What Happened - Kaylie, Payson, and Lauren (ugh) are accepted into the US Training Center. There, they will be vetted and trained for the Olympics for the next eight weeks. They have a new coach, Coach McIntire, and he’s pretty hardcore. Coach McIntire will pick five girls for the Olympic team and ranks all of the girls daily. On campus, Austin shows Kaylie a bust of a man named Otis. The Otis statue is good luck, so every year a team steals him and other teams try to steal him back. Whoever has Otis at the end of camp always medals at the Olympics. The girls try to steal Otis back from the wrestling team who has him, but they are thwarted and someone rats them out to the coach. The coach tries to get the girls to let go of their devotion to The Rock and their little Rock clique, so he makes them burn their Rock jackets. It’s really depressing. Payson gets a letter from Max breaking up with her. She later finds out that he is bisexual and didn’t think Payson could handle that. Payson is so upset that she lets her sad romantic life affect her performance and her ranking drops.
Lauren starts experiencing dizziness and fainting spells. Like an idiot, she hides her condition and blames the new perfume she is developing. Yes, Lauren has her own fragrance and should call it “Stankest Bitch of All Time.” Or something like that. Meanwhile, Payson receives a letter from Max asking to end their relationship. She is so distraught by the break up that it affects her performance at practice.
We meet a young, small, and annoying gymnast and junior champion named Wendy Capshaw. She always rubs the fact that she is young into the older girls’ faces. We also meet Jordan Randall, another junior champion, who hitchhiked to camp and convinced Coach McIntire to let her into the Training Center by showing him a tape of herself doing a hard trick on the uneven bars. Leeard is pretty sure she's the worst and only there to distract the audience from the fact that Lauren is also the worst.
In the second episode, Coach McIntire pairs all the girls with a partner who will room and train with them. He tells them to choreograph a floor routine for their partners that will showcase their strengths. The pairs are Wendy/Jordan, Kelly Parker/Kaylie, and Payson/Lauren. Kaylie has trouble trusting Kelly, and Kelly won’t admit her gymnastics weaknesses to Kaylie. They don’t take each other’s advice and end up dropping in the rankings. Afterward, they have a talk and decide to start fresh.
Lauren attempts to raise Payson’s spirits by secretly setting her up with a cyclist named Brad. Brad’s BMX-riding friend, Rigo, steals the date for himself. Payson and Rigo hit it off, but Payson is furious when she finds out that Lauren orchestrated a setup. Rigo makes it clear that the setup wasn’t with him and Payson forgives Lauren. Lauren is still having secret dizzy spells. Austin loses an endorsement and seeks a career in broadcasting. He doesn’t get one, but Kaylie is able to make him feel better.
Comments - This is balls, you guys. First, we miss Emily Kmetko, and we think it’s weird that no one on the show talks about her or knows what happened to her. They should bring her back so that we have some closure (but they probably won't). Second, the premiere was too happy and cutesy. The second episode was a little back to form, but the show still isn’t the soapy, melodramatic guilty pleasure it was in seasons two or three. There was also too much of that Christian-sounding girl pop they play.
Finally, we miss the parents and Sasha. We got as attached to Sasha as we did to the girls in the first two seasons. The move from The Rock makes sense, story-wise, but it still bums us out. Are Sasha and Summer still dating? We want all the parents, Summer, and Emily in the series finale or the penultimate episode. Can we see Emily’s baby? Pretty please? Can we just hear news about her? Can we know if she's alive even?
We like that there are new girls on the show and we also like the addition of Kelly Parker to the US Training Center. Wendy is growing on us, but she annoyed in the first episode. We thought Jordan Randall would be Emily Kmetko 2.0, but she is kind of an Emily Kmetko meets Lauren Tanner, only not as bitchy as Lauren. Ern admires Jordan and hopes that the main girls make friends with her soon, but Leeard can't stand her. We don’t like her as a villain, but it’s good for her to start out as one so that she doesn’t just become an Emily replacement.
Why are Kaylie and Payson close with Lauren? Have they forgotten that Lauren is the ever-loving worst? We haven’t. Hopefully she is dying or something. We are quicker to forgive Kelly Parker than Lauren. Kelly has a horrible mother. Lauren is just horrible. We LOVE watching Lauren be horrible because it infuriates us and stirs up drama. Hopefully she goes back to being an enemy. She's a character we love to hate. We like the new coach's strong marriage to the nutritionist, especially because we fell for the adultery trick in the first episode. This show knows how to show people with integrity without coming across as cheesy or lame.
Payson is a really bad crier. She needs one day of acting lessons for that purpose only. It’s good to have her single rather than hooked up with Max. Keeping her single adds plot possibilities. Rigo isn’t our type, but you can’t deny that he has more game than anyone his age should have. That’s some nice confidence and gumption. We loved when he stole the date and rode Payson around on his bike.
We want Payson to get the gold medal at the Olympics. Normal, reasonable people would leave Otis alone, but if it will really help Payson win, the girls need to steal it. One thing they don’t need to do (Lauren) is WebMD symptoms. That website always convinces us that we are dying every time we use to find out what sicknesses we have. Everyone should just go straight to the doctor, if they can. Complaints and nostalgia for The Rock/adult characters aside, we are glad this show is getting this short third season to wrap things up. We know it will entertain.
Episode 1 grade: C+
Episode 2 grade: B-