Abrams, knife-throwing expert. Tara struggled with throwing the knife, and overall, Blue Team was not feeling confident with throwing knives when they returned home. When Tara returned, she received a phone call that her father, who was diagnosed with lung cancer, had gotten ill. She asked her father if she should come home, but he insisted that she stay. She decided to in her father's favor, and after a night's rest was ready for the Team Challenge.
The following day, both teams headed down to compete in possibly the hardest Team Challenge yet, where six targets were set up by a beam with water at its front and back. Whichever team would be able to hit all six of their targets in the quickest time would win the challenge. Due to Iain's proficient performance during the Practice Session, Blue Team chose him to compete along J.J. and Adam, making Tara sit out. She witnessed both teams as they went along, and noticed that both teams struggled. The Blue Team finished in 3 minutes and 5 seconds, while Red finished in 3 minutes and 10 seconds, resulting in another Blue Team victory.
- "So, here's what's up. My dad's been really sick, and I got the call today that he's only got a couple days, so I gotta go you guys. And I really want to stay here, and my dad wants me to stay here, but I can't miss this opportunity to hold his hand and be there for him. So, family first."
- ―Tara Poremba to the remaining contestants.[src]
Both teams arrived back at the house, and after Red Team had nominated Denny Chapman and Peter Palma for elimination, Tara received another call about her father, whose illness had taken a turn for the worst. She asked him again if he wanted her to come home, but her father told her to stay in the competition. However, despite her father's requests, she decided to drop out of the competition. She told all of the contestants, who believed she did the right thing, but were sad to see her leave. Before her departure, she hung her own shirt on the railing, and received help with her baggage from fellow competitors.
Post-competition[edit | edit source]
It is mentioned in the Season Finale's epilogue that Tara's father has since passed away, (unfortunately he passed away while she was in flight home from filming) she continues competing in his honor.
Tara has also made appearances on the following television shows: The Chicago Code (2010) and The First 48 Missing Persons (2011)
References[edit | edit source]
- Tara Poremba. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 6:08, June 1, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/top-shot/bios/tara-poremba .
- This is a user-made calculation based on information from Tara's bio, which stated she was 36 years old during the filming of Season One.
- Tara's video bio on History.com
- Top Shot: "Season Finale"