Abby Lee Miller is back! It's like she never left, right? Last night was the premiere of the new season (second half of a prolonged season?) of Dance Moms, and it did not disappoint. Two hours, y'all! Too much, or not enough?
The moms and daughters arrive for a new season after a month long break, and Abby hasn't forgotten the sting of losing to Cathy's Candy Apples. Kelly is upset that she's still fighting with all of her friends. Before the pyramid can even begin, Abby reveals that she is livid about losing to Cathy. She also shares that Asia is in L.A. pursuing a great opportunity that Abby supports. The moms realize it's only a matter of time before Kristie 2.0 returns. Kendall is on the bottom of the pyramid. Perhaps she would have done better if she hadn't cried like a baby. Yep, I'd say Abby's back with a vengeance.
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MacKenzie is also on the bottom, and Abby reminds her how easily Asia beat her at every turn (literally). Nia follows for not having the straightest of limbs during her routine. Brooke rounds out the bottom for being all right. Chloe is last on the second rung for not beating Maddie. Asia is ahead of her, followed by Paige. Abby reminds everyone of the fallout from Cathy and Anthony calling her out during the group routine. Paige is in second for standing up to adults who were criticizing her. Maddie, once again, makes her way to the top of the pyramid.
Abby tells her dancers that she's only planning on using Maddie, Chloe, Nia, and Kendall for the group number…a jazz dance. Kelly is livid that her daughters are left out once again. Maddie and Chloe are gifted a duet, while Paige has a solo. Brooke is moved up to the senior group, and Abby urges her not to let the older team down. This week's competition will be in Pittsburgh, and Cathy will be in attendance. Holly is hoping that the troupe can prevail over the Candy Apples. Speaking of, Cathy is at her studio baby talking about her boy group and her domination over Abby. She is upset over rumors that her boys are texting the ALDC girls about wanting to dance for Abby. Ahh, young love. A very emotional Anthony introduces a number that reminds Anthony of his relationship with his deceased father.
According to Abby, Brooke has had it easy competing with eight-year-olds. Abby can't wait to see what happens when she puts Brooke in with some mature talent and pairs her with a boy. Kelly is happy that her daughter is dancing with the seniors, but she feels like Brooke is being set up as the weakest link by dancing a routine that everyone else has known for a year. Holly thinks that Brooke is a natural, but Kelly doesn't want to hear any praise for Abby's decision. Jill thinks that Kelly will never be satisfied with any choice that Abby makes.
Maddie and Chloe practice their duet, and Abby is counting on a win. She's pushing the girls to their limits while Christi and Melissa pretend to be fine with her critiques. Abby is super tan tonight, and she's worried that Maddie has been flirting with one of the Candy Apple boys. MacKenzie spills the beans that Gino and Maddie have been texting, and he kissed her at the last competition. Paige is working on her solo, and Abby reminds her that she's worthy of being hated since she's so pretty and talented. Who wouldn't hate her? I guess this is reverse psychology. Abby wants Paige to prove that she's a force to be reckoned with…and not someone who should be criticized by adults in the audience. Kelly is still taking issue with Brooke being forced into the senior troupe and Paige being shunned from the group dance. Jill decides to intervene. Of course she does. Kelly insults Kendall when she hears Jill chatting with Abby about Brooke's move. Enter new mama drama! Jill needs to butt out, don't you think? Kelly goes so far as to say she hopes that Brooke's inability causes the senior routine to lose. Melissa, Christi, Holly, and Jill commiserate over lunch and plan an intervention to get Kelly over her negativity. Holly is the only level headed one of the group (surprise, surprise), but the moms decide to plan a fun event for Kelly's girls so the troupe feels more cohesive.
The Candy Apples are doing an endurance boot camp thanks to Anthony. The dance dads are on board, although one of them worries that the practice it too difficult for his son. Geez. Thanks for the scripted silliness, Lifetime! Anthony and a helicopter dad get into an argument over pushing the boys. Well lookie here! Cathy's got her own drama with the dads. What a parallel. I'd love to see the turtleneck dad get into a fight with the dad that's always starting drama with Abby's moms. A tearful Cathy urges macho break dancing kid's dad to apologize to turtleneck dad. No can doosville, baby doll. We learn that turtleneck dad's son is the one with the crush on Maddie. Traitor! Forgive me for not learning the dad's names. It's just too much. Cathy is worried that turtleneck dad isn't supportive of her dancer troupe. Back at the ALDS, the moms reveal their plan to make sure Kelly's girls feel included. Kelly doesn't want their sympathy. The other moms are upset when Abby makes her seniors critique Paige much like Anthony and Cathy criticized her. Kelly finds this incredibly unfair given the fact that Abby's dancer think so highly of her senior troupe. Man, I feel horribly for Paige.
Jill tries to insert herself into even more drama by chatting up Christi in the costume room regarding Kelly. When Jill tries to create a situation where the moms are ganging up on Kelly, the other moms do not support her, but an argument erupts between Christi and Kelly. Christi accuses Kelly of taking out her anger towards Abby on her. Agreed! Christi storms out of the staging area. Man, the producers have clearly told the mothers to step it up, haven't they? Paige and Maddie come up to the moms' area in tears after Christi tells them that Kelly is clearly jealous of Chloe's talent. I hate this…at least in the past, the moms have kept their daughters out of it. These women need to lock it up, STAT. Holly tries to play peacemaker, but Kelly doesn't want to hear it and becomes hysterical.
The boys are facing quieter drama among the dads as they practice their group dance which is a dramatization of athletes using performance enhancing drugs. Anthony is demanding 100 percent from the boys in his duet. They are depicting his father's passing, and Anthony requires perfection. We all know that Anthony is just Abby trapped in a fit male hipster's body. Boys are crying, Anthony is agitated, and Cathy wonders if allowing Anthony to be so intense will drive her parents away. Meanwhile, Brooke is doing a great job with the senior group. Her chemistry with the male dancer is spot on. Brooke enjoys the challenge, but Abby thinks she needs to connect more with her male counterpart. Abby forces them on a date. Brooke isn't excited about dating some guy at the studio…wouldn't that make her have to be around Abby even more? At least the moms are on board, and we get treated to a scripted first date. Brooke thinks they are better off as dance partners than love interests.
Jill keeps trying to insert herself in the rift between Kelly and Christi, and Christi is very sad. She feels like she's going through a divorce as their friendship deteriorates. Likewise, Melissa is trying to gage Kelly's feelings about Christi. The moms are trying in vain to get these women to communicate. Cathy is also facing drama regarding Anthony's duet in memory in honor of his father. What an emotional night, right? Wrong! It's so calculated, I can barely stomach it…although I know Anthony's duet will make me cry during the actual competition! Back at ALDS, Abby blames the girls' attitudes on their mothers' horrendous and embarrassing behavior.
Thankfully, it's time for the competition. Two hours is a lot for Dance Moms, isn't it, y'all? Melissa is just thankful that the always level-headed Holly takes charge to keep everyone calm, cool, and collected while Abby seethes about once again facing Cathy. Maddie and Chloe's duet is first, and they are just amazing. I love to see their talent on the stage at the same time. Amazing. Of course, they are followed by Anthony's tribute to his recently passed dad, which is equally stirring. Abby is vocal about her disdain for the dance, and it causes even more backstage drama. Once again, Holly is tasked with smoothing things over with Anthony.
Abby's pep talk for Paige's solo is to not run off stage crying. Seriously? At least Cathy is supportive of her dancers. Her student Nick performs a technically perfect bird solo, but it's not my cup of tea (so it will probably win!). Paige's dance is very energetic, but Melissa seems more into it than Kelly. At least Paige receives Abby's praises backstage which pleases Kelly. As if on cue, Jill then demands an apology from Kelly for talking about Kendall. Melissa tries to diffuse the situation, but Kelly and Christi's friendship is coming to an end. Neither wants it to end, but both refuse to compromise or admit wrongdoing.
In the hallway, Cathy, Christi, and Jill get into a nasty argument in front of the kids about plastic surgery and bicycle wheels. It's bad news though when Anthony and the parents accidentally laugh at Jill's jokes. Cathy wants a new team with new parents, so Anthony starts kissing up immediately. Let's forget about that silliness, because it's time for the group numbers. The senior troupe is phenomenal, and Brooke fits right in with her peers. Abby is beyond proud. Cathy's boy are up next, and it's a cute, yet gimmicky piece. The boys can dance, that's for sure, but it's certainly not their best number…although I did like the human bike! Abby's foursome is all sass and perfectly in synch. I love to see Nia dancing up to the girls in her group. She is just as talented, but she never seems to get the recognition.
At the awards presentation, Paige wins the second overall high score with the bird dancer winning first. Called it! Anthony's tribute to his father gets runner up in the duets to Chloe and Maddie. The senior group takes the top spot in their category, and Abby calls Brooke an asset to the team. Thankfully, Abby's foursome wins the group dance, and Cathy's boys garner second. Holly hopes that the wins will change Kelly's attitude. Cathy is livid. Kelly feels like she's lost her biggest ally in Christi. Abby tries to talk up Kelly's daughters to no avail, and she' upset that Kelly can't be happy for her girls and instead continues to mope. More drama ensues when one of Cathy's dads tries to defect to Abby's team. A tearful Cathy is quick to turn on turtleneck dad for not being a team player. Cathy kicks the rotten apple father off of her team. At least, Abby is praising her girls to no end…that's a first!
Next week, Asia is back, and Abby pits Maddie and Chloe against one another. Melissa finds herself once again on the outside of the mom clique.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE? IS KELLY OVERREACTING? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON CATHY'S DADS?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]