I’m just going to say it…JoJo needs to go-go. Her mother is grating on my last Dance Moms nerves, and that’s saying a lot. You know it’s bad if Abby Lee Miller thinks you’re kind of a crappy person! The episode begins with Nia and Holly arriving to the studio. Nia timidly tells Abby that her grandfather is in failing health. She tells Abby that she is looking forward to going to Los Angeles, but she may have to travel back home to visit him if he gets worse. Nia bursts into tears, and it’s nice to see Abby comforting her student. That’s a glimpse of the Abby I hope exists off camera.
In the pyramid, Abby chastises the second place group number and welcomes back JoJo for a second week. Geez. Holly speaks up, asking if sending the girls on auditions and opening a new studio may be too much on her plate when it comes to choreographing the competitions. Nia is on the bottom of the pyramid for being the leader of the second place group dance, followed by Kendall for sloppy foot placement. Kalani rounds out the bottom for failing to bring the girls up to her level of dance. Instead she’s gotten quite comfortable on their level. Maddie is the bottom of the second tier for not participating in last week’s competition. She tells her teammates what she got to do in her absence…which is basically hang out with a bunch of celebrities. JoJo is in the second spot, but Abby chastises her for being to sassy. Kira pipes up with an impression of JoJo, speech impediment and all. Yikes! Jessalyn doesn’t think that her daughter needs to tone down in the least. MacKenzie is deserving of the top spot after her victory.
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For this week’s competition, Kendall gets a solo. Jill admits that she will be out of town, but Melissa will make sure Kendall makes it to the competition. Maddie and JoJo score the remaining solos. The group routine is entitled Frozen Together. Can you guess what movie inspired this dance? Let it go, lettt it gooooo! In the viewing room, Holly once again expresses concern that Abby isn’t focused enough on the team. Jessalyn wonders if Kira was making fun of her daughter’s voice. Busted! Jessalyn accuses the other mothers of being threatened by JoJo’s presence, and Holly scoffs. Jill wonders if Jessalyn can be taught some class. Nope, says Holly. School’s out for this one!
At home (or in the extended stay), Jessalyn is highlighting her nine-year-old’s hair as she pumps her up about the potential to join the ALDC in L.A. The following day, Abby is using JoJo to push Kendall in her solo. In the viewing room, Jessalyn is still trying to antagonize the other moms. Melissa proudly reveals that when they get to L.A., Ryan Seacrest wants to interview her daughters, and Maddie is reading for a part in a new television show. Additionally, there will be another magazine spread featuring Maddie. Jessalyn wonders if Abby is working as hard to get work for Nia, Kendall, and Kalani. Kira sarcastically calls Abby’s work “a mystery.” Abby pulls Nia aside for an update on her grandfather, and she’s all hugs and prayers. I’m hoping this isn’t just for the camera.
During the group routine, JoJo is always steps behind her teammates because she’s busy watching the other girls. When Abby calls JoJo into question and asks about her costume, JoJo sasses off yet again, and Abby proves her point. Exit stage left, JoJo! A teary JoJo goes to tell her mother that she may not be in the group dance, and the part that Abby complains she’s late on, she’s doing perfectly. Jessalyn reminds her daughter not to let that lady make her cry. When Abby joins the ladies to see if they are ready for L.A., Holly hopes that Abby will afford all the girls the same opportunity that she provides for Melissa’s kids. Jessalyn speaks up that Los Angeles is going to love JoJo. She thinks her daughter is doing just fine in the group number. Just fine isn’t good enough for Abby…neither is Jessalyn’s bravado.
Kendall is channeling her inner Cher Horowitz for her Clueless solo, and she garners a lot of praise from Holly and Melissa. The moms call Jill to tell their friend how great her daughter is doing as Jessalyn seethes. She snarks that Abby will regret her decision to take JoJo out of the group number after she beats Kendall in the solo competition. Before the competition, Nia and her father (go Holly, he’s a fox!) go to visit her grandfather, and she tells him of her upcoming adventure in L.A. She admits that it’s hard to leave him given how sick he is.
The ALDC arrives in Virginia for the competition, and Abby is jonesing for a clean sweep. Nia’s grandfather calls to wish the girls luck, and Abby is pearly whites and cheeky grins as she thumbs up Nia. Abby then checks her phone and gets super pissed, vowing never to return to the competition again. JoJo asks Gia a question at the same time Abby leans in to Gia. Abby shrieks that JoJo needs to learn some manners. Kira, who clearly isn’t a JoJo fan admits that she has not problem calling out JoJo for bad behavior, but she believes Abby’s outrage was totally unwarranted. In the hallway, the mothers are trying to figure out why Abby is so upset. Gia and Abby share that twelve-year-olds are in the teen division in this competition, which means that Kendall and Maddie are competing against much older girls. Also, the group dance will now be in the teen division.
Maddie’s solo is flawless, so happy is now less concerned that she’ll be going to L.A. with a tarnished second place win. Kendall’s dance is adorable, but I’m worried that it’s a bit too cutesy given this older age group. JoJo’s birthday leaves her in the junior division. There’s no question that JoJo is ridiculously talented, but man, that costume is distracting. When the girls are practicing the group routine, Jessalyn speaks up to say that if Abby replaces one of the older girls with JoJo, it will drop the group into the junior division. Abby knows she’s referring to replacing Nia. Nia speaks up that she’s worked for her spot on the team, and she wants to dance. Holly reminds Jessalyn that she needs to respect the decisions Abby has already made, to which Jessalyn retorts that she’s just giving her options. JoJo pipes up that she knows Nia’s part. Holly asks JoJo if she truly thinks that Nia shouldn’t get to dance at all today, and Jessalyn interjects that it wasn’t her daughter’s idea. However, it should be Abby’s if she wants to go to L.A. with a winning group number. Thankfully, Abby won’t budge.
The movie Frozen (which I’ve never seen so my assessment is really unfair) annoys me to no end, but the girls’ make-up and costumes are amazing, as is their routine. Teens, schmeens. They nailed it. During the awards ceremony, JoJo’s solo places third overall in the junior division where she didn’t have Kendall and Maddie as competition. That’s definitely the nail in her ALDC coffin. In the teen division, Kendall places third (you go!) and Maddie takes the top spot. The group number places second, and the moms are worried about going to L.A. on a losing streak. Needless to say, Abby is less than pleased. Before the girls return to the dressing room, Jill and Holly go head to head with Abby about how much work she’s doing to manage their daughters. When the girls join them, Abby barks that in auditions there is no second place. You either get the job or you don’t. Abby explains that JoJo won’t be traveling to L.A. with the ALDC, but she’s happy to manage her if she gets there. Jessalyn and Abby get into a screaming match. So wait, is Abby still managing JoJo? Awww, the episode is dedicated to the memory of Nia’s grandfather.
TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? SHOULD THE GROUP NUMBER HAVE WON FIRST PLACE?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]