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Shannon Ashworth and teenage daughter Brooke are two like-minded souls. Shannon ‘likes’ to push her daughter non-stop (although she hates the word ‘push’) while her daughter Brooke ‘likes’ to look bored, roll her eyes, and cross her arms.
And finally we have Drill Sergeant Mandy and her completely adorable daughter, Olivia. Mandy isn’t the yelling, pushing, mean girl that we’re used to, but the looks she gives and the intensity of her interviews make me want to please her, for fear of death.
A few clips from the opening montage give us a feel for the level of tension, anger, joy, and adrenalin. We see Coach Alisha saying that Cassidee (her 10 year old) is one of the best in the place. It’s true. She’s great. Then we see Coach yelling at her 5 year old, Cambree, who doesn’t quite have the same skills. Coach sort of grabs Cambree by the arm and moves her to the back. It seemed a bit aggressive, but my daughter is a wimp, so maybe I’m not used to it. I tried to play a game of “Dead Arm” with my daughter and she cried for two days; but before you call Child Services, she’s 20… and she deserved it.)
Coach tells us that this is not your typical rah rah ree cheerleading style we see at high school football games. This is intensive competition. And I believe it… I spent many years as a rah rah ree type cheerleader back in the 80’s… except the one year that we moved to North Carolina and I was the only white cheerleader… then it was more booty poppin’ than pom-poms. But hey, I did learn to dance, kinda.
There’s a quick shot of Coach and another mom standing at a competition making the same wild-eyed, O faces that we see in Toddlers and Tiaras. So yeah, it’s more intense for the kids… but the moms get to stick to the roll of being nutters.
Mandy interviews that she doesn’t mind the way Coach yells at Olivia and how hard she pushes the girls. She expects, if not demands it. (And I think she enjoys it… I’m seeing her as someone I would not be able to work with, work out with, live with, or drink with… she scares me. She’s pretty, but just so friggin’ intense.)
One thing I like about Coach (and her hubby, RD) is that she genuinely gets excited when the girls do well and work hard. She’s quick to judge and correct, but she’s just as quick to praise and reward. But this is episode 1, so hopefully that will change and I’ll get to see some crazy.