On Monday, May 14, 2012, Make It or Break It officially ended. Upsetting a very large fan base, it was decided that this show would be cancelled halfway through Season 3, which is just about the dumbest thing ever, especially considering what a magnificent show it was. I have seen every episode, and while it may seem strange that I, generally taking interest in the more macabre and strange side of entertainment, would be so intrigued with such a sugary, saccharine-rich television drama. But I am, I was, and will always be. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a bit of time to give you all a rundown of the characters and the storyline in case you aren’t familiar. After all, this is it, folks! :sniffles:
Emily Kmetko (Chelsea Hobbs) – Our main character for the first season or so, Emily is a newcomer to the Rocky Mountain gymnastics club. She is poor, her mother (played by Susan Ward) is a bit zany, and dresses very provocatively, but is always there for her daughter. She even wrote to the head coach at the Rock to get her daughter in the door from the local YMCA. Emily is headstrong and intense, but very fragile. The Rock girls, particularly bitch Lauren, are intimidated by her and see her as competition. Eventually, they all become great friends. Emily has to make ends meet by working at a pizza joint, which she is strictly forbidden to do. She is constantly getting in trouble by the National Gymnastics Organization, because she keeps breaking the rules and putting her scholarship in jeopardy. Her brother is in a wheelchair, and her mother resorts to working as a bar maid to keep her daughter’s dream alive. Her father’s nowhere to be found, and she finds herself crushing on two guys, Razor and Damon, whom she met while making pizzas. Razor had to leave town, and while he was gone, she and Damon fell in love. Damon ends up kissing Kaylie, who is struggling with an eating disorder, causing them to break up. They work everything out, and eventually, Emily gets pregnant with Damon’s baby, and subsequently leaves the sport altogether. She and Damon’s storyline was never really tied up, disappointing many fans. Neither she nor Damon, or even Emily’s mother appeared in the final season, much to our chagrin.
Kaylie Cruz (Josie Loren) – Kaylie, best friends with Lauren, and girlfriend of another gymnast, Carter, began to come more into her own, once Emily’s storyline was dwindled down. Lauren slept with Carter, and they both kept it from Kaylie for a long, long time. They eventually break up, and she and Lauren swear never to speak to each other again. Of course, they do, realizing that lifelong friendship shouldn’t let a guy come between them, not to mention the Rock team in general. I definitely did not agree with this, because Lauren is always causing trouble. If she’s breathing, she’s planning some shady scheme. Anyway, after winning the National Championships, she becomes more and more conscious of her weight, prompted unbeknownst, by loveable coach Sasha, and her determination to beat a rival. She eventually develops anorexia, and gets very unhealthy. She ends up in therapy, and at a camp with other girls like her. Kaylie meets a model, Maeve, who doesn’t think either of them belong there. Maeve ends up dying from complications related to her eating disorder, and this really causes Kaylie to snap out of it. She is still in recovery, and writes in her diary frequently. Once at the Training Center for the upcoming London Olympics, she and Kelly Parker, her mortal enemy, become besties, and realize they have a lot more in common than they ever knew. Kaylie’s parents are divorcing, after her mother cheated on her father with the previous coach, Marty. Meanwhile, Kaylie develops a relationship with gold medalist, Austin Tucker, and they fall in love. He dumps her after the advice she gave him wound up getting him kicked off the potential team, whereby he launches into a diatribe about how she wrecked him, and none of it would have happened if he hadn’t fallen for her. She is completely crushed, understandably, because Austin was acting like a complete prick.
Lauren Tanner (Cassie Scerbo) – Lauren, this show’s uber-bitch-turned-nice-girl-in-the-last-season, is a stand-out gymnast with a rich daddy, and no mommy to speak of. Her mother decided that other things were more important, namely drugs, so she is constantly on the look-out for a mother figure. She thinks she finds it in Dad’s new girlfriend, Summer, an uber-Christian, but they eventually break up, devastating Lauren. Her many indiscretions include sleeping with best friend Kaylie’s boyfriend, Carter, and videotaping a clandestine kiss between Payson and coach Sasha, which culminated after Payson’s return from back surgery and taking her coach’s care of her to mean something more, and sending it to the NGO to get Sasha fired, among others. Her mother returned for a few days, trying to reconnect with her daughter, but her father shooed her away, and days later, winds up dead, further devastating this self-destructive teen. Eventually, she comes clean about everything, but at first, it seems too little, too late. Toward the end of the third season, Lauren begins experiencing strange medical symptoms, and it turns out she has a weird defect in her heart. Payson tracks down a special heart doctor, who just magically listens to her, and comes to Lauren’s aid, despite telling her already that athlete’s hearts are different. She comes through the minor surgery well, but will always have symptoms. Her doctor finally wires her with a device that tracks her heartbeat so she can continue to train, even though the odds seem stacked against her. Everyone rallies around her, and it seems she really is sorry for all the bad shit she’s done, and all is forgiven.
Payson Keeler (Ayla Kell) – Payson is the powerhouse gymnast of the Rock, the strong backbone of the team, and the girl everyone likes. She has morals, but isn’t pushy about it, and is kind of rich, but has to live with only seeing her dad occasionally because he can’t quite his job back in another state. She is constantly striving to be the best, and has won tons of awards. She is completely heartbroken when she suffers a traumatic injury, a broken back, but months later, after suffering through wearing a back brace 24/7 and enduring public school life, a risky surgical procedure helps her. She is now back in the game, but is not exactly the powerhouse she was. She falls in love, well, like, with their coach, Sasha, and kisses him, while Lauren videos them without their knowledge. He, of course, pushes her away, but he gets in trouble anyway with the NGO. She had to fight to get him back, and was completely betrayed once she found out it was Lauren who turned them in. At the Rock, she developed a kinda-sorta relationship with Max, but after realizing he was bisexual and kissing Austin, he couldn’t keep leading Payson on. Except that he broke up with her in a fucking letter. Real classy. At the training center for the Olympic games, she found love with a BMX boy named Rigo, and traded in her V-card, which she swore not to do until she won gold. She also tracked down the special heart doctor to convince him to take on Lauren as a patient, even after all the shitty things she’s done.
Jordan Randall (Chelsea Tavares) – Jordan is a girl with a (very understandable) chip on her shoulder, who becomes the team’s nemesis for the last season. Turns out, she’s been in foster care many times, with no one to really care about her, and she had been molested by her gymnastics coach for years. After making up with Kaylie from years past, she confides in her about the abuse, and Kaylie helps her get closure. She is a killer gymnast with a killer attitude.
Kelly Parker (Nicole Gale Anderson) – Kelly has been the Rock girls’ enemy from day one, being doted on by sponsors, judges, and coaches alike. Kelly was always snarky and rude, but really, threatened by the other girls’ talent. She even tried to befriend Kaylie last season so she could expose her eating disorder by stealing her personal diary. She admits what she did, and apologizes, but it seems the damage is done. In the final season, we finally get to see her nice side, and she completely changes. She and Kaylie become best friends. She even tells off her good-for-nothing, racist, bitch of a mother who only ever cared about fame. Kelly quits gymnastics before trials, because the only reason she’s really been doing it is for her money-and-fame-hungry mother, and not because she truly loved it. She became one of my favorite characters during the last season, making the cancellation suck that much more.
So, what happened on the finale…?
Kaylie told Coach McIntyre about the molestation that Jordan suffered at the hands of Coach Ray for years. Jordan refused to come forward, even initially denying that it ever happened. McIntyre confronted Ray, telling him to get lost, even punching him. Eventually, Jordan comes around and tells the police, after Kaylie and Payson send out an e-mail to other gymnasts Ray might have coached, also telling of their experiences. He’s finally arrested. Little bitch Wendy drugs Kaylie with pseudoephedrine, knowing it will show up in her drug screening right before Olympic Trials. She is kicked off the team, and heartbroken. Jordan, Payson, and Lauren go on strike, saying that if Kaylie can’t compete, they won’t either. Eventually, Lauren figures out that Wendy is the culprit, and Kaylie is finally cleared. Austin comes back to apologize to Kaylie about the absolutely, ridiculously horrible way he treated her, and it seems they made up a little, though after all that, I don’t see how anything could ever be the same. At the end, the Olympic team is announced, and Kaylie, Payson, Lauren, and Jordan all make it! Little bitch Wendy is out, and everything ends happily ever after.
But why? Why did it have to end, and why just before the Olympics? To me, that’s just insane. Millions of other viewers, like myself, completely loved this show, and now, we can only speculate whether or not any of the girls won gold, whether Emily and Damon are even still together, whether Kaylie’s parents worked it out, or Austin and Kaylie for that matter. Rest in peace, Make it or Break it, thank you for all the fond memories through three amazing seasons! We’ll miss you!!