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Dance Moms: Miami is still living up to its initial hype, for me at least.  I love the Victor/Angel good cop/bad cop dynamic, and once again, the dancers prove that they are way more capable of maturity, class, and kindness than their bat poo crazy mothers.

We resume with the ever ominous list.  Even though the group out-performed everyone, it’s not enough for Victor and Angel.  Despite a second place finish, Lucas is on top.  A proud Kimmy takes the second spot for remembering choreography, and, more importantly, having the least crazy mother.  Even though Sammy placed first in the solo performance, she’s in the third position.  A smug Sammy is confused.  Jessi’s mother is already crying knowing her daughter’s near the bottom.  Victor reminds her that a reputation takes a second to destroy and months to rebuild.  Remember that, poor sport!  Debi is upset that Hannah had her best dance yet but still ends up at the bottom.

The crew is heading back to California.  How do I become the child of a Dance Mom?  I would like to traipse around the country each week, despite my fear of flying.  Lucas and Kimmy are granted solos.  Sammy is given a solo by Victor, accompanied by harsh words from Angel.  Neither Jessi nor Hannah will be dancing solos.  The group dance is a deep, contemporary number based in each dancers’ insecurities.

Angel is shocked at how nice the moms are being towards one another.  He cites that there must have been a special on booze at the liquor store.  Man, I love him.  Of course, by nice, he means the mothers are passive aggressively complimenting their counterparts…make that their counterparts’ children.  Victor and Angel tap into the crews’ insecurities.  Are they licensed therapists?  The kids are crying about how small and ugly and imperfect they feel, and it pretty much all goes straight back to how their moms behave.  The moms are proud…yet Susan thinks that Sammy isn’t quite deserving a three-run solo.  Even the normally calm Bridgette calls out Abby on her cockiness surrounding her daughter.  So basically, the insecurity exercise works on the kids, yet it ignites the moms.  The moms, sans Abby, go to on a group bathroom outing, which all girls know is code for major gossip time.

The troupe practices purging their insecurities through dance.  After Debi was excited to see Abby finally treated as the outsider, she is perturbed to see Bridgette approaching Abby to apologize.  Bridgette is convinced that Debi manipulated the women to find fault with Abby, mother to Sammy, who, may I remind you, is a child and also Debi’s nemesis—not Debi’s daughter’s nemesis, but Debi’s nemesis.  The only issue Hannah and Sammy seem to have is that their mothers want them to hate each other.

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Kimmy is working hard to perfect her solo, what with her precious self-inflicted choreography issues.  She is adorbs.  Lucas, likewise, is struggling with his lyrical dance moves.  Sammy, however, loves her solo, entitled “All Eyes On Me.”  She loves being the center of attention, as should any child who seriously aspires to be the next Hannah Montana.  Sammy reveals her mom knows how to “Dougie.”  Abby is then called upon to teach all the other moms the Dougie dance.  It’s embarrassing.

When the moms retreat from the sofa, Angel takes a moment to place the kids to the sofa where they all do a wonderful job of mocking their parents.  It is hilarious.  They may out-mom their moms.  The mothers find it funny, and the dancers are spot-on at totally reaming their mothers for such bad behavior.

Perfectionist Kimmy is working extra hard.  Bridgette points out that Ani is more uptight and concerned about Kimmy’s solo than her daughter is.  Abby, Susan, and Bridgette decide to evacuate for a cocktail, where Abby is asked if Debi behaved the same way at their former studio.  Abby reveals that Debi was actually asked to leave the studio…how sad for sweet, innocent Hannah?  On that note, Bridgette and Susan admit that Debi attempted to get Victor and Angel to give Sammy poorly choreographed routines to give Hannah an edge.  Again, how sad for sweet, innocent Hannah?  Abby is appalled, but Susan is thrilled to finally not be perceived as the most insane of the mothers.

The craziness touches back down in California.  Ani is trying not to deflect her nervousness onto poor Kimmy.  Can I say she is doing a terrible job at this?  Kimmy performs first from her crew, and her “I’m Not Perfect” routine seems to be, well, perfect.  Her mother Ani is in tears, Victor is proud, and Debi does an unimpressed half-clap.  Lucas starts off his performance by saying, “I don’t mean to be cocky…”  He also does an amazing job, save for some “wobbling on the tilt.”   Yeah, I totally caught that.  Sammy’s solo is definitely the vessel for a young Miley in training.  I’m impressed, but you know who isn’t?  If you guessed Debi, you’re right!  Odd that Hannah is the first one to congratulate Sammy on a job well done…

Angel isn’t one for compliments, citing seeing Kimmy’s fear and Lucas’ wobbliness on stage.  Sammy is praised.  Bridgette is wondering if she should have been so quick to befriend Abby now that her daughter is overshadowing her mini-Biebs.  A precious Kimmy takes second place, but Sammy and Lucas don’t place.  Bridgette is appalled…Lucas has been placing in the top five since her left her womb!  Abby isn’t thinking it’s Sammy’s dancing that caused such an upset.  A little birdie told her that someone wanted Victor to give her daughter mediocre choreography…that could be the only explanation for Sammy not to place.

Abby approaches Victor and Angel about the accusations that Debi wanted to sabotage Sammy’s solos.  Their faces tell her all she needs to know, but it’s clear that neither Angel nor Victor actually appeased Debi’s request.  Angel isn’t happy though, as he doesn’t believe Abby is convinced of their integrity.  The group dance is beautiful and moving and powerful…and it totally reminds me of a dance my middle school drama class performed to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for drug awareness week…only they weren’t world-class dancers, and these kids are pretty amazing.  It wins them fifth place.

The moms are thrilled, but Victor and Angel are less than impressed.  I am a little peeved that they don’t give Kimmy her props.  Abby takes this opportunity to talk about Debi’s sabotage, even though she admittedly thinks that Sammy’s choreography was flawless.  Debi is quick to back pedal, sending an extremely upset Abby into the hall.

Next week, in what is clearly a “get over yourselves” to their moms, Victor and Angel give Hannah and Sammy a duet.  Kimmy tries to channel her inner Victor, while Debi believes that Bridgette is emerging as the new mean mom on the block.

COMMENTS ON LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE?  WHICH MOM DO YOU THINK IS THE CRAZIEST?  WHO ARE THE MOST TALENTED DANCERS?

[Photo Credit: Scott Gries/Lifetime]

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