To cheer, Netflix’s riveting docuseries about the world of competitive cheerleading, is back for Season 2 as the cameras continue to follow members of Navarro College’s elite squad. Among them is Season 1 breakout star Morgan Simianer, who is returning for her second and final year as a competitor in hopes of taking home yet another championship.
But as season two shows, things aren’t going quite as planned for simians after the coronavirus pandemic forced the NCA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships to cancel the 2020 competition in Daytona Beach, Fla. And what should have been a triumphant end to her collegiate cheerleading career is stolen from her just weeks before the competition kicks off.
“It was very tough for the team because we worked the whole semester leading up to Daytona,” Simianer tells ET. “Well, we were right there. We were a few weeks away from Daytona. So it was very difficult for the team to process the whole situation and just be told that it was over. We didn’t really have much explanation for what was going on. The world didn’t really know what was going on, so everyone around the world was struggling.”
As a result, Simianer’s time on camera will be cut as the documentaries continue to follow Navarro and his rival, Trinity Valley Community College, picking up where they left off post-lockdown and preparing for the 2021 championships.
“Personally, I fought a lot because it was my last time at Navarro. You know, it was very difficult to deal with ‘I won’t cheer again, I’ve never really competed’,” says Simianer, adding that she’s able to appreciate the positive side of the whole experience. “I thought, ‘At least I have all the memories and the amazing opportunities and the friendships and the bonds.’ That lasts a lifetime. That got me through.”
When it comes specifically to not returning for another year at Navarro College, Simianer explains that she exceeded the three-year admissions limit, although one of them was shortened by COVID. “I was, you know, part of the team from the 2018 season through the 2020 season,” she says, adding that she also graduated and started taking classes at Texas A&M, which also influenced her decision . “For me, that’s one of the main reasons I decided not to go back.”
Simianer isn’t the only star from Season 1 that audiences have limited time with in Season 2. Lexi Brumback also did not return after the lockdown. When asked about spending more time with both athletes on camera, director Greg Whiteley says, “I’m grateful for the time we’ve had with them again.”
But because this is Navarro, “you’re embarrassed in terms of characters to follow,” he continues. “And that’s why I love Morgan and Lexi and would love to spend more time filming with them. But there were so many other places to shoot that, I’ll be honest, I’m not sure we gave that much thought. That’s how the story unfolded, and a whole new cast of characters followed.”
Most notably, these include Maddy Brum, Cassadee Dunlap and Gillian Rupert, who the cameras follow more closely in the second half of Season 2. And Simianer looks forward to them getting a moment to shine too. “I’m so glad you’re getting to know her and loving her as much as I do,” she says.
Looking back on her time in front of the camera, Simianer says the only advice she would give herself is “to do one thing at a time because I would get so overwhelmed by everything.”
A lesson she’s now embracing as she enjoys life in Dallas, Texas, where she has a boyfriend and a cat named Louis Boo. “She’s gorgeous,” enthuses the athlete, adding that she’s also focused on building her brand and trying to spend more time with family and friends. “And just to see what life has in store for me.”
To cheer season 2 now streaming on Netflix.
–Additional reporting by Lauren Zima
Reference from etonline