Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team has practically become synonymous with the kickoff of the NFL season as the popular reality series returns with its ninth season premiere Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. on CMT.
The series begins with more than 500 ladies at AT&T Stadium on May 10 for the preliminary auditions. The dancers ranged in age from 18-40 and have traveled to DFW from as far away as Canada, Japan and Australia. There are also 37 states represented at the preliminary round that began at 8 a.m. and lasted beyond 5:30 p.m.
The opening episode introduces viewers to Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Director Kelli Finglass and Choreographer Judy Trammell, who are in charge of selecting this year's team. In the process of meeting some of the ladies who are trying out for this year's team, the viewers learn what the judges are seeking to find in the candidates in the most demanding dance audition in pro sports.
"I'm looking for showmanship, dance technique, charisma and personality," said Finglass. "This time they were so good that the great routines became 'run-of-the-mill' and our expectations were raised quickly."
Fans of the show will also recognize some familiar faces who have returned to audition in hopes of making their dreams come true. Twin sisters Emily and Haley from Las Vegas are back to give it another try. Ashley, Vivian and Tessa all advanced to training camp a year ago before seeing their dreams dashed and are back in hopes of taking the next step and spending their Sundays on the sidelines at AT&T Stadium. There are also multiple ladies who have cheered for other NFL teams who are hopeful of becoming a Cowboys cheerleader.
This season also brings a new addition in celebrity judge Melissa Rycroft, a former DCC who won the mirror ball trophy as the champion of the 15th season of Dancing with the Stars with partner Tony Dovolani. She will also serve as a mentor to the candidates who survive final auditions as they go through the ups and downs of training camp.
"I am so excited to be here and judge today," Rycroft says in the first episode. "I think it is going to be fun to come in on the other side, see the fresh girls coming in and I'm excited to help make the team."
To get caught up on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and get an idea of the real-life drama that is set for the upcoming season, you can watch Season 8 here. The ninth season will air Friday nights at 8 p.m. on CMT culminating in the announcement of the 36 ladies who will make up the most iconic cheerleading team in the world.
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