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Jerry Harris on ‘Cheer’ Season 2, Taylor Swift’s Cardigan & Advice From Coach Monica

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Jerry Harris on ‘Cheer’ Season 2, Taylor Swift’s Cardigan & Advice From Coach Monica

Jane Asher

In 2020, Jerry Harris of Cheer fame is truly a beacon of light. After skyrocketing to fame thanks to his cheerful attitude (pun intended), optimism and million-dollar smile, Jerry and his “mat talk”—a.k.a. his energetic delivery of encouragement and positivity—have won a permanent place in our hearts.

In order to live life more like Jerry, we sat down with him over Zoom to talk about his morning routine. So how does Jerry start his day off on the right foot? “With a big old bowl of Cheerios, because I love Cheerios,” Jerry says with a laugh while promoting Cheerios’ campaign with No Kids Hungry. “Cheerios have been in my life as a big breakfast since I was very young.” You and me both, Jerry.

He rounds out his morning with a workout, or a nice long walk because, #quarantine. Most days start off like this for Jerry, but he admits that he, too, has his less-than-ideal days—although they’re “very rare.”

When these days come around, “I just unplug and give myself time to recharge my mental state and try to get back to my normal feeling,” he tells StyleCaster. “I feel like it’s okay to have those days when you aren’t feeling it. I really try to say that to myself especially when I have those days.”

When he’s ready to plug back in, his Navarro family group chat is his first stop. “We really try to keep in contact with each other because at the end of the day, we’re a big family and we care about each other a lot,” he says. There’s nothing quite like the unbreakable bond of a chosen family, which one of the reasons we fell in love with Navarro’s cheer team in the first place.

The group chat was, of course, buzzing when six (!!) Emmy nominations rolled in for Cheer, but not at first. “I found out from my mom that we got nominated,” Jerry explains. “And I was so confused because I was expecting my teammates to be talking about it in our group chat but nobody said anything!” Pretty big achievement to stay quiet about, IMO. “But once she told me, the group chat started blowing up and everybody was talking about it,” he confirms. “I’m like why didn’t you guys start talking about this earlier so I could have found out!” Communication is key, team! Something I’m sure Coach Monica Aldama taught her Navarro kids.

The bonds we watched form and now get to fangirl over on Instagram stem from Monica’s enduring advice. “[It’s] what she’s been preaching to us ever since we’ve had her as a coach, ever since we’ve stepped foot into the gym during the summer time to get ready for summer camp,” Jerry gushes. “Keep your circle small and only let the people in that you love that are constantly there for you and are really just family members to you.” And always end group hangs with an emotional huddle…right?

With rumors of Cheer season 2 circulating before the world fell into a global pandemic, we had to ask Jerry if he had any insider info on the status of the beloved show. “With our season being cut short, it’s kind of hard to really give a good basis or get a good judgment on what’s next,” he reveals. Seems like there were definitely cameras on Navarro’s campus! When asked if they were filming, Jerry gave a knowing smile: “Umm, I really can’t say.” Doesn’t sound like a no to me!

“We were very bummed [the season was cut short] because we only had a month before the competition happened,” Jerry continues. If you recall from season 1 of Cheer, the month leading up to Daytona is full of anticipation and excitement, so we can imagine the disappointment of the unceremonious cancellation.

“We used those couple weeks [before leaving Navarro] to really grieve with one another before we all had to leave and go our separate ways and quarantine at home,” Jerry says. “But under the circumstances, we understood what was going on.” And of course, they had plenty of guidance from Monica.

Jerry kindly passed alongMonica’s advice and wisdom, which we all need to be reminded of during this time: “She told us, ‘What’s going on now isn’t going to last forever, It’s temporary.’” Leave it to Monica to calm my anxiety, even though we’ve never actually met.

Being a Swiftie, the conversation, of course, turned towards the package Monica received from Taylor Swift: Her very own cardigan. “When she received that I was so shook!,” says Jerry in his familiar animated voice. “My jaw literally dropped to the floor when I saw that. Seeing [the cardigan] on her, it looks so cute,” he admits. “I want it to look cute on me too so I might have to get one too.” In case you’re wondering, yes, I pre-ordered mine the day the merch went on sale. It’s not too late for yours too, Jerry!

Even though he might not be filming or training for Daytona, Jerry’s schedule is packed these days, including his new partnership with Cheerios and No Kid Hungry, a cause near to his heart. “I’ve grown up [with] food insecurity,” Jerry revealed. “Not knowing where my next meal would be…I would have days I would be so hungry I wouldn’t even focus on what I was learning in school.”

The situation is even worse these days, thanks to remote learning, as many kids relied on schools to provide breakfast and lunch “So that’s why I love that Cheerios has partnered with No Kid Hungry to try and help as many people as they can. It’s truly amazing and truly beautiful.” Jerry, we think you’re amazing and beautiful. Keep up the good work, we’re all rooting for you!

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