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I'm not going to lie, I didn't miss Abby Lee Miller one bit on last night's Dance Moms.  Of course, I could have done without Leslie as well.  I guess you really can't have it all!

Abby is missing in action, but thankfully her best choreographers are prepared to teach the girls the group number.  With Abby not around to delegate solos, the mothers are up at arms about who is most deserving.  First up, Jill and 2.0 are cussing and giving each other the hand and dropping f-bombs all over the viewing room.  Keep it classy, moms!

In the studio, Abby's employees are working on a newly minted group routine…while hoping they won't get fired.  Christi takes the opportunity to call Kelly and tell her that now it the perfect time for Kelly to bring her girls to dance.  In her mind, if Brooke and Paige are still on the pyramid, they are still on the team.  Leslie is livid that Kelly's involvement could jeopardize Payton's spot on the team.  Kelly arrives and instructor Gianna allows Brooke and Paige to join the group.  She's too stressed to deal with extra mama drama.

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The following day, Abby is a no show, and she hangs up on Gianna when her employee calls to check in on her boss.  Abby texts Gianna the competition details, and Asia and Maddie will have solos.  Brooke speaks up to see if she could perform a solo.  Gianna offers to teach Brooke a dance, but she can't promise her that she'll be allowed to perform it, as Abby will have the final say.  The moms are equally torn between Abby's unannounced absence and their concern over her mother's diminishing health.  Where is she?  Melissa is convinced that Abby is spending time with her mom, but 2.0 knows she's in LA to scout out studio space to get away from these crazies.  I'm with Jill…Abby has totally run away with her werewolf date.

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Gianna is working on Maddie's solo, and she is determined to get Maddie to react differently to the music and show varied emotion.  She doesn't want the typical Maddie solo.  Melissa informs the moms that she is going to invite a young girl and her mother to the studio and to the competition.  The girl is part of the Starlight Foundation, and she has said the girls of Dance Moms inspire her.  Melissa also hopes that Hanna will inspire Maddie to show more emotion.  On Instagram, the women see a recently posted picture of Abby at some sort of meet-and-greet.  So…

Melissa goes downstairs to check on costumes, and she finds a teary Gianna.  Gianna reveals that Abby threatened to fire her if she choreographed a solo for Brooke.  Show of hands…who wishes they were employed by Abby?  Gianna resigns herself to teaching Brooke a new number, but she is quick to tell her that Abby could scratch her performance at any given moment. Brooke is performing to her own song.

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Leslie is hemming and hawing about how unfair it is that Kelly keeps pulling her girls from the team only to bring them back.  I think more people would agree with her if she wasn't such a shrieking shrew.  Hmmm, on second thought, she fits right in with this crowd!  Leslie then leaves Abby a voicemail tattling about this turn of events.  Give it a rest!  Next, Gianna works with Asia to perfect all of her tricks for competition.

Hannah and her mother arrive, and it's sweet to see her get to dance with Maddie.  I think people always get much more than they give when being charitable, and I hope in Maddie's case there is no exception.  Of course, this is Dance Moms, and nothing good ever last more than the time it takes to do an accelerated eight-count.  Leslie is thrilled to announce to the other moms that she has received a text from Abby, and she is instructed to read it out loud.  She states proudly that Brooke isn't supposed to be in the group dance, and Payton is granted a solo.  Kelly and Leslie go off on a white trash tangent.  Who are these women?

You know what, I'm not going to complain about the mothers' ridiculous antics because I just realized that I didn't have to dedicate an entire paragraph to the pyramid.  At the competition, Kelly questions if Payton plans to perform a solo, and Leslie starts barking that of course Payton won't be dancing…she only had a day to learn a routine.  Um, so did Brooke.  As Leslie screams, in front of the troupe no less, Hannah and her mother interrupt to shed some positive light on this beast of a show. Melissa asks Hannah to come play with Maddie after the competition, and Hannah gets teary at the invitation…to be honest, so do I.

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It's finally time to compete, and Abby is still nowhere to be found.  Asia dances first, and she is quite the spitfire.  She also catches herself lip synching to the music once or twice so it's a good thing Abby isn't around to ream her for that tiny mishap. Maddie's solo is flawless, per the usual.  She really is quite the talent, although I saw no difference in her facial expressions.

Back in the staging area, the mothers are upset that Abby doesn't think enough of her team to be present at the competition. Melissa calls Abby to share the girls wonderful performances, and a groggy Abby answers the phone.  She's snoozing in Disney.  Yes, you read that correctly.  When asked when she'd be returning, the always gracious Abby replies, "Whenever Brooke and Paige get the hell out of my studio."  Now, now…her beef should be with Kelly, not with pre-teens!  Leslie jumps in to see if Payton can still have a solo, and Abby hangs up when she learns that Brooke is set to dance.

Overhearing the exchange sends Brooke into a tailspin, and Kelly and Melissa try to build her up to compete.  She doesn't want Abby to hate her even more than she already does.  Tragic.  They are able to convince her to dance, and I'll admit that I'm more intrigued by her song than the solo.  Bless her for having to go through so much with these loons.  The moms are hopeful that the girls will prevail and prove to Abby that Gianna has things totally under control.

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The group number has never been this big, and I don't know if it's the costumes or the choreography or the music, but I love it. LOVE.  During the awards ceremony, Asia takes the top spot, and 2.0 feels vindicated.  Brooke's solo lands fourth place with Maddie winning the category.  She dedicates her trophy to Hannah, and again I'm welling up.  Geez, Lifetime!  Not to mention, the ALDC garners the number one prize in the group number.

When Melissa calls Abby to share the victory, Abby's phone is answered by a new minion named Mandy.  She is so melodramatic.

Next week, both Abby and Kathy are back, and moms are melting down everywhere!

TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE?  DID YOU MISS ABBY?

[Photo Credit: Lifetime]

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