Another Tuesday, another two hour Dance Moms with Abby Lee Miller. In my opinion, last night's performances were out of this world, but I just can't take anything seriously when it comes to Kathy and her Candy Apples. She's playing a role…she has to be, right?
As the super-sized episode begins, the moms can only imagine how Abby is going to react to seventh place over all in the group number given how livid she gets when they get second. Not shockingly, MacKenzie is on the bottom for messing around on her "injured" foot, and Abby benches her for the upcoming competition. Paige and Brooke also land on the bottom for being good but not great. Abby doesn't think Brooke actually wants to dance. Chloe is called next, and Christi is determined to bite her tongue to make sure her daughter is able to keep dancing. Yet again, Maddie's eyes glass over with tears when she lands second to Kendall's new headshot. The moms, especially Holly, think Jill gets sneakier every week, but she doesn't dwell too long because she's estatic when Nia graces the top of the pyramid. Abby compares Nia to Beyonce and praises her facial expressions. I am so happy for Nia.
This week, the group will be competing in Cincinnati, and Abby is worried that Kathy and her Candy Apples will also be in attendance. The group routine it about Rosa Parks, and Holly hopes that Nia will get to play Rosa. Abby isn't giving out the lead role just yet, and she takes the opportunity to call out Holly's outfit. Kendall gets a solo, as does Maddie, but not before Abby can remind her that she keeps coming up short in her routines. Abby grants Paige the duet with Chloe that she's been wanting. She tells Paige she's been waiting for her to dance up to Chloe's level…and now, lucky for her, Chloe is dancing down to her level. Way to ruin the moment.
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The girls start to practice their group number, and the moms are shocked that Nia hasn't been cast as Rosa Parks. Abby blames the moms for the girls' sloppy rehearsal. Meanwhile, Kelly wants to pull Paige out of the duet after Abby made her daughter feel badly, but Christi hopes that she won't ruin the dance the girls have been waiting forever to perform. Meanwhile, Kathy is doing her own pyramid with her four boys. She reminds her troupe that they've beaten Abby's team before, but she hopes that it wasn't just luck. Her group number will be a take on Gangnum Style, and she's showcasing her hip-hop star in a solo.
Abby has decided that Holly majorly needs a makeover, so she invites her on a shopping spree. She's disappointed to find out that Holly has invited Jill along, and she chastises Holly, telling her that now they won't be able to discuss Nia performing the role of Rosa Parks. However, the always underhanded Jill admits in her interview that she pretty much invited herself so she could convince Abby to cast Kendall instead. Holly is fine being Abby's Barbie doll if it will help Nia get ahead. Abby admits she isn't ready to reveal that Nia will play Rosa because of Holly's accusations of her typecasting Nia in the past. Both Holly and Abby are floored at how Jill is lobbying for Kendall to dance the lead.
Lifetime treats us to a forced scene of Kathy sharing an awkward individual ballet lesson to daughter Vivi-Anne. Vivi barely speaks while Kathy talks about how fast she's growing up and how much she hates that she spends more time with her boy dancers. As quickly as the lesson starts, she hugs Vivi and sends her on her way before heading back into the studio to focus on her boys. Poor Vivi-Anne is nothing more than a prop.
At ALDS, Kendall is being treated to personal facial expression lessons from Abby. Holly tells the other moms how Jill was lobbying for Kendall to play Rosa Parks on their shopping trip, and Jill tries to defend her behavior. Christi and Kelly think it's crazy for anyone other than Nia to play Rosa Parks. Kelly encourages Jill to go retract her bid for Kendall to dance the lead. Jill goes to talk chat with Abby, but she decides to throw the moms under the bus. Abby accuses Jill of putting her own daughter's success on the back burner and informs Kendall that she's out of the running. She gives the role to Nia, which was her plan all along…she just wanted Nia to feel she had competition.
Kelly is worried that Abby is setting up Paige for failure with the duet, and Abby challenges Kelly to have her daughter prove her wrong. Kelly is worried that Paige is going to feel inferior during the duet while Christi just wants the girls to enjoy themselves. Abby gives Paige a pretty uplifting (for Abby, at least) pep talk about showing everyone that she's better than they think, and Kelly is put a little more at ease. Next Maddie practices her solo which is filled with difficult choreography. Melissa then brags on MacKenzie's ability to apply make-up. She shares a YouTube tutorial that she claims MacKenzie filmed and uploaded without her knowledge when playing in her locked bedroom. Yeah, sure. If this is true, I'm more impressed with MacKenzie's computer skills than her eyeshadow application.
Kathy has enlisted yet another "guest" choreographer, and Anthony has worked with Beyonce and Jay-Z. According to Kathy, he is too hard on the boys, and Anthony isn't keen on Kathy treating her dancers like little babies. Anthony quickly realizes that Kathy has no clue what she's talking about and storms out of the studio. I have to agree with everything he is saying. One of Kathy's dance dads convinces Anthony to return and ignore Kathy's bulldog personality. Back at ALDS, Kathy's former student Kendall is going through the wringer with Abby. Abby wants her to blow Kathy's dancers out of the water, but Kendall is still forgetting to use her face. Her friends help her practice a myriad of expressions.
Is it just me, or does is Kathy even more self-important than Abby? She has a city councilman perform a ribbon cutting on her studio after painting the exterior of her studio. After seeing the hullabaloo on Facebook, Abby's moms find her "upgrade" totally hilarious and tacky. Poor Vivi is being forced to model boy outfits for Kathy's best boy solo. I am in no way making fun of this sweet child, but does Vivi talk? Every word she's uttered so far has been a voiceover. Her lips never move. Speaking of costumes, the duet costumes for Paige and Chloe are a bit much to say the very least…they look like showgirls!
At the Candy Apples studio, Anthony is growing frustrated with a dance dad trying to tell him how to do his job. Kathy enlists an audience to watch the group dance. When her star student misses his cue, Anthony shows him some tough love…but it's nothing like what Abby would dole out to her girls. The poor kid is frozen like a deer in headlights, eyes full of tears. Needless to say his dad isn't happy.
After a brief group rehearsal, the ALDS girls board the bus to Ohio. Nia gives her teammates a lesson on Rosa Parks, and Jill
bribes gifts Abby with a necklace. The Candy Apples arrive at the competition, and Kathy feels the need to have body guards after the water spraying/purse flying antics the last time these teams met. I wonder why Kathy needs protection when she is the one who started all of the assaults. At least Abby and the moms can bond over how crazy Kathy is. Abby dresses Holly in an outfit she deems to be a showstopper, and she introduces MacKenzie as the dancers' sole make-up artist. Jill isn't thrilled with this turn of events, but Melissa is very proud of her daughter.
Kendall is the first to perform her solo. Technically, she does a great job, but her facial expressions comes and go when she remembers to do them. Melissa is nervous for her daughter, but I don't think anyone can watch Maddie dance without being totally mesmerized. I've barely typed that when cameras cut to Paige watching her friend proudly from the wings. I take that back…Kathy isn't mesmerized by Maddie–she won't even look at her. Kathy's hip-hop protege dances next, and while he is very talented, he isn't able to complete his super complicated mid-dance costume change. It was just too much, and I feel badly for him. He storms off stage in tears.
Abby is thrilled with Kendall and Maddie's solos. Paige and Chloe's duet is far more in synch than it ever was in rehearsal, but it still looks like they are auditioning for the Pussy Cat Dolls. After, Kathy tries to goad Jill about Kendall always playing second fiddle to Maddie. This has to be scripted because grown-ups truly don't act this way, right? Right?? Both groups are practicing their numbers, and I'm coveting Anthony's aviators. He shares a quote with the boys, "There is nothing to prove, only to share." I like Anthony. A lot. The Candy Apple boys are a lot of fun to watch, and the little hip hop guru brings his A-game after a rocky solo. Likewise, Abby's girls are amazing, and thanks to the story, I rank it up with the texting and driving number. Poor Brooke totally forgets the choreography, but I didn't notice until it's played back in slow motion.
In the solo division, Kathy's boy gets sixth place, and Kendall scores second. Maddie finds herself back in the top spot. Chloe and Paige's duet also gets first place, and I couldn't be happier for the girls. The Candy Apple boys group dance comes in second to the Rosa Parks number, and I'm thrilled to see the girls so excited. Jill and Christi corral the moms to go "congratulate" Kathy while rubbing her face in their victory. Kelly and the dance dad proceed to get into a screaming match…such role models! In the staging area, Abby beams with pride for her girls. She teasingly chides Brooke a little for her mistake, and she lauds Nia's performance. Finally, a positive ending!
Next week, MacKenzie is still out of the group dance, and Melissa may or may not have gotten married. Abby psyches out poor Chloe, and drama ensues at the competition.
TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE? WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE PERFORMANCE?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]