Well played, Lifetime, well played. I’ll give the network a slow clap for sure after last night’s wrap up to the Dance Momsreunion. It had me bawling like a baby, but I appreciated that it focused on the only two redeeming qualities of the show: the girls’ genuine friendships and the amazing dancing. Plus, kudos for plugging the girls’ music videos and YouTube channels! Each of these young ladies has a bright future ahead of her, and Jai Rodriquez is yet again a breath of fresh air compared to ol’ Phil Collins.
The reunion begins with the girls joining The Boys of Temecula in a fabulous hip-hop number. After the dance, Maddie, MacKenzie, Nia, JoJo, Kalani, Kendall, and Brynn join to Jai to dish about the drama and the fun we’ve seen this season. Maddie recalls that she, her sister, and Nia were the only original ALDC team members remaining, and they have all grown up together. Jai shows a clip of the girls learning of Maddie and MacKenzie’s departure which starts the waterworks. You can tell how much these girls love each other. Don’t you remember being that age when when those kind of friendships were the only care in the world?
Um, are we watching someone unravel right in front of our eyes? The first three minutes of last night’s Dance Moms Reunion was akin to watching Britney Spears’ epic meltdown circa 2006, except there wasn’t any head-shaving…yet (at least). Abby Lee Miller arrives extremely late–and braless–as the mothers wait patiently on the stage with this year’s host, Jai Rodriquez. As a huge Queer Eye fan, I’m glad to see he’s still around! I notice that Phil Collins was wise enough not to get to close to this debacle! Abby stumbles on stage, hair half up in hot rollers, much she like starts her day at the studio. Abby complains about her bra, pulling it outside of her shirt to show the appalled audience, as Melissa Gisoni rushes to her rescue. Jai quickly cuts to a group routine which is already prepped and ready to go.
Jai gushes over the season, and Abby seems to have regained some sense of composure. He inquires about the Ziegler girls’ exit, and Abby accuses Melissa of lying to her, the producers, director, and Lifetime’s legal team. Melissa counters that they all knew, and she followed the proper channels. As Abby rolls her eyes, Jai questions what rumors Abby has heard. She goes on a rampage about Maddie judging So You Think You Can Dance, dismissing the competition show and its decisions. Melissa’s blood is boiling but she’s not allowed to speak on Maddie’s next move. Jill tries to calm her friend. Jessalyn interjects to remind Abby that she cried for hours when she heard about Maddie and MacKenzie’s impending departure. Abby argues that she’s beyond happy for Maddie, but she wanted to part of the united front when announcing their new opportunities. The other moms recognize that Melissa was following the advice of her lawyer, but they feel slighted that she always accused them of lying or believing gossip when they would question her about the rumors that turned out to be true.
Jeff Collins welcomes us back to the second half of the Dance Moms reunion and promises more audience participation. Oh gracious! That's the last thing I wanted. Abby Lee Miller joins Jeff on stage and they embrace as if they hadn't filmed the first hour mere minutes ago. They discuss the great mom walk out, and Abby blames them for running off Jackie and Sophia–as you recall, they left as quickly as they came. Abby had hoped that Maddie and Sophia could have done a tap duet, and when questioned to which is a better dancer, Abby remains neutral. She says she believes that Maddie dances from her heart, but Sophia has had more opportunities. When asked about Asia and MacKenzie, Abby believes that Asia has more technical talent while MacKenzie has more knowledge of choreography.
After an audience member question, Abby reveals that the other moms are clearly jealous of Kristie 2.0's beauty. Who wouldn't be (according to Abby)? Backstage, Kathy's daughter Vivi-Anne shares that she never learned anything from Abby…at her mother's prompting. Kristie heads out on stage with Abby and Jeff, and she admits that she doesn't care what the other women think of her. Abby touts her professional teaching in a thirty minute session for making Asia a better dancer. You can tell from Kristie's face that she isn't in total agreement, but she never voices it. Abby brags to Jeff about Asia's sass and work ethic, and cue an Asia solo. The kid has gumption and talent, that's for sure! After the break, Kendall performs one of her energetic solos. Why did this reunion need to be two hours? Someone please remind me!
The executive producer of Dance Moms, Jeff Collins, is back to host the crazy tell-all that is the Dance Moms Season 3 reunion. Bless him. He thinks he can wrangle in Abby Lee Miller and the drama fueled moms who trust Abby to teach their daughters. He looks heavily medicated…as he should be for the task. It's part one of two-part reunion, y'all!
A hoarse Abby is first to join Jeff on stage. Does she ever have a voice? Jeff brings up some of her more memorable altercations this season…like when she was yelled at by a Candy Apple dance dad and got into it with Kathy. Abby is quick to remind Jeff that she was "verbally assaulted" by said dance dad and "physically assaulted" by Kathy. Semantics? Eh, it's a tough call. He wants to do word association, and Abby is quick to call Kelly "foolish" and Christi "evil." Melissa is "sly like a fox" while Kathy's purse (the one from the aforementioned assault) is "heavy, sharp, hurtful" among other things. In the green room, the moms play their own game.
When questioned about Melissa's new loyalty to the mothers this season, Abby cites disappointment in Melissa putting her need to be accepted above her daughters' success. Melissa joins Abby on stage to talk about her wedding. She admits that she wanted the ceremony filmed for the show, but she respected her husband's wishes to keep their day private. As the audience asks questions, the other moms are reacting backstage. Even the reunion is scripted! Geez Louise!