Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

Act One

On her last day of junior year, Campbell Davis prays to be named captain of the Truman High School cheerleading squad ("What I Was Born to Do"). The rest of the squad — including Steven, Campbell's "so handsome it hurts" boyfriend; Skylar and Kylar, two cheertastic besties; and the fresh-faced sophomore, Eva — dream of the notoriety that comes with being a Buccaneers Cheerleader.

Skylar savors the moment as Tryouts are underway and Campbell does make captain. The spunky, full-figured Bridget is cut for the fourth year in a row and relegated to yet another season of being the mascot. The very green, but eager, Eva, however does make the squad. As the rest head off to celebrate, Campbell reflects on the difficulties to come and dreams of that "One Perfect Moment."

At summer Cheer Camp, Eva's nervousness threatens the squad's chance to win the coveted Spirit Stick, an honor that almost always indicates an upcoming Nationals win. To boost Eva's confidence, Campbell takes her aside and names her the Sophomore Spirit Leader — which means that, if Campbell were to lose her position, Eva would be third in the "line of succession" after Skylar and Kylar. After Campbell lifts Eva's spirits, Truman triumphs and celebrates their Spirit Stick win.

Two weeks before the end of summer, Campbell receives a letter with terrible news: she's been redistricted to inner-city Jackson High School. A horrified Kylar informs her that, "They don't even have a squad!" Despite her attempts to stay at Truman, Campbell's fate is sealed, her dream is gone ("What I Was Born to Do – Reprise") and even Steven can't console her.

Campbell arrives at Jackson and discovers that Bridget has been redistricted as well. ("Do Your Own Thing") Amidst all the hard knocks and rough words, the girls meet the charming Randall, an aspiring music producer and self-proclaimed multi-clique mingler. Intimidated and amazed, the pair is wowed by an impromptu performance from Jackson's resident dance crew trio: Nautica, La Cienaga and Danielle, the head of the crew. Campbell's interaction with the "fee-yearce" Danielle is more of the rejected same, but Bridget is an unexpected hit, not only with the three, but especially with the hormonal Twig, who loves her curves. Campbell offers her talents to the crew, but a verbal slip-up turns the Jackson women against her. Danielle firmly explains that "We Ain't No Cheerleaders," and lets Bridget in the crew.

Adding insult to injury, the discouraged Campbell receives a series of voicemails from her old squadmates exclaiming how wonderful the season is going. Sympathetic, Bridget consoles her by taking her to the Burger Pagoda — where, it just so happens, Danielle works. Campbell tries to make amends, but Danielle is unmoved. Danielle's tune changes a bit after Campbell earnestly confronts a pair of entitled rich girls who are harassing Danielle. Impressed and amused by Campbell's spunk, Danielle reconsiders and offers Campbell a one-time chance to dance with the crew. The caveat, though, is that she must do it dressed in an old leprechaun mascot suit ("Friday Night, Jackson"). After a shaky start, Campbell kills it as the leprechaun and causes Randall to become quite smitten. An impressed Danielle gives Campbell an official spot on the Jackson crew.

Later that night, Skylar and Kylar share shocking news: a reduction in Skylar's grades means that she can't be captain... and Kylar has contracted mono. By the rules of succession, Eva is now captain. Campbell suspects that "Something Isn't Right Here." A visit to Eva's house seems to confirm her suspicions. Eva has taken on Campbell's appearance, and Campbell discovers a half-clothed Steven "studying" there, as well. Unconvinced by their explanations, Campbell breaks up with Steven and feverishly goes to Skylar and Kylar, who accuse her of paranoia and jealousy. Assessing the situation with Bridget, Campbell learns that Eva's mother is on the school board — the body in charge of redistricting. Outraged and certain of a conspiracy, Campbell decides to get back at Eva by assembling a squad at Jackson and crushing her at Nationals. It's time to "Bring It On."

Act Two

Campbell approaches a reluctant Danielle about creating a cheerleading squad at Jackson. When Campbell reveals that a Nationals win includes college scholarships for each winning member, the determined and educationally driven Danielle agrees. The girls set out to assemble a squad ("It's All Happening"), but some of the facts that Campbell uses to recruit members are somewhat questionable. Nonetheless, a squad — that includes Bridget — is formed.

Training is off and running. Randall flirtingly presents Campbell with the routine music that he's put together, and a few of the squad members present a saucy dance that Campbell has to inform them would cause the judges to "deduct hella points" if they were to do it. The understanding ladies are then given a crash course in "cheer faces."

At the Regional Competition weeks later, Truman watches Jackson perform. While Eva, Steven and Kylar are wowed, Skylar is smugly convinced that "Truman Is Better." Although Jackson takes second to Truman, they accumulate enough points to qualify for Nationals. The squads exchange a few backhanded compliments, and the competitive tension becomes palpable.

Back at school, Twig asks Bridget on a date, and Bridget shyly declines. This calls for an intervention from Nautica and La Cienega, who assure her that "It Ain't No Thing" when it comes to her insecurities. Her self-esteem boosted, Bridget chases after Twig. Meanwhile, Randall asks Campbell on a picnic date on the cliffs above their town, to which she happily accepts.

Moments later, the furious Jackson crew confronts Campbell. Danielle has discovered that Campbell lied about the college scholarships as a Nationals prize, and, as a result, Danielle discontinues their friendship and disbands the squad. Although disconsolate and disgusted with herself ("What Was I Thinking?"), Campbell still shows up for her date with Randall. After some playful ribbing, he encourages her to "Enjoy the Trip" that is this life, as opposed to stressing out so much.

Eva dishes and embellishes on the story of Jackson's squad troubles to Skylar and Kylar. Then, in a private moment, Eva celebrates the "Killer Instinct" she showed in creating her path to captain by blackmailing her own mother to get Campbell transferred, hacking the school's system and changing Skylar's grade, hiring "some sick guy to lick Kylar's toothbrush."

At Jackson, Bridget shows off her Twig hickey to the girls. Campbell pulls Danielle aside and offers a profuse, pained apology. Danielle is still hurt by the lie, but acknowledges the joy that their work brought her. Campbell explains that the experience changed her to the point where she no longer felt any ambition to go to Nationals — their friendship should have always been paramount. Despite her conflicting feelings, Danielle decides to continue working together ("We're Not Done"). Nationals is back on!

At Nationals, Truman gives a legendary performance of their routine. As the squad recovers, Campbell congratulates Skylar and Kylar. Shocked at Campbell's presence, Eva tries to undermine her confidence in the holding area among the entire Jackson squad. Eva's efforts escalate, and the conversation culminates with the revelation of her villainous behavior ("Eva's Rant"). Nonetheless, Jackson takes to the mat and offers an exuberant, mind-blowing routine that breaks the rules of cheerleading, but inspires wild cheering from the arena ("Cross the Line").

They leave the floor, confident in the fact that they said their piece and got the crowd "ROWDY," but, because of their disregard for the rules, Jackson doesn't place and Truman wins Nationals. Campbell is offered a trophy by Randall, though. Sure, it's his Pinewood Derby trophy from Cub Scouts, but thanks to a sharpie, it reads "First place for everything that matters."

Together in celebration, the Truman squad and Jackson squad forge a friendship that is worth far more than any National Title ("I Got You").