On the last few episodes of Dance Moms, we’ve been treated to a preteen music video battle of epic proportions–and the jealousy that said battle can cause among a group of middle-aged mothers–courtesy of two amazing ALDC members…the underdog Nia and Abby Lee Miller’s up-and-coming favorite Kendall. Both girls had adorably glossy and professional finished products, but who knows if they’ll ever make their way up the pop charts.
Of course, their teammate Maddie Ziegler is in an entirely different league, starring in Sia’s trilogy of slightly creepy, extremely well-choreographed, and often controversial music videos. “Chandelier” took Maddie out of Abby’s studio and made her a household name for something other than a reality series about bickering moms and their talented daughters. “Elastic Heart” found her dancing in a cage with Shia LeBeuof. Combined, the two videos have garnered close to a billion views, and the third installment “Big Girls Don’t Cry” was recently released.
I know I sound like a broken record season after season after season (or is it all just one neverending season?), but could this be the longest ever season of Dance Moms? After the great video showdown of 2015, the ALDC has returned to Pittsburgh after a victorious stint in Los Angeles. Abby Lee Miller is true to form with her nastiness and self-pity, but of course her bad behavior is magnified thanks to Lifetime adding Cathy’s Candy Apples into the mix. The moms are (surprisingly!) getting along, and while they don’t love the cold weather, they are happy to be home…for a week at least. Melissa wonders if it could be their last Pittsburgh pyramid. She seems to think that when Abby heads back to L.A. next week (we deserve frequent flier miles just for watching!), it will be for good.
Not only is there a competition this week, there is also a dance convention where the dancers could win scholarships. The moms inform their girls that not only will the Candy Apples be trying to beat them, but Ava and her mom Jeanette will be at the competition as well. Poor Kendall says what her teammates are thinking…it’s never a fun competition week with Abby when Cathy is involved. At pyramid, Abby gushes over Maddie’s Grammy’s performance (as she should, it was amazing), saying she got more applause than Madonna. Does she really want to get on Madge’s bad side? Maddie also dishes on behind the scenes of the awards show, and Holly feels the need to interrupt to proclaim that Nia will be having a premier party for her video at the dance convention thanks to her recent video? Really, Holly? Why? I try to defend you, but you’re not making it easy! Even Nia looks like she wants her mother to stop her one-upping. Holly extends an invitation to the studio, but Melissa can’t make it because she has dinner plans. Joke’s on you, Melissa–it’s a daytime event.
Last night was the ALDC’s final week in Los Angeles on Dance Moms…somehow I feel like I’ve typed that more than once! As usual, Abby Lee Miller was her normal horribly hateful self…with a few (very few!) moments of compassion. The episode was the battle of the video vixens, except (sadly), in this case, the “vixens” are preteens. Don’t get me started on age appropriateness! Much like MacKenzie was transformed into MackZ, Kendall is no longer Kendall. She’s Kendall K. As she and Jill arrive to the set of her military inspired music video, the first words out of Abby’s mouth are “take that, Holly!” Such class with this one! Abby goes on and on about how Holly has extracted Nia from the group by choosing to work with Aubrey O’Day. Let’s be honest…had she not, is there any one of you who thinks Nia would have gotten the same attention that Abby is now giving Kendall…K? Jill chooses to sleep at night by telling herself that Holly created the ultimate betrayal by not blindly trusting Abby to have her daughter’s best interests at heart. As long as Kendall is finally Abby’s golden child, Jill doesn’t mind potentially losing a friend. I think she’s forgotten just how fickle Abby can be!
At pyramid, JoJo is on the bottom for not standing out in the group routine. MacKenzie joins her for not living up to her potential while in LA. Nia and Kalani make up the middle rung for impressive performances in the group number. Kendall is in the second spot for a stellar video shoot, and Maddie regains her top spot for getting winning the overall solo routine at last week’s competition. This week, Maddie is performing at the Grammys, and she shares that she and Sia have become like family. Kendall and JoJo are granted solos, and JoJo will be dancing in a straight jacket. The group number is entitled Platinum, and Abby likens it to Kendall’s musical future. Nia stands stone-faced, getting zero recognition from her lifelong dance teacher. Abby reveals that this week’s competition will be judged by their peers.
On last night’s Dance Moms, the crew is still in Los Angeles, but this time everyone’s spirits are much higher. Of course, that comes to a screeching halt when they learn that they’ll be going up against the team that beat them on their previous trek out west. Jill is thrilled that Kendall will be launching her music career this go-round, but her daughter admits to her friends that’s it’s odd for her to be in the fore front. Kendall is excited about the opportunity, but she’s used to being in the background. Nia hopes their music videos won’t turn into a competition since they have such different styles, but she’s happy for her pal nonetheless.
The girls’ banter is interrupted when Abby Lee Miller says that it is time for the pyramid. Nia is on the bottom for her solo’s third place showing, followed by MacKenzie for being the group routine’s weakest link. She’s not applying the corrections given. JoJo rounds out the bottom, but Abby praises her for learning to keep her mouth closed. Maddie is in third (wait, what?) as her technique hasn’t been up to her normal standards due to her latest dancing gigs. Sure, dancing at the Grammys is amazing, but it doesn’t require the precision that Abby has been teaching her all along. Kalani is second, and Kira interjects to say that she and her daughter have been invited to a fashion show event. While she will be attending, Kalani has chosen to stay with the team. This pleases Abby, which should shock no one. Kendall is deservedly on top for her winning the overall high score with her solo. Abby reminds Kendall that she has a lot of work to do with her video so she’ll be relying on the other girls for assistance. Holly reminds Abby that Nia’s video is next week, so she will be focusing on that. Abby icily promises not to rely on Nia to help the team. Kalani and Maddi are granted dueling solos, and Abby announces that Maddie will be missing a day of rehearsals to perform on Ellen.
Those of you familiar with Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition may remember the name Haley Huelsman. The 13-year-old appeared in the second season of Abby Lee Miller‘s competition spinoff, which segued into Haley’s appearances on Dance Moms, and included erupting into a feud with Abby herself! Oh, Abby feuding with a teenager – is this even news at this point? Or is this like a dance world rite of passage?
Haley’s mom Melanie is speaking out about the drama with Abby and why Haley ultimately decided to join Cathy Nesbitt-Stein‘s Candy Apples. Interestingly Melanie shares that Cathy, Abby’s notorious rival and Dance Moms chief villainous (other than the moms of course), is very different off-camera!