NEWPORT, KY. — The Cincinnati Ben-Gals Cheerleading finalists went head-to-head in auditions held at The Newport Syndicate on Saturday, May 13.
After just under half of the girls were eliminated on May 2, following the semi-finals, the finalists took to the stage.
The dance competition began with the Ben-Gal hopefuls performing a high-energy group routine, choreographed this year by Jessica Harris, a Cincinnati local and dance studio owner. Fans and family could be heard cheering and applauding from the audience, as the dancers swung in and out from backstage to share the spotlight amongst the group of 42 ladies competing.
Next, the ladies performed two at a time in a head-to-head rigorous duel, which Harris also choreographed specifically for this year’s audition. “On The Floor,” a huge hit by Jennifer Lopez, played behind a quick-paced, sassy hip-hop routine full of attitude and spunk.
The ladies were also given a chance to choreograph their own solo piece within the song to showcase their talents to the judges. Kips, back-handsprings, aerials and spins were displayed on stage during these solo pieces, causing the crowd to roar in excitement.
Individualism and creativity were put into the ladies’ costumes, which were designed by each of the girls themselves. The competitors could be seen in two piece sets, separated by the variety in which they were created. Sparkles, skirts or added sleeves made the girls stand out from each other, and gave the judges a good idea of how much effort each of them were willing to put into being an NFL cheerleader.
Following the intensity of the battle-rounds, the ladies were each briefly interviewed in front of the crowd. The interviewer asked the competitors about their personal lives and the activities that make them diverse. Answers ranged from “traveling the world” to “being an animal lover,” which the audience and judges seemed to enjoy.
The competition ended with a heartfelt group photo which included all 42 contenders huddled together in unity.