Last night's Dance Moms was a lesson in opposites. For once, Abby Lee Miller was in a (dare I say?) nice mood. She kept her criticism to a minimum and was full of compliments for the girls. However, former besties Kelly and Christi caused tension wherever they went and end up at each other's throats. Was it a full moon?
The episode begins as the dancers and moms convene at the studio, and the women are all wondering about Christi and Chloe's status with ALDS. Kelly still hasn't heard from her friend, although Christi has briefly spoken to Holly. The mother-daughter duo arrive, and the girls are elated to see their friend. Abby refuses to speak to Christi, but Christi still manages an apology and admits that she's made peace with the competition's director to smooth things over on Abby's behalf.
Abby is very disappointed in the girls' showing at the recent competition, and she rips Cathy to shreds. Holly maintains that Abby was insensitive to Nia's health issues, but Abby doesn't want to hear it. Nia is at the bottom of the pyramid, as is Paige for not getting to dance thanks to Holly's outburst. Kendall joins her friends because she didn't place in her solo. MacKenzie and Brooke are on the middle rung, and both gain Abby's praise. Maddie is back on top again for winning with her solo. This week, the girls will be dancing in Florida. Everyone is permitted to dance in the group routine entitled "Money is the Root of All Evil." The costumes will be green and made out of real money. What? Maddie and Brooke both receive solos.
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The group number is contemporary with a bluesy feel. Abby wants the girls to act as if they are in a bar or speak-easy. Yeah, I'm sure the young dancers can relate! The moms are floored by Abby's direction. Christi says she feels terribly left out, so Holly fills her in on the Cathy water-throwing/purse hurling drama. Kelly and Christi get into a tiff about whether Kelly called her multiple times and why Christi didn't return any texts. Christi's feelings are hurt that Kelly didn't work harder to reach out to her. Kelly storms out of the viewing room, and Abby and the dancers watch the craziness unravel from the studio.
Christi hates being an outsider. She's shocked to see that Melissa and Abby are fine, and Maddie is back on the top of the pyramid. Kelly interjects that Maddie is only in Abby's good graces because Sophia left. During rehearsals, Abby won't call Chloe by her name…she only refers to her as "that girl." So mature. The other moms are worried about the rift between Kelly and Christi. Kelly doesn't think she did anything to purposely hurt Christi, and she's not going to kiss her bum until she's back to her normal self. Meanwhile, Chloe is crying to her mom that Abby won't acknowledge her, and Nia reiterates how mean Abby is being to her friend.
Brooke's solo is called "Care Less," and Brooke is smart enough to know that Abby thinks it's because Brooke couldn't care less about dancing. With Brooke getting little direction and rehearsal time, Kelly is convinced that Abby is setting her daughter up to fail. Nia has gotten some much needed gumption from somewhere, and she convinces Paige that they should ask to perform the duet that was taken away from them last week. Paige is rightfully terrified about approaching Abby. Holly is proud to watch Nia approach Abby on her own, and Abby is proud of her maturity. Nia gets a "we'll see" but it's better than I was expecting.
Christi and Melissa meet for dinner to discuss Kelly and Christi's recent awkwardness. The conversation is very middle school "why is she mad at me?" but you can tell Melissa loves finally being in with the mean girls. She plays the middle man very well! Christi is now convinced that Melissa is a better friend to her than Kelly ever was.
Maddie is working on her solo "You Don't Know Me." According to Abby, it's edgier than the regular Maddie. Abby is letting Nia and Paige rehearse their duet. If they perform well, she'll enter them in the competition. Abby informs Holly and Kelly that their behavior will affect the girls' ability to dance. Holly is willing to bite her tongue so her daughter can perform the duet. Christi shares with Jill that she was Kelly's biggest advocate when Kelly left the studio, and she's hurt that Kelly didn't return the favor when Christi had to leave. Christi is in tears thinking that no one missed her when she was gone. Again, these dancers are so much more mature than their moms! Abby is railing the girls on their group number, and Chloe's name has been upgraded from "that girl" to "blondie." Christi can't contain her anger anymore and screams at Abby that her daughter has a name. Abby responds that Christi has a name too, and it starts with a "B." Middle school cut-down? Check!
The group arrives in Fort Lauderdale, and Abby gives a scary pep talk. Melissa is going back and forth between Kelly and Christi telling each one what they want to hear. Melissa tells Kelly she did nothing wrong, while she reminds Christi that Kelly isn't being a good friend. I'm spiraled back to the sixth grade. Abby and Kelly get into it over Paige and Nia not getting enough rehearsal time. Kelly had better watch out or Paige will lose her duet and Brooke will lose her solo. Kelly and Christi finally decide to hash out their differences after their girls dance.
Abby is thrilled with Maddie's performance. Brooke is nervous to prove to Abby that she deserves her solo, and Abby is extremely impressed with Brooke's execution. Paige and Nia are so cute pumping themselves up backstage before their duet. It's a precious routine. Abby thinks they could have done better technically, but she was highly entertained by their dancing. Abby hugs all of the girls after showering them with compliments. Are we in the Twilight Zone? Abby even takes the time to explain to Nia why she pulled the duet last week…however, she makes sure Nia knows she's not apologizing. Duh.
The troupe is practicing the group dance, and the moms are handing out dollar bills to shove down the girls' costumes. Are they strippers? Holly thinks wasting real money on the costumes sends a bad message to the dancers. Chloe is worried she's going to let down her team since she hasn't been at practice for two weeks. The girls are strutting and gyrating all over the stage, and I'd never guess they hadn't heard of a speak-easy. It's like they are dancing in saloon!
Nia and Paige's duet scores fourth place during the awards ceremony. Brooke garners fifth place with her solo, with Maddie once again taking the top prize. The ALDS dancers take first for their group number as well. Abby feels redeemed from last week, and she is nothing but complimentary to all of her girls. She's thrilled that Christi and Kelly are fighting with each other for once and not with her. Christi and Kelly take their screaming match into the hall while the other moms listen from their staging area. Neither of them will admit to any wrong-doing, and they end up cussing one another out in the classiest of ways. #sarcasm #whatisclassyaboutthisshow?
Next week, a devastated Abby loses her puppy. The mothers chastise Melissa for having Maddie dedicate her solo to the memory of Abby's dog to get further into Abby's good graces.
TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE? TEAM KELLY OR TEAM CHRISTI?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]