Thank goodness Maddie was back on last night’s Dance Moms. She has to mitigate some of Abby Lee Miller’s crazy, right? Um, that’s to be determined. The ALDC welcomes back Maddie from her movie shoot, but Abby is quick to remind her that she didn’t garner the first place spot due to all of her gaps in training. Melissa interrupts to ask Abby if she saw Maddie’s segment on Ellen. Nope! Melissa reminds Abby she e-mailed it so she can still watch it. A dismissive Abby claims she’s too busy to take the time to view the three minute clip, and Maddie is clearly hurt.
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JoJo, Nia, Maddie, and MacKenzie (in that order) are on the bottom rung of the pyramid for dialing down their performances in the group routine. Ashlee likes this erratic Abby is it means that Maddie isn’t teacher’s pet. Kendall and Brynn make up the second tier and Jill is beaming. Kalani scores the coveted top spot despite Kira’s behavior. Abby didn’t appreciate Kira’s ultimatum that it was either Kalani or Brynn. Abby adores Brynn, but her mother Ashlee rubs Abby the wrong way. Weird that Abby and I agree on something! The competition this week is in San Diego. Nia, MacKenzie, and JoJo will be dancing solos, and the group routine will be a recycled number based on the Seven Deadly Sins. Holly labels Abby tweaking a past performance as lazy.
As Abby bestows a sin on each dancer, there is *almost* a glimpse of the old Abby who loves her students and wants the best for them. The moms convene to gawk about Maddie’s appearance on the bottom of the pyramid, and Jill chastises Melissa for not speaking up more when Abby dismissed Maddie’s Ellen performance. The mothers then attribute all of the sins to Abby herself. When Abby comes out to speak to the women, Melissa questions why Abby didn’t watch Maddie on Ellen. Abby whines that she wasn’t feeling there, not to mention she wasn’t invited. Melissa shares she barely got to attend, but Abby can barely hide her jealousy at Maddie’s sky-rocketing star. Jessalyn predicts that Maddie will become Abby’s latest target, citing that Abby doesn’t share her toys…she breaks them.
The mothers continue to cluck about how odd it is that Maddie didn’t get a solo, and Ashlee hopes that this is Brynn’s opportunity to steal Maddie’s spot on the team. Melissa asks Abby if Maddie will have a solo next week. Maybe? Abby can’t think that far in advance. Jessalyn and Jill warn Melissa not to let Abby tear down Maddie during rehearsals. Abby has gifted solos to the three dancers she feels are flying under the radar. She’s pitted JoJo against MacKenzie, but she only halfway works with JoJo. Jessalyn misses the old, passionate Abby. Nia’s routine is a musical theater number. Abby can see Nia showcased on Broadway one day, but Holly finds the choreography to be babyish. When Holly bursts into Nia’s practice, Abby dismisses Nia which leaves Holly raging. MacKenzie gets similar treatment, as Abby rushes through her rehearsal while hurling insults. Melissa is peeved. She pays Abby to teach dance, not half-ass her job and complain.
The following day, Abby arrives with her wet hair wrapped up in a towel. The mothers have learned not to be shocked by Abby’s behavior, but it doesn’t make them any less angry. Would Abby show up with like that if she worked at a bank? Holly thinks not! As the girls work on the first season’s leftover group dance, Abby criticizes Maddie’s every turn while lavishing praise on Brynn. Ashlee is over the moon, but Jill is quick to remind the mouthy newbie that her daughter is dancing on a probationary basis. What does that even mean? Don’t ask Jill or Ashlee because they sure as heck have no clue!
On the day of competition, the ALDC once again has adoring fans waiting on their arrival. Abby lectures the soloists about the pressure they are under to perform which causes a collective eye roll from the moms. She barely spent a hot second working on their choreography. Jessalyn points out that Brynn was “inadvertently” left out of the program, and Ashlee starts crowing about how great of a dancer Brynn is. Abby wishes Ashlee would just shut it…she adores Brynn, but let her talent do the talking–not Ashlee’s big mouth. JoJo performs first, and while she brings her usual vivaciousness to the routine, but it clearly lacked a lot of forethought from a choreography standpoint. Ditto for MacKenzie’s routine–it’s overflowing with acro-tricks, but it’s also all over the place.
Holly is concerned as Nia takes the stage. She can’t believe how little time and effort Abby put into coaching her daughter. I don’t love the choreography either, but Nia always shines. Nailed it. As Abby and the moms discuss the solos, Ashlee wonders if Abby regrets not giving Maddie a solo. Abby shrieks that she no longer needs to shove Maddie down people’s throats. When Ashlee tries to take it as step further, Abby shuts her up rather quickly. Not surprisingly, Ashlee doesn’t take the hint and continues to gloat to the moms that Brynn is poised to be the newest Maddie. Melissa tries not to let it bother her as Abby gripes about everything Maddie does. It’s bothering me, and that says a lot!
Can I just say I LOVE the commercial segments where the girls interact on everything from boys to selfies to food? They seem like such a sweet group of genuine friends. I’d watch that for an hour! The ALDC girls rally before their solo…I just love them, but I could still be riding the high from that food segment. Recycled or not, the group number delivers. It’s fabulous. Abby considers it to be the product of all of her hard work. If only the moms could see it that way. At the awards ceremony, JoJo takes third in her age group with MacKenzie snagging first. Nia places fourth in the teen solo division, but I blame her choreography…as does Holly. The ALDC deservedly garners the top spot for their group routine. Backstage, Ashlee keeps pushing Abby for a definition of “probation,” and Jill takes particular pleasure in Abby blaming Ashlee’s behavior for the designation. Holly accuses Abby of setting the bar low with Nia’s subpar routine. Abby apologizes before breaking into tears over her sacrifices for the girls. She burned out and tired of fighting. The moms seem to understand how difficult it is for Abby to separate her crumbling personal life from what happens in the studio. Give me a break.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? WAS ABBY TOO HARD ON MADDIE?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]