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Last night’s Dance Moms was the showdown between Abby Lee’s Dance Company and Cathy’s Candy Apples.

Abby Lee Miller isn’t thrilled (to say the least) that her girls lost their last competition by one-tenth of a point.  It’s time to cowboy up!  These girls are the ones to beat, not the ones to be beat.  This week the troupe will be traveling to Ohio to compete…against former dance mom Cathy’s group of Candy Apples.  Abby, the girls, and their mothers are all rolling the their eyes at the thought of seeing Cathy again.  At least they finally seem united! Abby wants to make apple pie out of Cathy’s group with her dancers as the a la mode.

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The group dance is entitled “Land Unforgiven” and it’s about territory.  Abby plans to fight fire with fire and bring some older dancers into the group number just like Cathy will do.  Brooke is still on probation and at the bottom of the pyramid.  Of course she is, she went to her eighth grade dance instead of competing.  The shame!  MacKenzie joins Brooke due to her incessant gum chewing.  Nia is also on the bottom because of her issues with turns.  On the next level is Paige, who is also on probation with her sister.  Chloe’s mistake in the group dance lands her on the second level.  Maddie is once again at the top of the pyramid, but this week she is joined by…herself.  She won two titles so she has earned two spots at the top.

Paige gets a solo, and she will be going head to head with Candy Apple Kendall for a title.  Kelly is beyond excited.  However, Paige will not have any rehearsals.  Abby tells her she is welcome to use the studio, but she’ll be performing an old routine that she should already know like the back of her hand.  In a grand gesture, Abby removes Paige’s probation, prompting Paige to get a sweet hug from Nia.  Man, I love these little girls.  All of the girls are so supportive of Paige.  Chloe will also perform a solo called “Angry Bird.”  Maddie, although a two-time winner, will not have a solo this week so she can rest.

In the viewing room, the moms start cackling about how weird it is that Maddie was on the pyramid twice, especially given that no one else was even offered the opportunity to have an extra dance.  Melissa knows she’s in for a long rehearsal.  Abby introduces her dancers to Katherine, Arielle, and Nina who are much older than this troupe.  Christi is offended.  Abby is always criticizing Cathy for bringing in older girls…why can’t she let their daughters beat Cathy on their own without sinking to her level?  Holly agrees that this move is entirely hypocritical.

Meanwhile, Cathy has cast her daughter Vivi as the centerpiece in the Asian princess themed group dance.  Jill, a defector from Abby’s camp, is slightly peeved that her daughter Kendall isn’t getting top billing.  Cathy brings in Mitchell and Michael who are professional choreographers.  Again, Jill is concerned that Cathy isn’t confident her choreography could beat Abby.

Melissa tries to break the ice with the other mothers by congratulating Kelly on Paige’s solo.  Kelly passive aggressively responds that she doesn’t think the choreography for Paige’s solo is up to par, but she hopes it will be enough to beat Kendall.  She is also confused as to why Abby has the girls working more on gymnastics when they should be focused on their routines.  Christi agrees.  Kelly and Christi decide to speak with Abby about why they are working on gymnastics and Paige not having any teachers to help her with her choreography.  Abby just thinks that Kelly should be thrilled that Paige has a solo.  Abby couldn’t care less.

Kelly and Christi meet for drinks and complain about how their daughters don’t get nearly the attention that Maddie does.  Kelly reveals that she is going to take it upon herself to re-choreograph Paige’s solo so that is has more difficulty and technique.  She used to dance at the same studio when she was growing up, so she feels like she’s got a handle on it.  Christi warns her that she’s setting up Paige to feel Abby’s wrath.

In her effort to crush Abby, Cathy has her dancers working with the guest choreographers.  While she works with Kendall on her solo, Cathy hopes for more technique.  She isn’t super excited about the results.  Jill feels that Cathy has lost interest in Kendall as a dancer, and she’s not willing to put the extra oomph into her choreography.

Precious Chloe is working on her contemporary solo.  She admits that she is always assigned darker dancers, but she really tries not to be dark in her everyday life.  Love.  These.  Girls.  In the viewing room Christi gets perturbed when Melissa tells the mothers she’s spoken with Jill.  Melissa makes no excuses for remaining friends with her.  Melissa reveals to the mothers that Cathy can’t choreograph like Abby so she’s brought in outsiders.  Holly isn’t surprised.  Kelly is revamping Paige’s dance, but Paige is worried to cross her instructor because she doesn’t want another chair-throwing incident. Paige runs through the new dance one final time before boarding the bus to head to Ohio.

The girls arrive in Akron, and Abby is hellbent on beating Cathy after losing to her last time.  Jill is worried about Kendall going up against Paige, while Paige is super nervous to go against Abby with her new dance.  Poor Paige looks likes she’s going to have a breakdown before she even hits the stage.  Chloe’s costume is amazing, and she’s so incredibly talented.  Unfortunately, her earring flies out during a turn sequence.  Christi is terrified that Chloe is going to forget the earring is there, and it will end up gouged into her her knee during the final turns.

Paige is a ball of nerves, but she is performing at the top of her game.  Kelly is beyond excited to watch her daughter perform, but Abby is mortified that Paige is performing a different routine.  Heads will roll.  Abby wishes that Kelly would stick do doing what she does best…drinking, not choreography.  Kendall performs next, and her music skips.  Like a pro, she continues with her routine.  Cathy doesn’t think that Kendall did her best.  Abby thinks Kendall was a hot mess.  If only Jill had kept her daughter with Abby Lee, she’d be a real dancer.  Jill is devastated that she pulled Kendall from Abby’s.  Cathy calls Jill a studio hopper.

In the staging room, Paige is terrified of the anger that Abby is about to reign down upon her.  Holly and Kelly try to appease poor Paige.  All of the mothers and dancers are so tense when Abby arrives.  Abby and Kelly are bickering, and Paige tells Abby she wanted to be challenged more with her choreography.  The poor girl is on the verge of tears.  Abby is screaming as Holly ushers all of the children out of the room to avoid the smack down.

During the group number competition, the Candy Apples perform first.  Christi thinks that Cathy deserves a special award for figuring out how to make her daughter Vivi a human prop in every number.  It’s true.  The little girl barely moved.  Holly thinks their dance was intense, but she certainly doesn’t think it’s a slam dunk to win.  Abby, on the other hand, is very concerned.  Abby’s girls are flawless.  Christi is brought to tears about how elegant their number is.

During the solo awards, Paige is awarded seventh place with Chloe getting sixth.  Kendall doesn’t place.  Abby’s group dance garners fifth place, and the Candy Apples don’t make the top five.  Abby is thrilled that the girls beat the Candy Apples.  Kelly is thrilled that her choreography scored Paige a top spot.  Cathy is downtrodden, and Jill is irate.  Jill tries to talk to Cathy about giving Kendall more time and attention, but Cathy is too busy fixing Vivi’s hair to respond.  Cathy even ignores Abby as she hazes her after the competition.  Way to be a good sport, Abs!

Next week, it’s the return of Peyton’s mother, and Abby calls Chloe dumb.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE?  WERE YOU GLAD TO SEE ABBY LEE’S GIRLS BEAT THE CANDY APPLES?

[Photo Credit: Lifetime]

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