SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched the season 14 finale of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, stop right here. Key details below that will totally ruin the surprise.
They say all good things must come to an end, and that’s so true of this fantastic season of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, which wrapped up last night (Oct. 25) with a bang.
Yes, we find out who makes the team for the 2019-2020 season, but it didn’t come without moments of total suspense and a huge surprise decision from director Kelli Finglass.
Let’s rewind: remember the last episode when Charlotte came to watch the final field rehearsals and give her feedback on how the girls were progressing? Yeah, it was even hard for her to make a final decision about who should make it and who should go home. Let’s face it, all of the ladies remaining were game-day material and it seemed like Kelli, Judy and Charlotte were about to have to draw straws to pick ’em, for Pete’s sake.
“I think that each one of these women have earned a spot on this team,” Charlotte told Kelli and Judy.
So, Charlotte proposed something radical for the DCC: why not keep all 37 remaining contenders, and just keep the auditions going into the season? After all, it’s not fair to make a cut if no one is yet worthy of being eliminated. And bonus: you have a built-in substitute on standby if someone were to become injured or too sick to perform.
Finglass looked shocked at this proposal, as tradition has never let more than 36 ladies claim the title of DCC per season.
But it’s a dang fine idea.
First, Kelli and Judy have to talk to the two “weakest” links: Meredith and Lily. We use the term weakest hesitantly because there is NOTHING weak about these girls. They’ve had their struggles over training camp, more than others. But still, they should be so proud of themselves, especially getting the praise from Kelli, Judy, and Charlotte.
This is terrifying for Lily because last season she was cut on the last night last season. Meredith breaks down in tears at the thought of being cut.
“No matter what happens, I’m going to be okay,” she said.
In the office, Kelli begins the conversation by affirming to Meredith and Lily that they should be proud of themselves: they’ve worked hard, shown so much improvement, and won the support and love of their fellow dancers.
Then, the kicker.
“We’ve also been telling y’all that this team is going to be 36 and it wasn’t until the last rehearsal that we decided that wasn’t going to be the case,” Finglass told them. “So, we wanted to talk to you girls privately.”
CUT TO COMMERCIAL. What is happening, oh my word?!
After the break, Kelli and Judy return to the remaining girls on the field.
“We’ve been saying all summer that we’re only going to pick 36, and after the last rehearsal, that has changed. We want to give you guys our decision so that it won’t be looming over us tonight.”
THEN THE MOMENT. “Look around,” she told them all.
“Look all the way around.”
SURPRISE! Meredith and Lily coming bursting on the field with excitement and then the girls realize they’ve all made the team.
All 37 are the new, 2019-2020 roster of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!
It’s the first non-announcement announcement we’ve ever had!” Finglass told the cameras.
That’s because these girls could not contain their excitement after learning they’d all be together.
CMT.com got to speak with Finglass last week in anticipation of the finale, where she revealed that the sisterhood of this special group is palpable off-camera, too, like on a recent weekend retreat this newly-minted team attended.
“We’ve never seen the girls interact quite this much. I mean, every one of them got up and participated in every activity we had,” she said. “That’s fun for me. I mean, the performances are number one priority, but running parallel with that is how they do lift each other as a group, because trust me, in a room of 36 or 37 highly achieving women, we could have issues before every rehearsal started if we even entertained discussions or just that focus and we don’t.”
Aww, they really do love each other that much.
The girls also got to show off their skills during Family and Friends night, which is a great rehearsal for the first NFL game, but really a chance to let their loved ones have a sneak-peek before anyone else. How precious are their folks with those signs?
There’s no time to waste, however, as the first official Cowboys game is upon us. After a quick pre-game field rehearsal, the girls are ready to rock it…but there will be some challenges.
“There will be a lot more distractions at game time,” Finglass said. “There’s going to be two football teams, cameras, cords, chaos. That will probably present some excitement for them, but it will definitely present challenges.”
Gameday arrives, and the energy of the crowd is nuts! And obviously, the girls nailed it. It was absolutely flawless. What an amazing feeling.
For the girls, this moment means the years, months, days and hours of hard work, sweat, tears, and persistence have paid off. They have arrived, and now they have each other to cherish the moments and memories.
But before we say goodbye for now, we have to name our first gameday girl and “Abby” bear recipient. It’s someone who goes above and beyond. Congratulations, Lily. And congratulations to all of the girls.
“This year the journey has been kind of a whirlwind,” Finglass told the cameras. “We had such great talent at our auditions. They’ve had ten weeks of hard dance rehearsals, tough guest choreographers, they’ve learned how influential they can be on the lives of others.”
“I think the ladies have learned just how strong they really are. And these ladies are great examples of how passion, persistence and hard work result in success. They are living out their dream. And today was the best example of what that looks like, when a dream really does come true,” Finglass continued.
Thanks for another great training camp, DCC! Have a great season, ladies. You have earned it.