Copious Notes

‘Redneck cheerleader’ from Paris on CBS series ‘TKO’ with Kevin Hart

Bourbon County-based cheerleading choreographer Brooklyn Freitag and Kevin Hart on the CBS competition series “TKO: Total Knock Out,” which airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 18.
Bourbon County-based cheerleading choreographer Brooklyn Freitag and Kevin Hart on the CBS competition series “TKO: Total Knock Out,” which airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 18. CBS

A Bourbon County-based cheerleading choreographer will take on the obstacle course and her fellow competitors Wednesday night on “TKO: Total Knock Out,” the new CBS competition show starring Kevin Hart.

Brooklyn Freitag, a Bourbon County High School graduate who now travels the world choreographing cheerleading routines, describes the show as a cross between NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and the old syndicated “American Gladiators,” with a dash of ABC’s “Wipeout.”

In the show, competitors take on four different obstacle courses as well as their fellow competitors, who are physically and verbally trying to stop them.

Freitag says she got connected to “TKO” through a friend who knew a casting director for the show.

“They were looking for athletes with big personalities, crazy characters,” Freitag said from Boston, where she was working Tuesday. “So I was the redneck cheerleader, that was my character. It was so fun.

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Paris-based cheerleading choreographer Brooklyn Freitag talks with host Kevin Hart on “TKO: Total Knock Out.” Monty Brinton CBS

“It was very random,” she says of getting on the show. “It just fell in my lap.”

She went out to Los Angeles to record her episode in May.

“You pretty much get the crap beat out of you,” Freitag says of competing on the series. “I left with a ton of bruises and scratches, and I could barely move.”

And remember, as a cheerleading choreographer, she’s in really good shape.

This isn’t Freitag’s first brush with big-time entertainment. She brought her cheerleading expertise to the original Broadway production of “Bring It On: The Musical,” a show about competitive cheerleading that was a surprise nominee for best musical at the 2013 Tony Awards.

Being on “TKO,” she experienced both sides of the competition, participating on the course and taking on her fellow competitors.

“I like a good challenge, so I liked going through the course,” Freitag says. “Some of it was really hard, like it was really tiring. But I like the whole running and jumping and flying through the air part. That was more fun than trying to take someone down.”

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Bourbon County-based cheerleading choreographer Brooklyn Freitag says the log roll challenge was the toughest part of being on the new CBS competition show, “TKO: Total Knock Out.” Her episode airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 18. Monty Brinton CBS

The hardest challenge for Freitag was a log-roll type of challenge, while she enjoyed a climbing wall, even if fellow competitors were throwing balls at her. And of course, she got to meet movie star Kevin Hart.

“He’s a happy guy, he’s so lovable,” Freitag says. “He’s a rockstar.”

She says Hart gave her a hard time for being so high energy on the show.

“I’m embarrassed, because I’m, pretty outrageous anyway,” Freitag says. “I was so nervous, and I’m pretty high energy, so I probably look outrageous on this TV show.”

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