America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (2024) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

-[woman] Okay, y'all, are we ready?
-[women] Yes, ma'am.
[woman] Okay, listen up.
I just wanna remind y'all
that you are known as world-famous,
the best in the business,
how hard y'all worked to get here.
You're gonna perform like you practice.
Let's do it!
-Kelli to Eric.
-[Eric] What are you looking for, Kelli?
[Kelli] If possible, we'd love to see
the 30-second countdown video
into open video
-Right there is fine.
-into "American Woman."
[Eric] We got about two minutes, Kel.
Bringing in the new "Thunderstruck."
[cheerleader 1] There is definitely
a lot of expectations
placed on how we carry ourselves
as DCC and as America's Sweethearts.
I have to be on.
There's no room
for letting those emotions show.
[cheerleader 2] Our job, literally,
is to make other people happy.
No matter what we feel like,
it is to make others happy.
-That leaves you here.
-[cheerleader] Yes, ma'am.
And you're ready.
[cheerleader 2] You don't make
the cheerleading team for being yourself.
[Eric] In three, two Roll it. Track it.
You're becoming a different person
when you put that uniform on.
People already assume
what they think they know about DCC.
You see this image, and that's the mold.
We're always trying to strive
to be picture-perfect.
[gentle, dramatic music playing]
[interviewer] Why do you think you want
so badly to be a Cowboys Cheerleader?
I love it.
["Thunderstruck" by AC/DC playing]
Thunder ♪
Thunder ♪
Thunder ♪
Thunder ♪
Thunder ♪
[cheerleader 1] People think
what we do is not really, like, that hard,
but our job is to make it look easy.
Thunder ♪
Thunder ♪
It is pressure every single night.
You've been ♪
Thunderstruck ♪
[cheerleader 2] You need to look like
a supermodel but perform like an athlete.
Your left kick won't make this team.
And I don't care if you're sore. Kick.
It makes people go nuts.
[cheerleader 3] I'm not being lazy.
I don't have the motivation to do it.
Yeah, Texas ♪
[cheerleader 4] You may have a bad day,
but dry those tears.
You're at practice now.
I've moved states to do this.
I've built my life around it.
[Kelli] That's not who we are.
We're better than that.
It takes a lot of balls to be able
to do some of the things they do.
She wants to press charges.
-She does?
-She does.
And I was shaking at the knees ♪
[cheerleader 2]
When one person hurts, we all hurt.
I don't think anybody leaves unscathed.
-You've been ♪
-I'm sorry.
Thunderstruck ♪
-Hands on the football, please.
But that is the job I signed up for.
[cheerleader 1] You're with these women,
going through life together.
Through the hardest times
but most fun time of your life.
[cheerleader 4]
You put on this Superwoman cape,
and you feel like
you can conquer the world.
They are the best of the best.
Beautiful, classy, feminine.
That is a little girl's dream.
It's like prom queen times 100.
"Everything would be perfect
if I were that woman."
[cheerleader 2]
DCC land is this mythical, magical world,
and once you start sipping that Gatorade,
you don't wanna come out.
DCC! Whoo!
[cheerleader 4]
Ask not what DCC can do for you.
Ask what you can do for DCC.
["Thunderstruck" continues]
Thunderstruck ♪
Thunderstruck ♪
Yeah, yeah, yeah, thunderstruck ♪
Thunderstruck ♪
Yeah, yeah, yeah, said yeah ♪
It's alright ♪
We're doin' fine ♪
Yeah, it's alright ♪
We're doin' fine ♪
[fading] So fine, thunderstruck ♪
[birds chirping]
[traffic humming]
[Kelli] I'm gonna go in.
And my first one is McKenna.
[lively dance music playing on television]
Okay, nice technique,
but I didn't get power screaming at me.
[woman] I didn't either.
A fun fact about me is that I represented
Okay, I think she's pretty
-[woman] Without
-Needs a hair makeover fast.
-She's prettier when she dances.
I'm 23 years old. I'm originally from
[Kelli] Those are some eyes
and some curls.
-[Judy] Uh-huh.
-I've lived in Dallas
Let's do the math.
Since 1991, I've been the director.
So I think this is my 34th year.
Is that right?
Shoot. I was expecting more out of her.
[Kelli sighs]
I think the cycle itself of our team
refreshes me.
Just the new energy
from the rookie to the veteran candidates,
that's what helps keep me, um,
energized through the years.
No pizzazz.
Auditions happen every year,
and everyone re-auditions,
veterans and rookie candidates alike.
I'm Alexis, I'm 19 years old,
and I'm from Las Vegas, Nevada.
We go through
every single application online.
And that's looking at their photos,
watching their dance video submissions,
reading their application,
reading about their education,
their hometowns,
things that are important to them.
Out of hundreds, ultimately,
only about 70 make it to Dallas
for the live auditions in front of judges,
where they perform
a personal, costumed solo.
-["2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)" playing]
-[Kelli] Big ending.
What were your comments, Judy?
[Judy] Probably just went right to no.
Our final team is a team of 36, so
-She bored me.
[Kelli] The stats are pretty staggering
on the odds of making the team.
I think she's in a toilet.
[toilet flushes]
Judy and I can see a lot in two minutes.
-She's not a Thunderstruck girl.
Judy was an iconic '80s cheerleader.
[funky disco music playing]
In 1980, when I auditioned,
2,000 girls showed up.
And they had to break it up
into four days.
They would turn on disco music.
You would just dance
and snap your fingers.
-[interviewer] Are you serious?
When you see old videos of it now,
it's funny to watch.
[funky disco music continues]
[Judy] And we wore little short sets,
and we wore heels.
I think I wore a pair of royal blue pumps
to audition
for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
I don't think that, in those days,
the girls were as technically trained.
The talent is, like, far superior now
than what we had.
[Kelli] I'm ready for somebody to wow me.
[woman] A fun fact about me is
I was Miss Florida's
Outstanding Teen in 2017.
That's not easy to be. She's cute.
-Okay, I think she's spicy.
-[Judy] I do too.
-[Kelli] I like her.
-[Judy] Reece.
-[Kelli] She's my first yes.
-[Judy] She's real polished.
[Kelli] She does seem to be bright
from the inside out.
-Something very likable about her.
-[Judy] Mm-hmm.
[Kelli] She's pretty.
[Judy] She is pretty.
She just needs to be polished.
[Kelli] So Charly
I think she has an interesting look.
We can clean her up.
Do I wanna see her in round two?
My answer is yes.
And that is that.
[women chattering]
-[cheerleader 1] All right, ladies!
-[scattered applause]
Next one! [laughs]
-I'm so sweaty.
-I am too.
-I need a shower.
-Hi. What's up?
What's your song?
I am doing an instrumental to Swan Lake,
so it's a little swan moment.
-Yes. It's gonna be
-Oh my God
-You're not in pointe shoes, are you?
This is, like, forehead. Yeah, yeah.
This is, like, forehead height right here.
Here, here. Yeah.
[grunting rhythmically]
This is me auditioning
for my fifth season this year.
When I first started,
you would just show up,
and they would play a random song,
and you would just have to go out there
and dance for a minute.
-Hey! Wow!
-[upbeat dance music playing]
[Kelcey] We create such
a close-knit family every year.
So, seeing your friends be taken out
of this close-knit circle is horrible.
Do you think it's too much boobage?
-No. There's no such thing.
Yeah, I think there is actually.
It's just a community
that you really can't find anywhere else.
B-B-Bennie and the Jets ♪
[women cheering]
["Bennie and the Jets"
by Elton John continues]
[woman] Oh, yes, go!
[Kelcey] We've got girls incredible
at hip-hop. We've got ballerinas.
We've got girls
that are more powerful dancers.
We've got girls that look more jazzy.
They're more soft. They're more sultry.
Everyone can have a place,
but it's just a matter of if they have
that unspoken "it" factor.
-Didn't miss my turn. I was like
-Good job! I know.
We're all veterans,
and we've all already earned that spot.
But it's almost even harder for all of us
because we know what we have to lose.
Pressure is a privilege.
You don't put yourself in this situation
if you didn't earn to be here.
-So just think of it that way.
-[Kelcey] All right, ladies.
I know we talked about a lot tonight,
but let's go into this year
with the best attitude.
Make it the best year and focus on us.
Nothing else matters.
-[all cheering]
One, two, three! DCC!
Let's go!
[woman] Because this is almost 24 feet.
And then, let's see
No. Go where Gracie is, 'cause
Yeah. Oh, okay.
Actually, Victoria Keep going, Suzy,
all the way to the mirror.
-I thought we had two extra feet.
-I think we have two extra feet.
We want the judges here.
A little bit more on this leg.
-Thank you.
-You're welcome.
-[Tina sighs]
[whispers] Now I'm loose.
[Victoria] This'll be my fourth year.
Making the team was absolutely
the best moment of my life.
Oh. Beautiful. Beautiful.
I love it.
Beautiful. It's perfect. Perfect.
My mom is a huge, huge part of my life.
Your calves? Or your hamstrings too?
[Victoria] No, not my hamstrings.
A little bit my butt.
-[massage gun vibrating]
I get comments saying,
"Y'all are too close."
Like, "That's That's unhealthy."
I've gotta toot.
-[passes flatulence]
-[Tina] No, don't. Oh, God!
I'm so sorry.
But I wouldn't wanna have it
any other way.
She is my rock. She's my person.
[Tina] Is that part
of your hamstring, you think?
[Victoria] No, that's my butt.
[Tina, imitating Forrest Gump]
That's your buttocks.
-"I got shot in the buttocks."
-Can you go a little higher?
-Right there.
[Victoria] My mom
is my biggest supporter ever.
She was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
That's why I wanted to be one.
And I think,
since I grew up right in the middle of it,
I didn't know or think
of any other opportunities.
I wanted to go straight there.
"Number 49, Victoria!"
Any alumni, if they have a daughter,
the first piece of costume
that they go buy
is a Dallas Cowboys outfit for her.
That I mean,
it was just kind of a given.
[upbeat music playing]
[Victoria] My mom was amazing
when she was a cheerleader.
I had a great experience.
I loved all of it.
[Kelli] If you could mix Hee Haw
with Miss America,
that might be Tina.
Tina and I became apartment roommates.
We had a fabulous time cheering together.
We're best friends, yes.
We were both at 19 years old.
She came from a small town.
I came from a small town.
We're really, like, soulmates,
to be honest with you.
There's very few people
who grew up in a house
where their mother
was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
And that that's probably
a lot of pressure.
[Tina] Gotta stay in your zone,
in your calm zone.
[Victoria] But then I feel like I'm, like
-Boring? You're not.
-Not having as much fun.
Victoria, your 50% is most people's 100%.
I think what makes the pressure hard
is what I put on myself
in not disappointing her,
or even disappointing Kelli.
Victoria has been so prepared,
and she's been the perfect cheerleader
all year.
I wouldn't understand any reason
to cut her.
-But I'm not the boss, so
-[Suzy] Right.
[shrieks playfully]
-[gentle piano music playing]
-[children chattering]
Today, it's a bittersweet day.
Today, we're doing property turn-in.
Every veteran will bring their items in,
and we'll go through the list,
and check it off.
It kind of helps them get in a mindset
to get ready for auditions.
They know their spot is not a given,
and they know they have to work for it,
and today kinda is day one for them
in that process.
You did not have
the sparkle leggings, right?
-No, ma'am.
-[Sharpie] Gotcha.
[interviewer] You don't get to keep
the uniform when you're done.
You don't.
I think that is so crazy.
Especially when they size it on us.
Like, that is customized to my body.
It's sad. It's like separation anxiety.
But, hopefully, we'll earn them back soon.
[gentle, poignant instrumentals playing]
[dreamy, upbeat music playing]
[Kelli] It's hard to process
or even understand the Dallas Cowboys,
the entire organization, the history,
the players, the coaches.
It's a huge responsibility.
Is that clean to you?
[Judy chuckling] I can't see.
[Kelli sniffing]
-What part doesn't look clean to you?
-[Kelli] The vest.
-Wow, I'm glad we're doing this.
-[cheerleader laughs]
So this is three years dingy, right?
-[cheerleader] Second.
-Se Two-two years dingy.
Will y'all turn it in like
it's gonna be in the Smithsonian?
-Not like it's been wadded up in your car.
-Sharpie, I've got a 911.
-[Sharpie] Yes, ma'am?
[Kelli] Who's been measuring us so far?
-I am.
-You are? You're measuring feet. Okay.
[Judy] Kelli's head has to be spinning
24 hours a day,
because she is constantly trying
to improve this team.
Everything for her is precise and perfect.
-They have to be in precision.
-[woman] Perfect.
[Judy] Every little seam in their warm-up.
If the rhinestones aren't right,
she wants to fix it,
and she wants to improve on it.
And by the next year,
it's going to be better.
-Are you feeling more confident?
-I'd say outgrow that shyness.
-[Kelli] Do we intimidate you?
-[sighs] I'll be honest. Yes.
[Kelli] You know, I'm told I'm a hard-ass,
and I'm direct with my comments.
But we're protecting
the whole entire Dallas Cowboys brand.
Kelli was one of the greatest decisions
I've ever made.
[soft electronic music playing]
[Charlotte Jones] In 1990,
I hired her as our director.
When we came in as a family
and when my dad came in,
the team was in financial disarray.
[Kelli] My conversation
with Charlotte was,
"We're losing money every year
with the cheerleaders."
"Can you keep the cheerleaders doing
what they do best
but make it a profit center?"
[commentator] She did things like
introduce swimsuit calendars.
The reality show in 2006.
The magic is in the knot.
Ooh! Hold your breath.
[commentator] Get Mattel to do
a special edition DCC Barbie.
And the revenue is in excess
of a million dollars a year.
And what's more important is
the cheerleaders stand on their own.
They're a self-contained financial entity.
But it's important to point out
the cheerleaders have historically
not been paid very much.
[reporter] The girls will only be paid
$15 per game,
but they don't appear interested
in the money.
I was really surprised they paid anything,
because I thought,
'cause it's an honorary position,
that you just did it
because you wanted to.
I'm having a blast. I really am.
It's all worth it.
I think my game-day fee was $35,
and we basically donated that back.
These Millennials, X-Gen,
whatever they're called,
they do look at it as a job,
where us old-timers look at it
as more of a privilege.
[interviewer] How much are you making
as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader?
I would say I'm making, like
a substitute teacher
A Hm.
I would say I'm making
like a Chick-fil-A worker
that works full-time.
You know, there's a lot of cynicism
around pay for NFL cheerleaders,
and-and as it should be.
Um, they're not paid a lot.
But the facts are they actually
don't come here for the money.
They come here for something
that's actually bigger than that to them.
They have a passion for dance.
There are not a lot of opportunities
in the field of dance, um,
to get to perform at an elite level.
It is about being a part
of something bigger than themselves.
It is about a sisterhood
that they were able to form,
about relationships that they have
for the rest of their life.
They have a chance to feel
like they're valued, that they're special,
and that they are making a difference.
When the women come here,
they find their passion
and they find their purpose.
[Sarah] When you ask the question
of how the Cowboys became
the biggest brand in professional sports,
the cheerleaders are
a central part of that equation.
It started on November 10th, 1975
when the cameramen
on ABC's Monday Night Football
are cutting away
to these women on the sidelines.
[man] And we'll see what happens next.
[Sarah] This young woman
named Gwenda Swearingen,
she's shimmying her pom-poms
back and forth,
and she looks into the camera and winks.
[bell dings]
[Sarah] This wink is one of the things
that propels the cheerleaders
into the stratosphere.
[man] She was doing that for you, Frank.
[Frank] She was very effective.
-[man] Did you like that, Frank?
-I did like that.
["We Got the Beat" by The Go-Go's playing]
[Kristi Scales] For decades,
the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
had been arguably as big a brand
as the Dallas Cowboys
football team itself.
Back in the 1960s, it was
a co-ed high school squad basically.
1972 was a big year for the Cowboys.
The general manager gets this idea
that it's time to make a change.
"No more high schoolers.
We're gonna hire 18 and up."
"And we're gonna give them a new uniform."
They got the beat ♪
They got the beat, they got the beat ♪
Yeah, they got the beat ♪
[Sarah] Nobody else has
cheerleaders like this.
[Kristi] The Cowboys win
two Super Bowls that decade.
That's when they became America's Team.
The cheerleaders became known
as "America's Sweethearts."
Over the years, it became its own animal.
Posters, movies, Love Boat episodes.
They're everywhere.
You wanna play with the Dallas Cowboys?
Oh no. I wanna play
with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.
[Kristi] All those things in the '70s
just made everything explode.
[Sarah] People would ask, "Wanna be
a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader
when you grow up?"
It was like, "Hell yeah!"
We got the beat ♪
We got the beat ♪
[Kelli] We're hiring people
to be global ambassadors,
and that's why this selection process
is so thorough.
It's not pressure.
It's just a way of life.
We got the beat ♪
-[song ends abruptly]
-[crickets chirring]
[electronic beep]
You learn to really expedite your meals
when you're busy, like, 18 hours a day.
As fast as possible.
I actually meal prepped
for the week yesterday,
because I don't have time to cook
during the week, really,
so I have to have pretty much everything
prepared before the week starts,
'cause you're just going all day.
[soft, dramatic music playing]
[Kelcey] DCC is more of a part-time job.
I'm a nurse,
so I work 7:30 to 4:30 every day.
Go to practice
and get home at 12:00 sometimes.
So I go to bed at, like, 1:00.
Wake up at 6:00 again. [laughs]
Um It's pretty nuts.
I mean, a lot of us work full-time jobs
and then come to DCC at night,
so it can be really exhausting.
You give up a lot,
but it's five years of your life,
and the moments here are so special.
It's something that
I'll never get to do anything like this
ever again.
And they're moments that I'll cherish
for the rest of my life, so it's worth it.
[birds chirping]
[Reece] I made it through
all of the online submissions,
and I am really nervous
to perform my solo.
I personally have not been able
to sit down,
soak everything in that is happening.
That they even looked at my résumé
and just saw what I could offer,
that was surreal,
and that was the most humbling,
most exciting thing.
At this point,
my arms, like, are about to give out.
I would not, not have been doing
what I am doing today
if it wasn't for
the Miss America organization.
And I truly realize
that what I was given was a gift.
It is not something that I did.
It is something that I was given.
Through middle school,
I was experiencing a lot with self-image,
and so I've really, really, really
started connecting, um,
with my relationship,
um, with with Jesus.
It is a relationship
more than it is a religion,
and I'm a firm believer
that my relationship with Christ
has gotten me to where I am today,
and I would not be here
if it wasn't for just his salvation, um
[voice breaking] that I have received.
Lord, I don't wanna be in the spotlight.
You be in the spotlight,
but use me as a vessel.
And I just I pray that
whoever watches this one day sees
sees him and not me.
[traffic humming]
[gentle, uplifting music playing]
[Kelli] Okay.
Ten years and ten pounds.
-Go for it.
-That's new.
Oh my gosh, this is the first
I've sat still in nine months.
[bright, cheery music playing]
[Judy] I don't go to the grocery store
without my makeup on
or without my hair done.
My mom always looked at me and said,
"Put lipstick on. Don't go anywhere
without your lipstick on."
It might seem old-fashioned
to some people,
but to me, it's important
to be put together.
I moved here five days ago.
-[woman] Okay, nice. Welcome to Dallas.
-I'm excited. Thank you.
-Did you just graduate?
-Amazing. Congratulations.
-Thank you.
-From graduation to auditions. I love it.
-I know.
Her costume's so beautiful.
It's like a pink.
So pretty.
-Remind me your name.
-Have I met you before?
-I don't know.
-I'm Amanda. Nice to meet you.
-I think we're in the same group.
Oh! Yay! Wait. Wait. Say your name again.
Kelly Villares. Kelly V.
-Are you 45?
-Yes, I'm 45.
You're with Kelly.
-I'm 42.
-I'm 44.
Okay, cool. Yes! That's exciting!
-This is super pretty. I like it.
-Thank you.
So exciting.
-[woman 1] Another K.
-[woman 2] I know. There are a lot of Ks.
-[woman 1] Last year, it was tricky.
-[woman 2] It was really tricky.
[woman 1] Kayleigh, Kally,
Karley, Kylie, Kayla.
[woman 2] On top of that,
Kelee, Kelcey, Kat.
[coordinator] You have ten minutes.
Those of you that got down here
a little bit later than others,
you will have
some more warm-up time upstairs.
We'll have about 20 minutes
once we get over there.
So don't panic if you just started
warming up, and you're freaking out.
So, um And we're trying
to get the air conditioning fixed.
But hopefully, it'll get fixed soon.
So y'all have about ten minutes, okay?
[women] Thank you.
[Kelli] Judges, can I get
y'all's attention, please?
First of all, thank you all very much
for being here.
We are so excited.
We're gonna do the solos first,
and the solos will get to show you
what they do best.
You can see who's a veteran
by her uniform.
We'd like you to judge them all equally.
Don't over-promote a veteran
just because you see
she has worn a uniform before.
With these rookie candidates,
I'll tell you, they're outstanding.
I say that every year,
but they really are.
We are picking, we think,
about 45 of these ladies
into training camp.
The solos can show us amazing dancers
with brilliant technique
and years of training.
Dancing's probably 50% really
of the full responsibility
of a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
Someone who's just stunning beautiful
is one-dimensional.
Someone who's a great dance technician
is one-dimensional.
It's all those intangibles
that really have nothing to do with dance.
[cheering, applause]
[gentle, dramatic music playing]
Okay, I would like
to introduce to you our judges,
and then we are gonna start dancing.
-Kevin Walsh right up there.
-[cheering, applause]
[Kelli] He has been the master stylist
for Tangerine Salons for over 16 years.
Kevin makes people fabulous.
Kevin Walsh.
[Kelli] I try to have
the most diverse panel of judges
that can help us seek out
the best teammates that we can
with this job that is so much more
than a dance solo.
We have judges that are members
of our local media.
-Scott is a shih tzu owner.
-I am.
[Kelli] We have a representative
from our boot manufacturer.
We have hair professionals, makeup,
of course, dance professionals.
Jacie is now the Head Coach
of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders.
[Kelli] And we even have Kevin,
and his specialty is, uh
Uh, he's an influencer in cooking.
Kevin is a nationally recognized wellness
and lifestyle thought leader.
I don't know what a thought leader is.
You can ask my publicist, who wrote that.
-[woman] Nice.
[Kelli] But he himself has
this larger-than-life glow about him,
and those judges
can recognize those "it" qualities.
Finally, I saved our superwoman for last,
Charlotte Jones.
Thank you.
[cheering, applause]
[Kelli] Charlotte gave me my job
way too many years ago
than I think I can even admit.
So, judges, it's time to open our books,
and we will start with our first soloist.
[funky, upbeat dance music playing]
[Kelli] Through the years,
the talent level has evolved
to a higher standard.
We've always had two or three on the team
that were highly trained
technical dancers.
Now, it's amazing.
They're amazing dancers.
They're some of the best
across the country.
["I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
by Aerosmith playing]
Where every moment spent with you
Is a moment I treasure ♪
I love me some Steven Tyler.
I don't wanna close my eyes ♪
I don't wanna fall ♪
-[song ends]
[Kelli] Thank you, Kelcey.
She looks beautiful today.
She looks womanly.
She looks She looks strong.
Oh, I need to breathe.
-You did so good.
-Oh, thank you so much.
-It felt good. Last time was
[woman] Seriously. You did it.
So much stress for a minute and a half.
-[woman] I know.
[upbeat Bollywood song playing]
[hip-hop beat begins]
[Scott] Okay!
I am loving this!
-[Kelli] What's her? She is Indian?
-[Judy] She's Indian. Yeah.
[Kelli] She's beautiful.
I think she's a pediatric orthodontist
or either a
-I mean
-She's entertaining, that's for sure.
All right, from Weehawken, New Jersey,
this is Kelly.
Weehawken, New Jersey,
am I saying that right? "Weehawken"?
["Ashes" by Celine Dion playing]
What's left to say? ♪
These prayers ain't working anymore ♪
[Kelli] Kinda looks,
a little bit Victoria.
[Judy] Yeah.
Calling on you ♪
[Kelli] Rounding out this first half,
please welcome,
from Livermore, California, Charly.
Is it "Charly" or "Carly"?
Is the H silent?
["Rise Up" by Andra Day playing]
[Randy] Whoa!
[Kristi] Our next Claire?
I'll rise up, I'll rise unafraid ♪
Yes, I can see that.
And I'll do it a thousand times again ♪
[song ends]
[Charlotte] Wow!
-Thank you.
-Way to go! That was Charly.
She just owned that.
[Kelli] I mean,
she's a makeover needing to happen.
[gentle, dramatic music playing]
-Good luck. I'll be rooting for you.
-Thank you. You're so sweet.
[Reece] I would say I'm the most nervous
to perform in front of Charlotte Jones,
Kelli, and Judy.
But God is in control
of this whole process,
so whatever is meant to happen
is meant to happen.
Okay, please welcome,
from Jacksonville, Florida, Reece.
[applause quiets down]
["Burnin' Up" by Jessie J playing]
Walking through the fire ♪
Please don't let me go ♪
Take me to the river ♪
[Kelli] Is she on our top list?
[Judy] I don't know!
I'm burnin' up ♪
-Oh! Whoo!
-[crowd cheering]
I'm burnin' up, come put me out
Come and put me out ♪
-[Scott] She has it.
-[Kelli] She definitely does ballroom.
A thousand degrees
That's how I'm feeling when you're ♪
[Scott] Uh-uh.
[Charlotte] Got us some attitude
on the floor. I love it.
[Kelli] Love her in this.
I want to see her with our choreography.
[judge] Vets should be nervous!
Subliminal, sex
Drippin' in, sweat ♪
I'm losing my ♪
She's dancing like a vet.
-[song ends]
-[cheering, applause]
Yes! Burnin' it up,
that was Reece from Jacksonville, Florida.
-Love it.
-Thank you.
I'm a big Dancing with the Stars fan,
so I wanted to
It's good.
[breathes heavily, sighs]
I can't believe I just did that.
[Randy] That was beautiful.
Do you mind if I smoke?
That That was stunning.
We might need a moment.
That Wow!
Her song was what she was.
She was burnin' up.
Please welcome,
from Columbia, Missouri, Anna Kate.
-["Piano Man" by Billy Joel playing]
[Kelli] I love this song.
This is Caroline's sister.
[Caroline] That's nice.
Beautiful line. Toe pointed.
-[Anna Kate vocalizes softly]
-Then probably to the
-That way?
Yep. That's good.
That thing.
-[vocalizes softly]
-That's good.
[vocalizes softly]
[Caroline] Yep.
I just moved in with Caroline this week,
and she's starting to get me
a little more stressed.
-Just 'cause of how she's acting.
I don't know. I felt fine,
and all of a sudden, she's like,
"This isn't right.
You need to do this and this again."
So I'm getting in my head a lot.
[Caroline] You show Judy, "Look
at my perfect line. I'm a good dancer."
And then you move,
and then you show all the judges,
"I'm so gorgeous. Pick me."
My name is Caroline Sundvold.
I just finished my fifth year
cheering with the Cowboys,
and I did retire.
I have a younger sister,
and she decided over Christmas break
to audition for DCC this next season.
I feel I've practiced enough
to where I know it,
but I do feel like
there's a lot of pressure
just with having Caroline be there
for five years.
I thought she was gonna say,
"You're a big help. I love you so much."
She is a big help.
But she's just like It's a lot.
Flirty, flirty, flirty, flirty.
Hold as long as you can
before you go back.
This is really good.
And I like this. This is nice.
Remember when you used to boss me around
in my solos?
-The tables have turned.
I'm ready for the week to be over.
I'm not cut out for the dance mom life.
-No, you're not.
-Do you wanna try it again?
Here we go.
Sing us a song, you're the piano man ♪
[Kelli] She's light on her feet.
[Scott] She is cute.
[Judy] Are you sure that's not Caroline?
And you've got us feelin' alright ♪
[Kelli] Great choreo.
That was Anna Kate.
-That's one of the best musicality.
-[Judy] Yeah.
When they said "piano," she was
-She did her feet like a piano.
-It was very well done.
Please welcome,
from Coppell, Texas, Victoria.
[Kelli] Love the costume.
["Last Dance" by Donna Summer playing]
Last dance ♪
Last chance for love ♪
I need you ♪
[judge] Does she look really off to you?
[Victoria] Sometimes I think
that being a legacy,
everyone says it has an advantage,
but I think it gives me
a complete disadvantage.
When I walked into the audition at 18,
I was not prepared.
-[Kelli] Victoria.
-[man] She was soft.
It was sloppy.
We see you on this team.
We see you in a uniform.
And we don't have enough uniforms
to give you that chance this season.
[dramatic music playing]
[gentle, somber music playing]
[softly] Yes, ma'am.
I was one of the, like, last girls cut.
-I know.
-I can't imagine
I told immediately to Kelli and Judy
that I wanted to come back,
but afterwards I was like,
"I don't know if I can do it again.
I'm too embarrassed."
"I don't know if I'll be ready again."
"I don't wanna go through that possibility
of being cut again."
Especially when it's filmed.
Like, that is just so scary.
Is there anything specific that stood out?
-It's comprehensive.
-[Victoria] Okay.
I think I'm pretty scarred by that moment.
I watch it back on YouTube sometimes,
and I still bawl every time I watch it.
Oof. That was one of the hardest moments
of my career.
Because I'm looking at eyes
of a cheerleader
that I've known since she was a child.
But I really thought
I was doing her a favor
by her coming back
and making it on her own,
stronger, better,
and completely deserving
instead of being someone's daughter.
[Victoria] So making the team
the next year was amazing.
It was finally real.
You are a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
["Last Dance" continues]
-[song ends]
[Kelli] All right, that was Victoria.
Good job.
I wish she would let loose.
I think that was letting loose for her.
-Instead of doing an intense
-No. No. No.
I mean, and be friends
Like, she never hangs out with anyone.
-[judge] I feel like she made it up.
-[Scott] I don't know. It's surprising.
And it's going into her fourth year?
[judge] Fourth year?
[muffled] It's okay. Okay?
-It was beautiful. You're beautiful.
-Thank you. Thank you.
-[Victoria] I don't mean to cry.
-I think it's my stress coming out.
-I know. It's a lot.
It just bubbles up. It's okay.
You cry if you need to.
It's okay. Let it out.
-Get ready for field.
-I know.
[Victoria] I'm very hard on myself.
I am what my mother calls a perfectionist.
In my heart, I felt like
that was not my A++ self,
but that's okay.
I just want them to see my best
all the time.
And I hate
when this when they see flaws in me.
'Cause I don't want them to see flaws,
but I know I have flaws.
And it's okay to have flaws. I know that,
but my mind doesn't know that.
[dramatic music playing]
I'm just really disappointed
in myself today.
[upbeat dance music plays faintly
over loudspeakers]
[tense music layers
over ambient dance music]
[dramatic, echoing note]
[music builds]
[dramatic music playing]
[Kelli] The second part of our audition
is more relevant,
and that's when we take them to the field.
Just dancing on the turf
can trip up the best of dancers.
I've seen great,
technically trained dancers
hit the turf, and just kind of fade,
and not be an arena performer,
and not make the team.
We send video choreography
that they must learn.
They are evaluated
on the DCC choreography and kickline.
We as judges sit in the stands
and watch on the digital board
because that's how the 93,000 fans
that are there on game day,
that's how they're gonna see the girls.
[dramatic electronic music playing]
She doesn't have a full split.
She wasn't all the way down.
-[Charlotte] Thought she looks better now
-[Kelli] Do you?
I think she's better on the field
than she was in her solo.
-[Kelli] I think Leah's outdancing Kayla.
-[Judy] I do too.
Hello, my name is McKenna.
I'm 22 years old from Denver, Colorado.
[Kelli] Wow.
Hi, judges. My name is Karley.
I'm 23 years old,
and I'm from Nederland, Texas.
-[Judy] She got a new hairdo.
-What is that hair?
-Has she gone too blonde, Kevin?
-[Kevin] Hmm.
[Kelli] The aesthetic part of this job,
it's not science.
They're not gonna make it to Dallas
in a room of 70 or training camp of 45
if there's an aesthetic reason
for them not to be appealing
to all of our judges.
Hi, everyone. My name is Anisha.
I'm 31 years old, and I'm originally from
-[Charlotte] Anisha! Go, girl!
-[Kelli] Wow!
-[Charlotte] 31?
-[Judy] She's 31?
[Kelli] Mm-hmm.
-Hi, everyone. My name is Kelly.
-[Charlotte] This girl's good.
I'm a 22-year-old
from Weehawken, New Jersey.
I like her. She was great.
I don't think
I said "Weehawken" correctly.
-Yeah, you did.
-Yeah, you did.
[Charlotte] Gosh, that girl looks nervous.
She looks nervous, nervous, nervous.
And I think is she sick?
Uh, it wouldn't surprise me.
Hello, judges. My name is Kayla.
I am 23 years old,
and I am from St. Louis, Missouri.
[Randy] Not popping off the screen at all.
Hi, judges. I'm Reece,
and I'm 21 years old.
-Oh, yeah.
-I'm from Jacksonville, Florida.
[Randy] Love her.
Hi, everyone. I'm Victoria,
and I'm 23 years old from Coppell, Texas.
[Kelli] I think Victoria
looks better this year than last.
[Charlotte] Don't know about that.
[Kelli] It's not often,
and it's certainly not comfortable
cutting a veteran,
especially this year.
This year
[dramatic music playing]
[voice breaks]
This year really bothers me.
Okay, ladies, congratulations.
This completes the competition portion
of the finals.
[laughs] Y'all are gonna be sore tomorrow.
Congratulations. Thank you.
And we will see you back here
in about an hour plus.
-[judge 1] Whoo-hoo!
-[judge 2] Whoo.
[bright, tense music playing]
[Kelli] We'll do yes, maybes, and nos.
If you're on the fence, that's a maybe.
You should definitely know your yeses.
If you can't make up your mind,
that's a maybe for sure.
Here we go.
Number one, Kelcey.
How many yeses for Kelcey, number one?
[Scott] Let's breeze through this.
[judge] This one's a slam dunk.
Number two, how many yeses?
And who is a no?
[groans dramatically]
[Kevin] Coup d'état.
I like her look, but I just thought that
she got lost in that kickline up there.
[Kelli] Anisha. How many yeses?
[tense, dramatic music playing]
-[Judy] Criscilla.
[Criscilla] I had a yes for the solo,
and then I had a no for the field,
'cause she struggled.
I thought she struggled
in the choreography.
[Randy] Interesting.
[Kelli] Fifty-six, Zhenya.
There are different levels of dance
that make the team.
-But they have to have appeal.
-They have to have a big appeal.
-[Randy] Absolutely.
-An overwhelming appeal.
[Kelli] Number 36, Charly.
On the field, I'm like, "Looks amazing."
Then she started kicking
I don't think
we should lower our bar for anybody.
[Randy] But so does the question become,
if we're talking about roughly 45 people
going to camp,
is the question that is she top 45?
I think sometimes
it comes down to typecasting.
-[judge] Yeah.
-[judge] Yeah.
[man] What do you mean
when you say "typecasting"?
Um, look.
[Kelli] Number 28, Anna Kate.
She's pretty, but got on the field
and made a lot of mistakes.
-A lot of mistakes.
Forty-five, Kelly V.
[Kevin] She's a baddie.
You need that on the squad.
And I think her look
and her energy was good.
[Kelli] Forty-nine, Victoria.
She wasn't dancing like a veteran.
I was expecting that level of energy,
and it was just, "I'm here.
I'm kind of doing what I need to do."
"I should make the squad."
Um So she was just being outdanced to me.
Well, she's That's gonna put her at risk.
Number 17, Kayla.
There was a little bit more weight
in her face.
[Kelli] I noticed that.
-It's heartbreaking.
[tense music playing]
[Charlotte] I just wanna point out
and emphasize what Kelli said,
and I know you have all already seen this.
This is an extraordinarily talented group
of women.
I have not seen this level of talent
that deep ever.
Which unfortunately means
someone may not make that back.
And as you look here today
and make that decision,
we need to make that decision today.
Because we cannot bring them into camp
and force Kelli and Judy
to release them there
because a rookie has come up
and taken their place.
The veterans are not gonna get any better.
They are fabulous.
They were fabulous last year.
They are fabulous this year.
There may be somebody more fabulous.
-[ethereal piano music playing]
[Charlotte] We apologize
that we took far more than an hour
to deliberate
on our final decisions this evening,
but I hope that is an indication
of how difficult this decision was.
[ethereal music intensifies]
So, without further ado, we will begin
to announce the new squad.
-We are.
For the 2023 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
training camp,
please welcome
[music builds]
[music falls off abruptly]
[gentle, tense music playing]
[music fades out]
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