With Nationals right around the corner, Abby Lee Miller is hellbent on creating a winning team with top placing soloists. You know what that means…the revolving door of Dance Moms
wannabes keeps shuffling through the studio. After losing last week to Bleu, Abby wants to strike fear in the hearts of her original team–moreso than she does on any regular day, at least. She also takes the opportunity to lecture the moms of the selected new group. Even after doubting Abby’s training, Loree has defected to the elite competition group with the veteran moms, and her former newbie counterparts aren’t happy about her move.
Abby wants to reserve any bickering until after the pyramid. Poor MacKenzie is at the bottom for
being pulled from the group number so Abby could place the girls in a higher age bracket and hopefully avoid tough junior competitors (epic fail) her lack of maturity during an improv practice. Chloe follows for her sixth place finish. Nia rounds out the bottom rung because she’s Nia, and Nia rarely ever traipses up to the top half of the pyramid. Jade is third on the pyramid for being third in the solos, and Kendall is second for finally figuring out what it takes to become a favorite. Perhaps it’s because she’s been hanging out so much with top dancer Maddie.
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Once again Abby is pitting the teams against one another. Ava will be dancing a solo against Maddie. Jill wonders why Kendall doesn’t get the solo, but Abby showers Kendall with praise over past performances, and Jill is placated. Maddie will be dancing to a song written especially for her by one of Abby’s friends. Maddie is inspiring artists. Gag. Jade is tapped to dance with the original crew, and Chloe is banished to the newbies. She’s learned to keep her mouth shut….if only her mother would take note. Both groups will be doing patriotic period pieces. In the parking lot, Loree feigns concern that Chloe has been plucked from her original team, and she hopes the veteran moms are alright with Jade dancing with their daughters. Of course they are, but they are just concerned about Nationals. Christi warns the new moms that her daughter being cast in their daughters’ group number means that this team has been chosen to lose. They don’t know the real Abby.
The following day. the elite moms and the select moms face off in the parking lot. Are they doing a Sharks and Jets performance from West Side Story? Are they playing Red Rover? When Loree refuses to leave the veteran moms line, her former friends call her a traitor. Holly laughs, reminding them that everything is hunky-dory until Abby starts pulling on the puppet strings. In the studio, Abby introduces her long time friend Rachel Sage. The blue-haired wonder is here to meet her muse Maddie, whom she calls a genius of dance. In the viewing area, Christi is clearly pissed that Chloe was pulled from the original crew, but she’s happy that Ava is the sacrificial lamb against Maddie instead of Chloe. As Jill would say, she’s being a good sport.
Meanwhile, Loree is trying to suck up to her former dance moms by taking them to lunch. Christi hopes that Ava’s mother will figure out that Abby is setting her up to fail so Maddie can shine. Ava’s mom doesn’t buy that for a second. She thinks Christi is just bitter. However, she realizes that Christi may have a point when Abby comes up with a giant golf umbrella for Ava to use as a prop throughout her solo. At lunch, the select mom crew is shocked to see that Loree has brought Melissa and Jill as back-up. When Loree’s former friends express that they feel betrayed, Jill reminds them that any one of them would jump at the chance to have their girls dancing on the elite team.
As the girls rehearse their group number, Abby shares that she has tried to keep the technicality and difficulty level equal, but Christi disagrees. Shocking, I know. Jill wishes that Christi would stop being such a negative Nancy and realize that Chloe was swapped to the team that’s won the last two times against their girls. She’s following in Maddie’s footsteps in that respect. As Ava works with her umbrella, Christi worms her way into Ava’s mother’s head and encourages her to challenge Abby on the prop. It goes about as well as you’d expect, and the select moms chastise Christi for sending their friend into the lion’s den. It’s as if they’ve never watched this show!
At the competition, Ava’s mother is getting on Abby’s last nerve, and Abby is quick to remind Ava that she’s up against seasoned veteran Maddie. Maddie dances first, and she’s flawless. She’s Maddie. However, I don’t see Ms. Sage’s song surpassing Mack-Z’s pop hit on the iTunes downloads chart. Ava does an amazing job as well, and she handles the umbrella gracefully. Unfortunately for Ava, it flips inside out mid-dance, as umbrellas are wont to do. She doesn’t miss a beat, and she handles the snafu like a professional. When Abby chastises Ava, the tearful girl apologizes for disappointing her teacher. Abby crosses the room to her, and I stupidly think she’s going to hug Ava. I know, I know. I’m an idiot. Instead, she tells the girl to buck up and “get off Mommy’s lap.” There are plenty of children in the world with good reason to cry. Ava isn’t one of them according to Abby. She is such a biznitch!
The select team dances their group number, and Chloe shines. Her shining has nothing to do with the fact that the cameras follow her the entire time either. She’s just such a graceful dancer, and she makes everything seem effortless. The elite group is equally amazing, although I am totally creeped out by the version of My Country Tis of Thee to which they are dancing. At the awards ceremony, Ava places third in the solo division, and surprisingly Maddie wins the division. Never saw that one coming! When the group routines are announced, only a tenth of a point separates the first and second place. I am am totally and genuinely shocked that the select team wins. Also legitimately shocked? Maddie and Abby. Their faces say it all. Abby even says as much to the mothers backstage before giving Ava the boot. Abby calls up another girl from the select team to join the crew next week, and her mother is thrilled. Wait, Loree was called a traitor for this same behavior, and she says as much. Poor Ava lives in tears. Again.
TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? WHICH GROUP ROUTINE WAS BETTER?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]