Those of us who have been watching Dance Moms for a hot second are no strangers to Abby Lee Miller melt downs, but last night certainly took the cake, didn’t it? As last night’s episode unfolds, Abby is in crisis mode at the ALDC LA studio, hair in hot rollers, dramatic phone call, and lots and lots of tears. The girls and their moms congregate at 7:30 in the morning, and everyone is thrilled to welcome Maddie back into the mix. Maddie catches up her friends on her rise to stardom, and they are just as excited for her as she is humble. It’s cute to see them and realize there is a tiny bit that is still genuine about this show. Her Hollywood escapades are interrupted by Abby screeching in the next room, and the mothers plot to send in the mini troupe to check on her. Their girls certainly don’t want that responsibility!
As the minis and moms converge on the studio, Jess quickly directs them to the back room where Abby is braless and sobbing on her cell. It’s beyond awkward, and the mini moms retreat. After they contain their giggles, Melissa and Jill try to coax Abby out of the back room, but she screams at them to leave. Melissa is peeved. Maddie just scored a prime photo shoot, and Abby needs to be excited for her daughter. Ashlee is upset that Abby isn’t focused on the newbies, and she goes head to head with Jill over who is more passive aggressive. Ashlee accuses Kendall of being as hateful as her mother, and Jill shrieks into the parking lot (followed by Melissa) to find photographers from Seventeen Magazine hoping to document Maddie’s time with the ALDC. Jill recalls that Abby didn’t want any outside projects, but Maddie is always an exception.
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Jill tries to reign in her crazy to get her daughter a spot in the spread. The mothers are climbing over each other hoping to get their girls featured in Seventeen, and the excitement is enough to bring Abby out of her cave. The editors are vying for Nia, even when Abby tries to lead them elsewhere. Regardless of her opinions, the editors want Nia. After all, she’s a mini-Beyonce. They shut out most of the elite team, finally asking Kendall to join Maddie and Nia at the shoot. MacKenzie, JoJo, and Brynn are too young, and Kalani doesn’t fit “their look.” Abby wants the girls to focus on their competition. Sure, the Seventeen shoot is a big deal for Maddie and Kendall (um, and NIA?? HELLO??), but her girls need to win. The pyramid is glossed over, and Abby announces that the minis will be competing as well. Maddie and Brynn will be going head to head in their solo division.
When Ashlee and Jessalyn are left alone in the viewing room, Ashlee confides that she’s happy to be with a mom who knows what it feels like to be an outsider. What’s wrong with Jill? Is she going through menopause? Jess urges Ashlee to keep her mouth shut. They’ve all had to be the new mom at some point, and it’s much easier to cope if no one is stirring up unnecessary drama. The following day, Maddie, Kendall, and Nia are prepping for the Seventeen photo shoot, and Maddie reveals to the photographer that Jill probably craves the spotlight far more than her daughter. Back at the ALDC studio, Abby is working with minis, hoping that one of them will carry on her tremendous legacy…much like Maddie is doing now. Ashlee warns the mini-moms that elite mothers are crazy and not to be trusted, and Jess takes great offense to this statement…even if it’s true. Jess calls the mothers to rehash Ashlee’s comments, and Jill laughs at the thought she’s going through menopause. That so happened a decade ago! 😉
The minis are working on their solo, and their moms are on cloud nine that their girls are being highlighted. Jess finds the young group to be a hot mess, and Ashlee and Jessalyn heap their critiques on the mini-moms. Your child isn’t picking up on turns. Your four-year-old is slow with choreography. Yeah. She like just learned how to walk. In Abby’s absence, Gia is working on the elite team’s group number. The mothers have just received an e-mail that Abby is resigning from the ALDC. The mini-moms are confused. Abby seemed to happy last night. Holly would like to introduce them to Abby’s see-saw of crazy emotions. Maddie practices her Bond Girl solo as Melissa beams from the wings, wishing Abby was here to see her daughter’s talent. She also wants to stick it to Ashlee when Maddie beats Brynn.
On the day of competition, Abby is MIA, and the mothers (mini and elite) are shocked. Doesn’t she want to see Maddie compete against Brynn? Only Holly keeps a level head about the fact that Abby’s most consistent trait is her unpredictability. Maddie dances her solo first, and she is amazing. It’s refreshing to see her do well in a routine that isn’t a lyrical piece. Brynn performs next after a pep talk from Kalani, and she’s stellar as well. I prefer Maddie’s choreography, but we’re all aware I know absolutely nothing about dance. Holly agrees. Both girls gave standout performances, but Melissa and Ashlee bicker back and forth (and Jessalyn and Jill side with Melissa) about their daughter’s routines. Ashlee retaliates by criticizing JoJo’s technique. Is there going to be a fight up in here?
With Abby missing, the elite team takes the minis under their wing, grooming them (and spraying their hair) for their first group routine while showering them with praise. The minis are far more talented than I could ever be, and given their average age is six, that’s impressive. Of course, given my two left feet and tone deaf demeanor, Honey Boo Boo could out dance me. The minis rocked their first competition and Jess hates that Abby wasn’t there to see it…and that one kid she’s been ragging on did better than expected too. Win-win? The elite team performs and they look like the missing members of T-Swift’s squad. I don’t love the dance, but the girls execute it beautifully. Dare I say MacKenzie is a beat behind? At the awards ceremony, Brynn scores fourth place in the overall solo division with Maddie placing second. Melissa feels robbed and Maddie plasters on a smile. The mini group doesn’t even realize they’ve place second in their age group, but the elite team takes the top spot. Backstage, the minis are moping, and the Seventeen photographer gifts the girls with a sneak peak of the photo shoot. The mini moms hope that Abby will be more present going forward, and Gia pisses off Melissa by confirming that Brynn’s solo was harder than Maddie’s. Cue World War III as the moms scream about Brynn losing to Maddie. Good times!
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[Photo Credit: Lifetime]