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2015 HTC Battle To Make the Team

Houston Texans Cheerleaders - a few blondies (photo via Houston Texans)

Houston Texans Cheerleaders – a few blondies (photo via Houston Texans)

Houston Texans cheerleaders battle to make the team: A behind the scenes look at the beautiful drama

Massive sighs of relief could be heard from 35 of the hardest working, hair-flipping and hip thrusting gals in Houston when the new Texans cheerleaders were revealed inside the Methodist Training Center practice bubble this week. For the first time in Texans cheerleader history, all the returning vets made the 50-women finals, which included a week of practices, swimsuit rounds, interviews by the coach and other Texans staff and online daily voting by crazed fans.

Everything fell into place Tuesday night when Texans cheerleader coach Alto Gary announced the 35 girls who will beautifully make up the new team, which include 12 rookies anxious to rock those coveted red boots.

“You worked so hard and I’m so thankful for your hard work. I wish I had 50 spots, but I don’t have the budget for it. If your name isn’t called, we can be friends and I hope to see you next year,” the coach started before calling the first name. As each name was called, the women walked the red carpet to hug Gary, letting out a huge sigh of relief.

“We have a lot of Sarah’s . . .  Sarah M” coach called out saying “she’s come a long, long way and I’m so proud of her.” Gary noted that Sarah M. was part of the training group last season and expressed her sincere appreciation for all her hard work over the course of the year.

(Note, the team also has Sarah C. and Sarah F. The Texans do not release cheerleaders’ last names.)

One of the most excited red carpet walks has to go to returning vet Allison who literally sprinted to hug her coach, which was impressive in those knee-high red boots with a heel.

My personal highlight of the night was when Gary called for Jessica. Not a soul moved. Everyone looked at the beautiful blonde who was standing towards the left of the semicircle, but she had no idea it was her. “Yes, YOU,” Gary said before Jessica finally made her way onto the carpet. (Thank goodness we avoided that awkward Bachelor moment when the wrong girl steps up for the rose.)

Krystal literally jumped all the way down the red carpet after hearing her name.

After all 35 names were called, Gary thanked everyone yet again for their dedication and hard work. “You never know what can happen. Ladies, I will see you next year, stay in shape, and keep dancing!” the coach said. “Seriously, you never know what could happen — you could get a call in December. Thank you and I’ll see you next year.”

It’s no secret the 50 finalists put in a lot of hard work, but Gary and her staff definitely logged some

HTC Madison and Lesha are back for another season (Photo via Houston Texans)

HTC Madison and Lesha are back for another season (Photo via Houston Texans)

long nights too.

Cheerleader Heartbreak 

Sadly a few Texans cheerleader vets did not make the team this year and the heartache was clear on everyone’s faces, including Gary’s.

Cheerleader vet Rachel said that on a scale of 1 to 10 in nervousness she was an 11.5 heading into the evening.

Cheerleader vet Rachel said that on a scale of 1 to 10 in nervousness she was an 11.5.

“I just really want my spot back. Last season I came in here and just had a blast because I had nothing to lose because I wasn’t on the team and coming in here this year I had everything to lose. This is everything to me,” she said.

As for the rookie she’s most excited about, Rachel said that goes to Kelly. “She was an Ice Angel — that’s what I was before this and that’s how I met her, so when she came down she asked if she could live with me, so we live together — I’m so excited she made it!”

There’s a new set of twins on the sidelines — Jordan and Randi who are identical twins from Crockett with the thickest and sweetest southern accents you’ll ever hear. This was the duo’s first time trying out.

“We were overwhelmed — can’t believe it,” the twins said in unison. As for what they’re most looking forward to, Jordan summed it up quite nicely.

“The experience and making friendships and dancing on the field in front of thousands of people,” she said.

Although the sisters have never done anything quite like this, they’ve danced for 13 years and even taught dance for five years. The pair plans to commute in for every game and practice in their shared Jeep Patriot — all the way from Huntsville.

That’s cheerleader dedication.

Click here to see the original article that ran on Houston’s Culture Map.