Navarro Cheer Team Appears On 'Ellen' And Totally Nails Their Routine

by Valerie Williams
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Navarro’s champion cheerleaders and stars of Netflix’s “Cheer” appeared on Ellen and wowed the audience with their routine

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard all about the cheer squad from Texas’ Navarro College. The athletes were the subjects of a 6-part Netflix documentary called Cheer that basically took the country by storm, and now, they’re alums of the Ellen show, and of course, they showed up and totally nailed their gravity-defying, heart-pounding routine.

Because Monica wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you’re like me and fully obsessed with this show and this squad, you’ve probably been going through Cheer withdrawal since finishing binge-watching the gripping docu-series. Fear not — their Ellen appearance will fix everything. The host sat down for a chat with notoriously tough coach Monica Aldama and three of the show’s most recognizable (and beloved) cheerleaders — La’Darius Marshall, Gabi Butler, and Jerry Harris. Of course, Jerry gave us a taste of his delightful “mat talk” while Monica got close to teary talking about how much she loves “her kids.”

“Mat talk is basically giving encouragement to anybody that’s on the floor with you, and letting them know that you have somebody that’s looking out for you and wants to be there for you,” Jerry told Ellen. He then gave her a little sample and she said, “Whenever I’m on stage, I should bring you on the side.” Honestly, having Jerry follow us throughout our day could only yield positive results. He is an angel.

“These are like my kids. They come to me with their problems. I hear the stories, I see the tears,” says Monica. Ugh. Can she just be our mom/aunt/BFF already?

And yes, the whole crew performed their jaw-dropping routine for the audience, and I may have jumped from my kitchen chair and squealed whenever they nailed a basket toss or pyramid. These kids can do no wrong, y’all.

La’Darius tells Ellen, “When we first started the show, I was a little nervous, a little scared, because nobody really wants to talk about the bad things that have happened in their life,” he said. “After the show, I felt so much better because I got away from all my chains. I felt like I was being held down, and I felt like I was finally free. I could fly.”

When Ellen handed the squad a check to help with their competition travel fundraising efforts, I about lost it — and you probably did too. There’s something undeniably special about these kids and their stories, some so heartbreaking it’s hard to not cry through entire episodes. Many of them came from difficult family situations and had little hope for the future — until finding Monica and the Navarro team. Seeing them explode onto the scene and be rewarded for all those endless practices and terrifying injuries, all in the name of dominating the sport they love, is nothing short of heartwarming.

Here’s hoping for a season two — because we just can’t get enough.