Long Island, NY
- "I've seen Seasons One and Two of Top Shot, and as I'm watching, I'm thinking I can do that. I'm better than these people."
- ―Michael Marelli[src]
Michael is currently a Court Officer residing in Long Island, New York. He was once a highly ranked junior marksman, but after receiving instruction from his grandfather, who is a national shotgun champion, Michael went on to winning three world titles and twenty-three state titles in skeet shooting. He has also competed in trap shooting.
Michael arrived for Top Shot along with the other fifteen contestants. Here, the host of the competition, Colby Donaldson, stated that each individual's placement would be determined by a Preliminary Challenge. In pairs, the contestants would use the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum to shoot at three targets. Whichever of the pair could hit all of the targets before the other would be victorious and join the Blue Team, while the loser joined the Red Team.
After four pairs had already competed, Michael and Paul Marinaccio were called to shoot. After Paul hit the first target, Michael fired at his target, but missed it. Michael's opponent then hit the second and third targets while Michael was still working on his first. After all of the pairs had competed, Colby allowed the contestants to head to the house they would be living in during their stay in the competition. The Red Team arrived here first, claiming all the bottom bunks of the beds, to their satisfaction. After all of the contestants decided on where to sleep, the Blue Team met outside and derided Michael for being the only one who didn't hit a target. Michael jokingly stated that at the challenge was the first time he shot a gun and that he might have gotten into the competition on his looks.
The following day, the contestants arrived at the Shooting Range to participate in the first Team Challenge. Here, they noticed a number of platforms with targets in the distance. After the contestants got situated, Colby announced that for the challenge, two contestants would be assigned to one of the four platforms for their team. Once on these, each of the contestants would use the Larue Tactical OBR to destroy a target before proceeding to the next station. He then stated that to get onto the platforms, they would not be climbing the ladders built on, but sixteen foot poles which would have to be carried to each station. Whichever team finished the course first would become victorious. Before engaging in the challenge, the teams decided on the shooting order, with the Red Team deciding to assigning Michael and Phil Morden to the first platform. After both Michael and Phil got onto the platform, the former began firing at his target, hitting it in one shot. Michael then passed the weapon to Phil, who was able to destroy his target on the third shot. However, the Blue Team had a lead until the third platform, due to having struggles with hitting the targets. The last two shooters for Red Team, Amanda Hardin and Chris Collins, made it onto their platform just before the Blue Team. However, the Red Team's lead diminished after Amanda had taken so many rounds to hit her target. While Chris was reloading the Larue, the last shooter for the Blue Team hit his target, resulting in Red Team's loss.
When the Red Team arrived back at the house, they held a team meeting to decide who to send to the Elimination Challenge. Here, Michael was feeling concerned that his team may not have forgiven him for hitting none of his targets in the Preliminary Challenge. However, many of the contestants were more focused on the Team Challenge rather than the Preliminary. Amanda stated that she would go to the challenge due to her performance, while the other still had to be decided. A few hours later, the Red Team arrived at the Nomination Range to vote two people into the upcoming challenge by shooting the target with their name on it. When Michael was called to shoot, there was already a vote towards Amanda. Instead of voting for her, Michael voted for Mark Schneider, because it took him numerous rounds to hit his target as well. In the end, it was Amanda and Mark who would have to compete for their spot in the competition.
The following day, the Red Team arrived at the Shooting Range to witness the first Elimination Challenge. Here, Colby stated that while riding a stagecoach, the contestants would shoot the Winchester Model 1873 at ten targets with a limited number of rounds. Whichever of the two could hit more targets would be safe from elimination and receive a $2000 gift card. In the end, Mark was victorious, having hit three targets in comparison to Amanda's one. The Red Team then returned to the house, where Mark nailed a red target bearing Amanda's name to the wall, in tribute.
The morning after Amanda's elimination, the Blue Team did some walkthroughs to prepare for the upcoming Team Challenge. Michael, along with fellow Red Team members, Chris Collins and Gary Quesenberry, watched this for entertainment and poked fun at it. Later, the teams arrived at the Shooting Range to attend the first Practice Session. Here, Colby announced that the contestants would have to get accustomed to shooting the AK-47 under guidance by expert, Craig Sawyer. Michael did well with shooting the AK. After all of the Red Team members were finished with shooting, they began adding a physical element to the practice by running in pairs to the stations. In the end, the Red Team felt very confident they would win the upcoming challenge.
The following day, the contestants arrived at the Shooting Range again to participate in the second Team Challenge. Here, four obstacles and stations were set up. The first obstacle was a narrow pipe that needed to be crawled through. Second was a pit of water, followed by a crawl through mud and then sand. Two contestants would be assigned to a station, with an exception of the final one, and endure the obstacles standing in the way. At the stations, each contestant would have to destroy a target using the AK-47, with an exception of the last station, where one individual needed to hit two targets. Whichever team finished first would become victorious. Before participating in this challenge, the Red Team had to decide on who to sit out in the Blue Team, due to having one less member. They ultimately decided on Jarrett Grimes. After this, the teams broke off and assigned each contestant to a station, with the Red Team deciding on Michael and Cliff Walsh for the first station. As soon as Cliff hit the first target, Michael took out the other, being slightly behind the Blue Team. After Drew Shprintz and Mark Schneider reached the first station, they took the AK-47's from Cliff and Michael and rushed towards the second. After the third station, the Red Team gained a sizable lead over the Blue Team, which ultimately resulted in their victory.
When the teams returned to the house, Michael almost instantly got into a short argument with Jake Zweig, which ended when Michael called a Red Team meeting. A few hours later, the Blue Team left to go to the Nomination Range. When they returned, it was revealed that Sara Ahrens and Dustin Ellermann were sent to the Elimination Challenge. News of Dustin being sent to the Elimination shocked the Red Team, because he hadn't made any mistakes in the competition. The following day, the Blue Team left to witness the second Elimination Challenge. They returned later with Dustin, who nailed a blue target bearing Sara's name to the wall.