Sweet Valley High #113: The Pom-Pom Wars

SVH113Read part one of this miniseries here.

The Moral of the Story: One week of cheerleading and Liz’s life is ruined.

The Big Deal: Regional cheerleading competition, party at Lila’s

Synopsis:

Jessica is still upset about not being a cheerleader anymore, so Ken suggests she start her own squad. She gets Maria, Sandy and Lila on board, and then Patty Gilbert and Jade Wu because they can dance. Jessica really wants Liz on the squad, even though cheerleading goes against all her feministic ideals. Lila bets Jessica that she won’t be able to get Liz to join, and then has to buy the new squad’s uniforms when Jessica blackmails Liz, saying she’ll tell Todd about Liz’s fling with Ken if she doesn’t pick up some pom-poms and get to cheering.

Jessica gets a pretty good turnout at her first practice, but she kind of freaks out when she tells the girls to work on herkies and nobody knows what she’s talking about. She’s all worked up because Heather’s squad is going to regionals and Jessica only has a week to make her squad good enough to qualify. Liz hates everything about it, but after an argument with Heather, she decides to give it her all and help Jessica out. A few days later, Jessica tries to sit with Amy, Annie and Jean (Helen seems to have disappeared again) at lunch, but they tell her Heather doesn’t want them to be friends with Jessica, and might even kick them off the squad if they’re seen talking to her.

George Herkie

George Herkie

Liz gets pages and pages of inner dialogue. “Blah, blah, Ken. Blah, blah, Todd.” She’s so confused about her feelings, and the only way she can make out with Todd one night is to pretend he’s Ken. Then she feels terribly guilty for doing that and cries some more and wonders if she’s still in love with Ken and more blah blah blah and for the fuck of shit (), would you just stop your whining already? Jeez. At a cheerleading practice, Liz is so upset that Ken is there to see Jessica and not her that she suddenly runs and does a round-off and two back handsprings. Seriously? Okay. I used to dance and tumble and all that good stuff and I know there’s just no way that this chick who sits around writing for the newspaper, never doing anything more physical than swimming at the occasional pool party, can possibly pull this kind of tumbling run out of her ass like this. Fucking Wakefield twins. They have to be good at everything. Sorry. The damned Wakefield twins get my Irish up sometimes.

A week goes by. Heather watches Jessica’s squad practice and is surprised to see they’re actually good. She tells Amy it’s too bad that only one squad from each school can go to regionals and the original squad was already chosen. When Jessica finds out, she calls the scout, Mr. Jenkins, to try to get him to reconsider. He says no, so Jessica gets her squad together and they all drive out to Mr. Jenkins’ house in Bridgewater and perform their routine on his front yard. He’s very impressed, but still won’t send them to regionals since he already gave the spot to Heather. Dejected, the girls drive back to Sweet Valley. They hear on the radio that Sweet Valley is losing the football game currently going on. Jessica figures that since they’re already in uniform, they should stop by and put on a show. Jessica goes to the sound booth and gives the girl there the tape with her routine’s music on it and says to play it at halftime. They perform better than ever while Heather, Amy, Annie and Jean stand on the sidelines looking like idiots. Of course, Sweet Valley goes on to win the game.

The whole school ends up at the Dairi Burger after the game. After Amy screams at Jessica for embarrassing her and then leaves, everyone else tells Jessica how awesome her squad was. Everyone thinks hers should be the official Sweet Valley squad, so Jessica goes to talk to Mr. Cooper about it on Monday. Old Chrome Dome says the two squads can hold a cheer-off the next day.

More of Liz worrying about Ken. She decides she has to tell Todd about her fling, but before she can do it, Todd starts going on about how happy Jessica and Ken seem to be and what a good friend Ken is. Liz decides she simply can’t tell Todd about her and Ken.

The day of the cheer-off, Amy apologizes to Jessica for everything and says she still wants to be friends, no matter which squad wins. The cheer-off results in a tie, but Mr. Jenkins is there and he says Sweet Valley can go to regionals if the two squads merge. Both Jessica and Heather hate that idea and they decide nobody is going to regionals.

The rest of the cheerleaders really want to go so they come up with a plan. They go to Jessica and Heather separately and tell each that the other has stepped down as captain so the squads can merge. They get to practicing, but the two captains can’t stop fighting. When they get to the competition and start warming up, Heather and Jessica have another argument and start to walk off, but Amy and Liz tell them to shut the fuck up or go home, the rest of the squad is performing either way. Jessica and Heather call a truce. Just before the squad is about to go on, Ken puts his arms around Liz, thinking she’s Jessica, and wishes her luck. Heather sees them, but doesn’t say anything.

Sweet Valley wins the competition. Are you totally surprised? I know I am. When the judges announce “co-captains Heather Mallone and Jessica Wakefield,” both girls get all pissed off again and try to quit (because they hadn’t already figured out they were tricked). Once again, Liz and Amy step in and tell them to shut the fuck up and go get the fucking trophy.

That night, Liz pretends to be Jessica so she can go out with Ken. As soon as they start making out, though, Liz realizes she really wants Todd and Ken realizes he’s kissing Liz. They have a long talk about their feelings. Ken says he was drawn to Jessica at first because she looked like Liz, but he really is in love with her. Liz and Ken decide to go to Todd’s house together and explain everything.

Lila is throwing a party to celebrate winning regionals. Heather comes up to Jessica and says she saw Ken and Liz getting pretty friendly at the competition earlier. Jessica races home and notices her brand new outfit is missing. She calls Todd, but he says Liz decided to stay home that night. Jessica figures out that Liz is out with Ken and she’s super pissed. When Liz and Ken get to Todd’s house to tell him the truth, Jessica is already there with Liz’s diary. Neither Todd nor Jessica wants to speak to Liz or Ken.

Quotes:

“Girls should play sports on their own, not just sit on the sidelines cheering on the guys!”

Shut up, Liz. Cheerleading is a sport, yabitch.

“What drew me to Jessica at first was the fact that she was your identical twin sister. I could almost pretend she was you.”

My god, this whole fucking town is so unhealthy. The twins really need to stop making out with the same boys.

The Cover: Liz (I think) looks like she’s having an awful lot of fun jumping around with her pom-poms while all the brunettes are shoved into the background. That must be Heather and possibly Amy spying on Jessica’s squad and pointing at them.

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Comments
  • Merrie October 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Another plot stolen or created on Saved By The Bell. remember when Jessie joined the squad (she didn’t want to) and suddenly was a great cheerleader and they beat Valley?? GO BAYSIDE!

    I always liked Ken. Now I think he’s just as bad as Todd.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Holy crap, I DON’T remember that episode! I thought for sure I’d seen them all, but that doesn’t sound at all familiar.

    [Reply]

    Merrie Reply:

    It was the episode where Slater and Zack were in a prank war with Valley.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Hmm, that part sounds familiar. There is just nothing clicking in my head when I try to picture Jessie in a cheerleading uniform (*gag*).

    [Reply]

    jen Reply:

    She made them wear uniforms with long skirts so that the people in the stands would concentrate on their words and not their bodies. Then Kelly says “but our words are ‘Beep ba-beep ba ba ba beep, go bayside!'” so Jessie writes all new intelligent feminist-appropriate cheers. Classic.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh man, sounds awful, ha.

    [Reply]

    Sadako Reply:

    I don’t remember it either but now I have the urge to go watch a Saved by the Bell-a-thon.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Me too!

    [Reply]

  • Lindsay October 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    For the fuck of shit is pretty awesome, isn’t it?

    And, Elizabeth, sweetie, why would Ken be there to see you? He is Jess’ boy toy of the book right now, isn’t he? Okay, then.

    A cheer-off? For serious?

    “Cheerleading is a sport, yabitch.” THANK YOU! Liz shoulda figured that out ’cause I KNOW Elizabeth Mildred was fucking exhausted after practice, since all she does is a few laps in the pool every now and again.

    “The damned Wakefield twins get my Irish up sometimes” I’m so glad I’m not the only one who says this.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    That’s one of my favorite expressions. The first time I heard it was years ago on MASH. Colonel Potter said, “Don’t get your Irish up!” to Hot Lips, lol.

    The cheer-off is the most ridiculous thing, especially when I picture Chrome Dome Cooper being all serious when he talks about it. Like anyone besides the cheerleaders would really care who goes to regionals.

    [Reply]

    Lindsay Reply:

    OMG, that’s where I heard it, too!!!!! I used to watch MASH with my dad all the time! I wanted to be Hot Lips. I thought she was the bees knees. More fun facts: I also wanted to be Daisy from The Dukes of Hazzard. We really just might be the same person.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Ha! That’s so awesome.
    I’m telling you, one of us could be the other’s clone.

    [Reply]

    Lindsay Reply:

    Ooo, I sent you an email RE: The Stanley Hotel.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I just sent you a really long-winded one back, lol.

    [Reply]

  • Sandy October 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Okay, I want to hear more about the argument between Heather and Liz. I really do. And I ENJOYED this recap. It was good bad.

    The cheer off is the gayest thing ever, but I’m glad there are no wolves.

    And since we been without Bruce, I’m ready for him to come back.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    When I get home from work tonight, I’ll re-read the bit about the Liz/Heather argument to refresh my memory and tell you all about it.

    I believe we’ll see a little bit from Bruce on Friday. And after that, we’ll see so much of Bruce that we’ll wish he’d go away again.

    [Reply]

    Sandy Reply:

    I forgot to mention I had a Sweet Valley dream last night. It was summer time and we were in Australia to clean up the beach for this club we were. There was like 5 plastic bottles and that’s it. Weird. The twins were there, Todd, and my sister and my niece as well. I met this hot Austalian guy and somehow we decided to get married. Next scene I’m in the typical 80’s wedding dress (long sleeved with puffy shoulders) and we tie the knot and make out. Then we all got back to cleaning the beach because there was more bottles.
    Not a nightmare, but I woke up feeling pathetic because I actually enjoyed my dream (apart from the dress).

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, wow. I love that your dress was from the 80s.

    You’re not alone in having SVH dreams, I’m sad to say.

    [Reply]

    Darren Reply:

    I’ve had dreams too, it’s hard to choose between Elizabeth and Jessica, and for some reason, I had red hair and freckles and they called me ‘Archie!’

    ha ha hahahaha< I Couldn't resist that one!

    [Reply]

    Lorelai Reply:

    Oh my God, Sandy you and I are definitely on the same wavelength.

    1. I, too, miss Bruce. Oh, Bruce. You can never have to much Bruce!

    2. I had a Sweet Valley dream a couple of nights ago. It was…um, it was hilarious and sick and twisted all at the same time. Bruce was in it. I’ll never forget it as long as I live.

    Great recap, Shannon. I feel sorry for all the burnouts and emos and free-spirit Olivias who had to put up with all that cheer-fever crap. I really doubt the WHOLE SCHOOL would be so gung-ho about a cheer-off. Oh, and too many blondes on the cover — I’m a blonde myself and I think that.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    The Heather/Liz argument is really no big deal and only lasts like one page. Liz is interviewing Heather for an article called “The Pom-Pom Wars.” Heather gets all snippy and makes some snide remarks about Jessica and her ragtag squad of misfits. And even though Liz hates cheerleading and was totally blackmailed into being on the squad, her twin loyalty wins out and she stomps away from Heather with a renewed sense of determination and goes to help Jessica write a new cheer.

    [Reply]

  • Darren October 14, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Man, where’s Helen Bradley at? Did Heather Malone possibly kill her? Did she have Amy, Jean, or Annie bump off poor Helen? Good grief, now we’ll never know!

    I thought the cheeroff was like Bring it On, a lot of drama. I can’t wait for Todd vs. Ken the fight of all fights involving Bruce Patman! Then we’ll ask where Pamela was?

    [Reply]

    Lorelai Reply:

    The premise of the Bring It On sequel seems to be lifted straight for this miniseries — like, exactly. The bitchy captain won’t let these girls on the squad, so they form their own and have a cheer off. These books are way more entertaining, though.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I only ever saw the first Bring it On, but I’m totally not surprised. This series is just a big mashup of every other story you’ve ever heard.

    [Reply]

  • Kylie October 15, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Wow, great recap! Too funny. I just stumbled across your blog, but will def read them all now! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Thank you! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • raventiger October 15, 2009 at 11:52 am

    The twins are mary sues it’s not even funny. In real life, Liz would be a crappy cheerleader because she’s not athletic and hasen’t had the training. I have to keep reminding myself that this is just a book. ha ha

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I know how you feel! They make me want to bang my head against wall and they aren’t even real people.

    [Reply]

  • Darren October 17, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Confirm or deny the girls on the book. I see:

    Jessica in front
    Elizabeth behind her showing some spirit, yes she does
    Lila Fowler is behind Elizabeth
    That tall girl looks like Sandra Bacon to me
    The girl by Sandra looks like Maria Santelli, the slightly curled hair for a pic of Maria did show her with curled hair.

    The two girls watching the cheering girls, one I think is Amy
    The other has to be Heather.

    Let me know if I’m right or not?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I have no idea. Like I said, I see twins in front and a bunch of brunettes in the background, Heather and possibly Amy spying.
    I linked the pic to the full size image for you so you can get a better look.

    [Reply]

    Darren Reply:

    I’m sure behind Elizabeth has to be Lila for I have seen her drawn out before and that does look like Lila Fowler. Opposite of Lila, that has to be Sandra. I wouldn’t say she dyed her hair, but more like fixed it with a style, and the girl below Sandra has to be Maria. I don’t think Maria is very tall myself. The other girls, not sure.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Dude, you’re totally ruining the joke!

    [Reply]

  • Bailey November 27, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    That’s what I was thinking while I read it! I sat there sayin “This sounds exactly like bring it on” – except I dont think they merged in the end.

    [Reply]

  • Kate April 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    LOl, no. Cheerleading will never be a “sport.” I know you like to get your Liz-hate on, but she was spot on about girls should play sports of their own, flash their panties at the crowd. What world do you live in where that is a Sport? Is stripping a sport in your world, too?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Damn. A little harsh, don’t you think?

    Have you ever seen a cheerleading competition? I don’t mean just high school kids cheering on their football teams. Professional cheerleaders are in better shape and are more athletic than I could ever hope to be.

    [Reply]

    Bitchy Bitchenstein Reply:

    Sorry you got cut from the squad, Katie.

    [Reply]

  • Carly September 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I love how, in the last book, Lila threw the party after the “big game.” But then in this book, apparently the party after the exact same “big game” had spontaneously broken out at Winston’s house. Oh SVH.

    [Reply]

  • Kylie90210 May 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Love, love, love ittttt!

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef October 8, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    “Girls should play sports on their own, not just sit on the sidelines cheering on the guys!” -Elizabeth.

    “Shut up, Liz. Cheerleading is a sport, ya bitch.” –Shannon

    A sport? You’re kidding, right? Thank God I wasn’t eating anything when you said that… Cheerleading is a sport like water is an vegetable.

    Oh, I hope I didn’t offend any cheerleaders that might occupy this blog. Oh, what am I saying? None of them would be able to understand my comments…

    The actress Cynthia Daniel , who played the TV Elizabeth Wakefield was a cheerleader. And apparently more Jess than Liz–not that it matters…. Just some worthless trivia there, folks…

    –Sincere As Always, Dane Youssef

    [Reply]

  • Kim December 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    I gotta say I agree with Liz on this one too. It reminds me of something my brother said, and I definitely have to agree with it. His fiancé wanted to get his daughter into cheerleading, he says cause she used to be one herself. My brother said he doesn’t want his daughter cheering for other people, he wants other people cheering for her. While it’s true that cheerleading is definitely a sport, I agree with my brother (and Liz) on the matter. But to each his/her own.

    [Reply]

  • Kim December 12, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    That random picture of that random guy jumping in the air made me laugh.

    [Reply]

  • Staci March 20, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    That “random” guy is actually my uncle, George. And he is doing a herkie, that’s not his last name. He was a cheerleader back in the ’60s. They obviously took the picture from the Internet, I’m sure without his permission, because they needed a cheerleading picture??

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, I thought it was Lawrence Herkimer. I just made up the name George Herkie because I thought it sounded funny.

    [Reply]

  • Natasha December 9, 2016 at 5:08 am

    I think the two who are spying are def Heather and Amy because in the next book Amy’s described as having long blond hair. I actually thought the one jumping around is Jess and Liz is the one looking at her and thinking “cheerleading is so beyond me.”

    I love this cheerleading series. It’s my favourite after the evil twin saga.

    [Reply]

  • Alex Kennedy January 5, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Jessica is such a cow for blackmailing her sister like that.

    [Reply]

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