A play-by-play look at how the ‘Cheer’ athletes accidentally dropped a teammate, and what was supposed to happen instead

The Navarro cheer team practicing on episode three of Netflix's

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The Navarro cheer team practicing on episode three of Netflix’s “Cheer.”
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Netflix
  • On Netflix’s “Cheer,” the Navarro team accidentally throw cheerleader Mackenzie “Sherbs” Sherburn into the air – but mysteriously no one is there to catch her.
  • Coach Monica Aldama told HuffPost there was a group who was supposed to “throw another girl back and catch Sherbs.”
  • They did it perfectly earlier on the episode, but the time Sherbs dropped they “couldn’t get that girl out of their arms.”
  • The mistake is a lot easier to spot knowing this and looking at GIFs of moment.
  • Sherbs suffered a dislocated elbow as a result of the fall.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

At the end of Netflix’s third episode of “Cheer,” the Navarro cheerleading team accidentally tossed Mackenzie “Sherbs” Sherburn into the air and then, for reasons not explained on the documentary, nobody was there to catch her. She hit the floor, hard, and wound up dislocating her elbow.

“It was very scary, not seeing anyone there,” Sherbs said on the Netflix documentary.

“When Sherbs fell, there was a lot of factors in that,” Aldama, the head coach for Navarro’s cheer team, said on the Netflix series. “It’s not always one person’s fault – I mean, it’s a team effort. Everyone has to be held accountable for everyone on the team.”

But what exactly happened? How could a team clearly so prepared and talented manage to mess up that badly? The people need to know. So we investigated.

Earlier on the episode, we saw the stunt completed without anyone getting dropped

Sherbs plus other cheerleader #2

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Netflix

During the footage from the same night practice, we were shown what appears to be the same stunt executed perfectly normally. Sherbs and another cheerleader start in the center, fall sideways, then are both pushed up into the air and back to the other side.

It looks like the stunt teams holding them are supposed to simply switch which cheerleader they’re catching.

But when the team ran the routine again, just a few minutes later on the episode, that group was still holding the other cheerleader at the point when Sherbs was launched to the side.

Sherbs fell because the group who was supposed to catch her was still holding the other girl

First, here’s that key moment when Sherbs (the blonde with the blue-trimmed top) falls:

Sherbs fall Cheer Netflix episode three

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Netflix

Aldama better explained the accident in an interview with HuffPost, where she said the mistake had to do with the timing of a totally separate catch.

“They were supposed to throw another girl back and catch Sherbs,” Aldama told HuffPost in a recent interview. “And for some reason they couldn’t get that girl out of their arms, and so the people that were supposed to catch her had someone else in their hands.”

As you can see in the below still images, Sherbs is on her way to the other side of the mat but the catch group still hadn’t launched the other girl into the air yet.

The group circled should have already launched the girl they're holding into the air.

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The group circled should have already launched the girl they’re holding into the air.
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Netflix

“Whenever it happened, I just looked down and I didn’t see anyone there, and I was like, ‘Oh no, this is about to be bad,'” Sherbs said on the episode. “I think I just closed my eyes and put my arm out, which you’re not really supposed to do in cheerleading.”

It’s not clear why the group failed to launch the other girl, although the previous version of this stunt included a third person (who appeared to be Lexi) helping them.

As you can see, the time Sherbs was dropped there’s just two guys there, still holding the other cheerleader.

In the background, Jerry is also panicking at the sight of Sherbs falling towards nobody.

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In the background, Jerry is also panicking at the sight of Sherbs falling towards nobody.
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Netflix

She was one of the first people to see what was happening, and reached out her arms to try and break Sherbs’ fall (shown above).

Sherbs brought down three other people – the entire other catch group – when she fell.

Episode three of

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Episode three of “Cheer,” titled “Blood, Sweat, and Cheers.”
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Netflix

The cheerleader in the orange shirt (below) was one of the people who caught Sherbs in the previous iterations of the trick.

Episode three of

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Episode three of “Cheer,” titled “Blood, Sweat, and Cheers.”
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Netflix

Clearly, something went wrong with the timing of Sherbs’ launch and the other cheerleader’s catch. Either one of the Navarro teammates forgot to help launch the other girl out in time to catch Sherbs, or the entire sequence was just out of order.

As Aldama explained, the issue was that the group intended to catch Sherbs was still holding another girl, so they couldn’t just drop one person to catch another in time.

“The show didn’t really touch on it, but we changed the pyramid after that just to make it safer so that that would never happen again,” Aldama told HuffPost.

You can watch the moment for yourself on Netflix’s “Cheer,” which is streaming now.