Last night’s Dance Moms was the second part of the Abby Lee Miller’s swan song in Pittsburgh before heading out to Los Angeles to open the West Coast ALDC studio. Of course, it wouldn’t be a finale if it wasn’t coming on the heels of a tween video showdown, and it’s certainly only fitting that Cathy and her Candy Apples were involved! Even better? We don’t have to sit through a pyramid…we can just head right into the competition.
With the other dancers involved in the various JUMP convention showcases, JoJo and Nia are the only ALDC members ready to compete. Despite Melissa’s tepid excuses for the team’s absence, Holly can’t help but think that something shady is going on to which she wasn’t privy. Jessalyn and Holly are confused as to why Abby double-booked her team (especially since Kendall and Kalani are supposed to have solos), but Kira and Jill play dumb. Cathy interrupts to question why half the group is MIA, and on cue, Abby arrives to ignore Cathy’s insults about her blobby, big hair. She wasn’t about to have her dancers miss out on the coveted time with master choreographers at the convention. Jessalyn is livid to learn that Abby texted the mothers whose daughters were involved, instructing them not to mention the scheduling conflict with her and Holly. “Shame on you,” admonishes Holly. As Abby and Holly scream at one another, Cathy takes great pleasure in watching the demise of the friendships crumbling in front of her. Jill scolds Holly for airing their dirty laundry in front of the Candy Apple moms, and her anger is only exaggerated by the fringe on her tacky jacket. Holly and Jessalyn storm off, realizing they are getting no support from their counterparts. Cathy cackles with delight, while relishing in Vivi’s starring role in the Candy Apple’s group routine.
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.
Abby Lee Miller has taken the ALDC back to Los Angeles, which, for us dear viewers, means a week free from Candy Apples scripted craziness. That’s enough for me! It’s the little things. Last night’s episode of Dance Moms begins with the entire troupe in Lala Land, and Melissa brags that MacKenzie was chosen to go with Abby on a recent studio scouting expedition. All of the moms hope that this time on the West Coast will go much more smoothly than the last time. Jill reveals that Kendall wants to work on her music (she’s got the voice for it), and Abby has promised that she will focus on a music video for sweet Kendall. Of course, Jill knows not to rely on what has been said in the past.
At rehearsal, Abby is strangely chipper and excited for this week. Abby is ready to work on Kendall’s dancing, and Jill interrupts to remind her that she’s spread thin as far as contracts and deals go. Abby tersely reminds Jill that she’ll do her best. Holly understands Jill’s struggle (it’s real, y’all), and she apologizes in advance if Nia takes some time away to work on a music video courtesy of Aubrey O’Day. Abby is all kittens, rainbows, and unicorns about Nia’s opportunity, but she reminds her dancers that they have cell phones…if something comes up that she isn’t privy to, they should dial her immediately. Holly gets the message loud and clear, and Jill hopes the women’s relationship is on the mend.
Thanks for tuning in to episode 1,000,314 of this season’s Dance Moms. You, like myself, must be a total glutton for punishment! Abby Lee Miller was up to her old tricks again, although this time she wasn’t yelling. Instead she was incessantly praising her star Maddie. Don’t get me wrong, I think Maddie is ridiculously talented and it’s not her fault her teacher alienates her with favoritism. However, it was a bit odd given that Maddie wasn’t present on last night’s episode to receive said praise. After a successful competition last week, the girls are missing Maddie who is performing on SNL with Sia. Melissa hates that she isn’t in New York with her daughter but she has to be there to support her other daughter…what’s her name? Oh, yeah, MacKenzie. I may just call her Maddie’s sister to make it easier. After all, that seems to be how everyone else refers to her.
Abby congratulates the team on a clean sweep and cites that it’s quite a big deal she’s chosen to be in Philly with them instead of in the Big Apple with Maddie. Jessalyn is excited to be returning to LA in a week now that JoJo has a team jacket. What a tease! The previews insinuated they were heading back to L.A. this week! How long are they trying to make this season? Is it lasting until 2018? Abby reminds her team that they are pretty much nothing without Maddie, but she’ll be interested to see how they fare in Maddie’s absence. She’s guessing not very well…
So remember years and year ago when Abby Lee Miller was just a teacher and Dance Moms was actually enjoyable to watch? Am I recalling it correctly, or have I clouded my memory with more positive thoughts in an effort to combat the negativity I have to watch now. It’s a total mind game. You know who else likes mind games? Sia. On last night’s episode, the world is finally introduced to this video. Many found it to be artistic, some found it to be highly inappropriate, but I was just happy to see Shia LeBeouf dancing around in a cage. People think he’s weird and controversial, but he’ll always be Louis Stevens to me. And now Louis Stevens is dancing around in a cage with Maddie the dirty wolf. What’s so wrong with that?
Maddie is excited about the video’s release, but she has a hard time explaining the concept to a confused Jill. Jill decides to just call it “artistic” and “open to interpretation” and be done with it. The other moms freak out when they learn that Kathy and her Candy Apples have assembled a brand new team of Abby’s “rejects” (Kira’s word, not mind), and they will be competing against the ALDC this week. Abby is livid, but she needs to focus on the pyramid. Kendall and Nia are on the bottom for not placing in their solos. JoJo, MacKenzie, and Kalani make up the second row for doing a wonderful job in their losing group number. Maddie maintains her place in the top spot. There will be no solos this week, as Abby wants to celebrate Maddie’s wonderful duet with Shia. She pairs Maddie with Kalani for one duet, and she pairs Kendall with JoJo for a Freaky Friday number. MacKenzie and Nia are partnered for a scary duet, which leads up to a murder in the group routine.
Is there an end in sight to this season of Dance Moms? I don’t know about y’all, but I’m Abby Lee Millered out! After a victory over the Candy Apples, the girls are actually looking forward to pyramid. Holly stills feels tension with the other friends, and JoJo laughs that Kathy exceeded her expectations when it came to crazy antics. The team is excited to have scored a win with a tried-and-true lyrical number, but Holly wants Abby to push the girls like she was doing before they went to Los Angeles. Lyrical is easy for them. Not for Nia, Abby snaps. Holly, I’m with you on how unfair all of this is, but it’s not going to change, and you’re just making it worse by expressing your opinion. It’s tragic all around. Jill speaks up to back Holly by saying that the girls are up to the task to do more challenging numbers. Well, Jill, those dances don’t win, and what’s more important in competition than winning?
Abby has come up with a great project for the girls. She’s asked all of the dancers to make a pros and cons list as to whether JoJo should be allowed a permanent spot on the team. Hearing it from her peers will make it more real for her. According to MacKenzie, JoJo is loud and crazy, but kind and hard-working. Jessalyn looks on proudly at her daughter’s resolve, but I think we’re one teammate down and JoJo’s already about to burst into tears. Maddie cites her ability to take direction but notes her timing issues. Nia claims she takes opportunities away from other girls who have been with the ALDC longer, and Kendall calls her respectful. Everyone says she’s either too loud or two crazy. Poor JoJo stares stone-faced only moving to wipe the tears before they can roll down her cheeks. Holly is proud of how JoJo is handling herself. In the end, JoJo earns an ALDC jacket and a spot on the team. Because the group routine was so strong, all of the girls are on the same pyramid level…except Maddie. She’s on top for her highest scoring solo. Maddie looks slightly uncomfortable for being singled out from the team, but Melissa beams.