American Idol meets All Star Cheer = Cheerlebrity


Cheerleading competitions are exciting. The excitement of performing in front of a crowd, hearing their reaction to your skills, and competing against other teams makes them among the most exciting live events anywhere. A new cheerleading competition called “Cheerlebrity” tries to bring an additional element of entertainment to the event. This IS a good IDEA!

First, let’s talk about the things that were great about this competition. The check-in process was easy and our team, being new, fell in line with all the other teams. We were pleasantly surprised that all competitors had time to practice in six different areas.  Some were just to stretch and others we practiced our whole routine. All together this was a great way for our beginning team to “ease into” the competition scene. The competitors were pleased with the over-all competition and even had knowledge of the cheerlebrities that gave them their critique.

The idea behind Cheerlebrity seems to be “American Idol” meets “All star competition”. A set of celebrity cheerleaders were placed on stage to give feedback to each team after their performance. The celebrities gave mostly positive feedback, as you would expect from a group of cheerleaders. Their comments were directly related to what the team performed and could be used by the team to improve their routine. However, the feedback from the celebrities became very repetitive. It was not necessary to speak to all four celebrities after every performance. The novelty of the event lost its luster after the first hour but the audience was forced to endure each judges’ long winded and repetitive comments for an additional 3-4 hours until the end of the competition.

This seems like a great idea considering the success of recent televised talent competitions. But, what makes these shows good is that they are edited down to the best interactions with the celebrities and the drama of someone “ripping” a competitor for their performance. Of course, a cheer competition would not be suitable for such negative comments and I am not advocating for a “Simon” to bash the cheerleaders. However, removing that possibility also removes much of the drama that makes these T.V. shows worth watching. Watching the “live” taping of one of these reality shows might be long winded and tedious but we don’t know for sure because we don’t see that on the final cut of the T.V. show. All that being said, this is not a television show so it makes for a slow moving competition with long breaks between performances. By the third hour of the competition some competitors were actually counting how many time each judge said their repetitive “catch phrase” like “you killed it” or “one of the best routines all day”. This format is new and could be a break from the ordinary but some work needs to be done to make the “Cheerlebrity” portion move faster with less repetition.

Lastly, most cheer companies putting on events realize their position as role models for younger cheerleaders. In this case, after having been touted as a “Cheerlebrity” all day and being presented as someone younger cheerleaders should imitate, it was a bit disconcerting to see the “Cheerlebrities” perform. Not that their skill performances weren’t exceptional…they were! However, the choice of one of these “Cheerlebrities” to strip down to the least amount of clothes possible in order to perform sent the wrong message to the thousands of cheerleaders in attendance. It might be the actual uniform in which this celebrity truly performs but a tiny sports bra and spanks seems inappropriate for this audience. With some tweaking, a Cheerlebrity event could be have added value and entertainment but, in its current incarnation it only added time to an already long day of competing.

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