We are halfway through Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars – and NeNe Leakes is still in the competition. Last week, the Incredible Hulk NeNe busted out of all that spandex and sequins and treatedTony Dovolanilike, well, how she treats other humans – beneath her. NeNe is safe, though, so woohoo for rewarding bad behavior. Or something.
Tony and NeNe take on Salsa this week. NeNe, looking more linebacker than normal, starts in the audience and shimmies up on Gregg on her way to the dance floor. I don't care for the choreography – it's more club than salsa – and NeNe's lemons need wayyyy more support. The highlight? Tony loses his shirt midway through the dance.
I don't know what I more saddened to learn about last night's Dance Moms…that it was ninety minutes long or that that it was the mid-season finale. Seriously, Lifetime? MID-SEASON? This season has been going on since before MacKenzie was born–at least that's how it feels! Of course, we finally got to meet the new team that Abby Lee Miller has been threatening to introduce for decades!
The super-sized episode begins with Abby returning to the studio after the death of her mother. Her dancers share their condolences, and once again, both Maddie and I are in tears. Abby cuts through the emotional moment by forging ahead with the pyramid. Chloe is on the bottom due to her fifth place solo finish, with Nia following. Kalani rounds out the bottom tier for not standing out in group number. Kendall is in the third spot for her second place solo. Maddie is in second, with MacKenzie on the top for balancing dance and her It's a Girl Party video…which, by the way, is available for download on Lifetime. Do people really buy these things?
Last night's Dance Moms had my waterworks in full effect as Abby Lee Miller struggled with her mother's failing health. It's heartbreaking. As the episode begins, Melissa starts the water works with Abby after sharing that she'd been visiting with Mrs. Miller in hospice. Abby knows that her mother wouldn't want her moping around the nursing home, so instead she heads to the studio. The pyramid isn't going to reveal itself!
Nia is on the bottom for not being on the group routine. That's fair. Holly is furious. Kendall follows for her second place finish, and she can't even look up from the floor. Kalani is third from the bottom for minor technical issues. Kira is confused. Her daughter was part of the highest scoring duet. Clearly the girls' performance in the competitions has nothing to do with their spot on the pyramid. MacKenzie is third overall for balancing dance and her budding musical career. Chloe is second for her winning duet with Kalani. Kira's point has just been proven. Maddieis on the top for shining regardless of dancing a solo. Abby proclaims her the star of the group dance that she wasn't present to see. Abby wants to dedicate this week's competition to her mother. Both Maddie and Chloe get solos. MacKenzie won't be in the group number since she needs to focus on her music video, but Nia will be dancing with her peers…maybe. Holly wonders if Abby is taking on too much in order to escape her feelings about her mom. Why yes. Yes she is.
I want to feel sorry for Abby Lee Miller because I know she's going through a very rough time on this season's Dance Moms due to her mother's failing health, but I can't help but feel she'd be just as hateful and horrible if her life was all raindrops on roses and whiskers on stuffed dogs. Abby is trying to keep her mind off of things by focusing on a photo shoot for MacKenzie and auditioning dancers for upcoming music video. This should be rich.
In the pyramid, Maddie is on the bottom, followed by MacKenzie, Kendall, Chloe, and Nia. Maddie looks like she may vomit until Abby reveals that they are all on the same level for doing such a great job. Kalani is on the top of the pyramid for being the overall high scoring soloist. Abby reminds the girls and their mothers that she will be introducing her new team to the studio at some point soon. She then delves into the fact that her mom is dying, and Melissa interrupts to share how much she loves Mrs. Miller. Maddie and Chloe are in tears as Abby hugs them and reminds them how much she loves children. Maddie and Chloe have grown up with Mrs. Miller, and I can't believe this damn show has me crying in the first five minutes. I've hit a new low.
This is the season that doesn't end…yes, it goes on and on, my friend! Last night was yet another episode of Dance Moms in what is proving to be the most drawn out season in the history of the world. And I thought last season was long!
Abby Lee Miller is thrilled that her team is eleven for eleven this season, and she rocks the boat by including both Kalani and Peyton. She announces that she has finally replaced Brooke, Paige, and Kelly. Kalani's mom will be the new Kelly, while Kalani is the hybrid of the Hyland girls. Leslie goes crazy. Why is Peyton even here? She follows the rules! She's been trained by Abby since she started walking! What kind of witch would bring in her daughter only to make her an outcast? That's a rhetorical question, right?
How much longer do we have to deal with Abby Lee Miller's crazy mean attitude on Dance Moms? Last night, Melissa got the rare taste of how it feels to have a daughter compete in Maddie's shadow, and she didn't play off her frustration well. At all. It was slightly fun to watch! Finally!
Abby calls her girls together to praise them for their win against Cathy's Candy Apples. Fallon has been given the boot for not remembering her routine, although Abby hasn't totally counted her out as a replacement for one of these losers dancers. During the pyramid, MacKenzie is on the bottom for not attending last week's competition. Funny…Maddie didn't attend a competition, and I believe she ended up third on the pyramid. MacKenzie is followed by Nia for over the top, yet improper facial expressions during the group dance. Payton is back on the pyramid and third from the bottom. Abby rails on how the sixteen-year-old acts like a baby, reminding her that MacKenzie is the baby on the team. Payton runs out of the studio in tears yet again. When Abby follows, Payton sobs that she dances because she love Abby and the studio so, so, so much. Abby softens…kind of.
There's been so much nastiness from Abby Lee Miller on this season (the longest ever it seems!) of Dance Moms, I guess Lifetime wanted to bring back Kathy and the Candy Apples for some unrelated drama.
The episode begins with Abby revealing that she would be bringing in a new girl named Fallon who shined at one of her open auditions. Fallon and mom Cheryl arrive as Abby corrals all of the dancers and moms for the pyramid. Abby does introductions, and Cheryl's face looks like it can't move. The moms look defeated as usual, and Abby laments how difficult it is to build an entire new team. Kalani is out because mother Kira didn't abide by Abby's rules, which apparently is never say that your daughter can beat Maddie.
How much longer is this show going to be on? I remember that the last season of Dance Moms seemed to go on forever, but I honestly don't know how much more I can take of Abby Lee Miller. Last night, she gave Chloe a bit of a reprieve while she focused most of her ugliness on poor Kendall. These girls are not okay with this abuse. Sure, there are a few scenes here and there that make me think parts of the episode are totally scripted, but Kendall's tears were real. The defeat in Chloe's eyes was real. The look on Nia's face that made it quite clear she couldn't stand her dance teacher (loved it!)…that was real.
Before the pyramid, Holly invites Abby and the other mother's to come to her book-signing party for her affirmations. Abby reminds Nia that dance should come first and insinuates she should get credit for ideas behind the book. Abby wonders if her affirmation "silence is golden" will apply when Holly learns that Nia is at the bottom of the pyramid. That's the face I'm talking about, Miss Nia! Kendall follows, and while Abby couldn't find anything wrong with Kendall's performance she wants to punish her for her mother questioning why she wasn't featured in the group dance. Maddie is third from the bottom because she wasn't at the competition, but Abby is still proud of the job she was doing in L.A. Am I wrong or does Abby usually put other dancers who are absent in the last spot? Chloe is in the third spot, and Christi can't believe that Abby gives her daughter even the smallest amount of praise. MacKenzie is second with Kalani topping the pyramid.