Everyone loves Jerry. He may not be the most talented cheerleader on Netflix’s surprise hit docuseries Cheer — in fact, for most of the season, it’s unclear whether he’ll even compete when the Navarro College squad takes the mat at the national championships in Daytona. But what Jeremiah "Jerry" Harris lacks in athleticism and self-confidence, he more than compensates for with supernovan mat talk. Mat talk is the relentless chatter from the non-competing cheerleaders that grates like pots being hit with wooden spoons too late into the night on New Year’s Eve, but which, it turns out, is super critical to the tumblers and stunters and top girls staying motivated through their entire 2 minute and 15 second routine.
And Jerry’s mat talk is superstellar, cutting through doldrums and literally building (human) pyramids. It might not be hyperbole to say his mat talk saves lives. Harris talks to his teammates, who are also his friends, who may as well be family, the way we only wish we could talk to ourselves — warm, encouraging, loving. It’s why it was so bittersweet to see him open his scholarship letter from the University of Louisville in the season finale. Everyone wants the best for Jerry, but what’s a cheer squad without its big, thumping heart?
It seems the question was premature. According to his Instagram, Jerry’s back in Corsicana.
Looking at his posts from last fall and this news report from WDRB, the local Louisville Fox-affiliate, it’s clear that Harris did spend some time cheering on the Cards as part of the University’s Spirit Program. But on Jan. 12 he posted a photo with Season 1 cast members Dillon Brandt and Javon Kendrick declaring himself both “back” and, somehow, “better than ever.”
It’s not the only development to play out across Harris’s social media since the Cheer premiere. According to Harris, his cheer moms — his term of endearment for the women who have supported him since his mother, Lizzie, passed away when he was just 16 years old — have reactivated the GoFundMe account they established five years ago immediately following Lizzie’s death. Donations have been tumbling in over the past day, mostly in small denominations but also with gifts as large as $1,000. The account still features a note Harris wrote to contributors four years ago, when the loss of his mother was freshest. “Because of the kindness of the ICE cheer parents and others I have received rides to and from practices,” he wrote then. “Thank you to the ICE coaches for your kindness, support, and trusting me to cross over onto your teams when I truly needed cheer to fill the gap in my life.”
In the space of a week, Harris’s affable positivity has taken him from a Texas junior college cheerleader to a meme to a Cameo-level celebrity. So, if you can’t wait until Season 2, fifty bucks will buy you a 30-second fix. Unsurprisingly, customers have unanimously awarded Jerry five stars.