After a week’s hiatus from Dance Moms: Miami, the crazy is ba-ack, and this week they are heading north!
Victor and Angel are embarrassed over their last showing–fifth place is a joke at Stars studio. Kimmy makes the top of the list for missing first place in her solo competition by one point. Sammy is at number two for her great solo. Jessi finally works her up from the bottom, and Victor praises her from improving her behavior. Lucas gets a tad misty to see he is fourth on the list, which means Hannah is on the bottom. While she’s improving, it’s not at the same rate as her teammates.
Dance Moms: Miami is still living up to its initial hype, for me at least. I love the Victor/Angel good cop/bad cop dynamic, and once again, the dancers prove that they are way more capable of maturity, class, and kindness than their bat poo crazy mothers.
We resume with the ever ominous list. Even though the group out-performed everyone, it’s not enough for Victor and Angel. Despite a second place finish, Lucas is on top. A proud Kimmy takes the second spot for remembering choreography, and, more importantly, having the least crazy mother. Even though Sammy placed first in the solo performance, she’s in the third position. A smug Sammy is confused. Jessi’s mother is already crying knowing her daughter’s near the bottom. Victor reminds her that a reputation takes a second to destroy and months to rebuild. Remember that, poor sport! Debi is upset that Hannah had her best dance yet but still ends up at the bottom.
The crew is heading back to California. How do I become the child of a Dance Mom? I would like to traipse around the country each week, despite my fear of flying. Lucas and Kimmy are granted solos. Sammy is given a solo by Victor, accompanied by harsh words from Angel. Neither Jessi nor Hannah will be dancing solos. The group dance is a deep, contemporary number based in each dancers’ insecurities.
Angel is shocked at how nice the moms are being towards one another. He cites that there must have been a special on booze at the liquor store. Man, I love him. Of course, by nice, he means the mothers are passive aggressively complimenting their counterparts…make that their counterparts’ children. Victor and Angel tap into the crews’ insecurities. Are they licensed therapists? The kids are crying about how small and ugly and imperfect they feel, and it pretty much all goes straight back to how their moms behave. The moms are proud…yet Susan thinks that Sammy isn’t quite deserving a three-run solo. Even the normally calm Bridgette calls out Abby on her cockiness surrounding her daughter. So basically, the insecurity exercise works on the kids, yet it ignites the moms. The moms, sans Abby, go to on a group bathroom outing, which all girls know is code for major gossip time.
The troupe practices purging their insecurities through dance. After Debi was excited to see Abby finally treated as the outsider, she is perturbed to see Bridgette approaching Abby to apologize. Bridgette is convinced that Debi manipulated the women to find fault with Abby, mother to Sammy, who, may I remind you, is a child and also Debi’s nemesis—not Debi’s daughter’s nemesis, but Debi’s nemesis. The only issue Hannah and Sammy seem to have is that their mothers want them to hate each other.
After the second episode of Dance Moms: Miami, I must stick to my brazen statement that I like this one more than the original. Don’t get me wrong, I love Abby Lee and the crew, but that was just a crazy dance instructor and some pseudo-normal moms (for the most part…for the most part). I LOVE Victor and Angel. I love that they are passionate about what they do, but they are not hateful and crazy—unless they are dealing with these basketcase mothers. They blatantly call the women insane, and it is fabulous.
Last night we started with my man Lucas at the top of the list, mainly for not dropping Kimmy during the pair’s duet. Kimmy’s mom is thrilled see her place second, although Kimmy thinks a tie would have been more appropriate. Sammy isn’t keen on being third, and Susan is in tears that Jessi’s name must be in the bottom two. Jessi placed second in her solo for Pete’s sake! Hannah takes the fourth spot, even though Angel and Victor cite her improvement. Jessi fell from the number one spot last week to last on the list.
Victor blames Jessi’s poor sportsmanship for the drastic turn of events. She is in tears but has nothing to say for herself. Susan is livid. The only reason Jessi snatched the trophy out of Hannah’s hands was because Hannah wouldn’t give it to her when she asked for it. Because that makes it all right? The girl is fourteen-years-old having a spat with a ten-year-old? Susan tells Debi that both of their daughters are to blame, and Debi won’t hear any of it. The women are screaming at each other, and Angel tries to remind them that they are behaving this way in front of their children. He refers to them as psychotic b*tches, and he is definitely on to something. Susan takes Jessi outside, stating that her past behavior has been an embarrassment. Hmm…I wonder if Jessi isn’t thinking the exact same thing! Susan instructs her to go back into the studio and apologize to Victor, Hannah, and her other fellow dancers.
The competition this week is in Long Beach, California. The group dance is revisiting jazz-funk, and Lucas scores a solo. Sammy and Hannah are also going to be dancing solo numbers. Debi is so excited that Hannah will be competing against her other arch nemesis, Sammy. The group dance centers around “party boy” Lucas, new in the city. Jessi returns and Angel makes her apologize to the group. Victor comforts her because hey, she didn’t choose her cuckoo mother. Angel thinks Victor is reinforcing bad behavior. Susan tries to apologize to Angel, and he rakes her over the coals. It was pretty awesome. He makes no secret of thinking she’s five-star crazy.
After a mediocre group dance practice, Angel promises to pull out of the competition if they don’t show vast improvement. Hannah is doing a contemporary solo. I know nothing about dance, so while she is probably amazing, the choreography reminds me of something Chuck Norris would do. Sammy will be dancing a jazz solo, and little Lolita is sporting some bright red lipstick. Angel dislikes Victor’s choreography and their arguing is placing more stress on Sammy. Lucas’ solo is entitled “I Believe in Something” and it’s lyrical. Basically it is just a lot of sad dancing by my little Biebs. The mothers just look on from their sofas providing meaningless commentary. Victor declares Lucas to be “amazing.”
The jazz-funk group dance is one hot mess. Susan thinks Victor has PMS. Ani has no problem with Victor yelling at Kimmy. After all, football coaches yell at their players. This is no different. Angel has had enough of the group being off-beat, and he dismisses them…basically stating that he can’t stand the sight of them. Victor is peeved, as clearly they need this time to practice. Angel wins, per the usual.
Debi’s older daughter is home from college, and Debi reveals that Abby has joined the studio. The scandal! Basically Hannah’s mother and sister are talking about how she wasn’t nearly as good a dancer at her old studio while talking smack about another tween. I could maybe understand tween dissing tween, but this woman is just as ridiculous as Susan. These ladies are clearly living vicariously through their poor daughters!
Angel tries to a team building exercise the following day where the kids basically tell each other how each feels about their fellow classmates. The mothers look curiously from their perch on the sofas…they have never seen anything like this before. Angel then instructs Jessi to tell her mother what Susan needs to improve upon as far as behavior. Oh snap!
The mothers watch Hannah rehearse, and both Debi and Abby’s horns are showing. These two dislike the others’ daughters more than the girls dislike each other…which, for the record, they seem to be fine but slightly competitive. Sammy’s practice time is cut short due to drama between Victor and Angel. Angel has stepped in to tweak Victor’s choreography. It’s a good thing that Kimmy’s mom can read lips through the glass partition so that the women can follow the disagreement.
Last night was the premiere of the first Dance Moms‘ spin-off, Dance Moms: Miami. We are introduced to Victor Smalley and Angel Armas, owners of Star Dance Studios in Miami, Florida. I am curious to see if they will be as horrible as Abby Lee from the original Dance Moms, but from an overview of the upcoming season, they seem to be reserving the insanity for the moms. Good call.
Victor and Angel are quick to point out that they would never put up with these crazy-a$$ mothers if it weren’t for their sweet and talented children. Victor is the good cop to Angels’ stricter bravado. Sammy Small and her mother Abby are new to the studio, but they aren’t new to Debi Epstein and her daughter Hannah. Sammy and Hannah danced together when they were younger, and Sammy, who has grand plans to be the next Hannah Montana, apparently wasn’t the nicest to Hannah. Abby thinks people are just jealous of her family’s wealth and talented children. Perhaps, although Abby’s husband doesn’t seem to keen on spending on his “wealth” on his daughters’ dancing.
Victor’s mother, Mayra Smalley, runs the studio and is challenged with corralling the moms. Victor and Angel have a “list” where they rate the dancers’ performances, based on their own opinions, not how well they did in competition according to judges’ scores. Debi is floored to see Hannah at the bottom. An adorable Lucas Triana, is on the verge of tears when he’s told his cuteness will only get him so far, and ends up next to last on the list. His mother Brigette, thinks her nine-year-old is winning multiple competitions should grant him a better place on the list. Oh, and she also touts herself as the resident dance mom b!tch. Good to know!
Kimmy Kopke is third on the list for her inability to memorize choreography, and new girl Sammy scores the second spot much to Debi’s eye-rolling and chagrin. The coveted top spot belongs to Jessi Kennedy. Her mother Susan is going to be a spitfire, mark my words. The troupe prepares for an upcoming competition, and Victor gives them a pep talk. Jessi scores a solo, and Lucas and Kimmy will have a duet where the young pair will be competing against twelve-year-old dancers. Hannah is saddened to learn that she will not have a solo this week.
The routine for the competition is “jazz funk.” Bring it! The moms are kicked out of the studio while Victor teaches dark “Miami-fusion” style choreography to the students. In the moms’ holding room, newbie mom Abby asks for the lowdown on Victor and Angel. Both Brigette and Kimmy’s mother Anicia Guttierrez can’t hide their smugness. Debi jumps in to talk about how strict this studio is compared to the one Sammy used to attend. Abby agrees that it must be, as Hannah seems to be dancing a bit better than the last time Abby saw her. Mee and yow. Brigette finds it hilarious as Abby and Debi rattle off their daughters’ impressive dance resumes.
Debi admits that she is far more competitive than her daughter. She cannot wait until Hannah is a superstar and shows up Sammy. Does Debi realize she’s jealous of a tween? Debi blames Victor for not giving Hannah a solo or a duet. Victor divas up to Debi after she accuses him of casting Sammy when she hasn’t paid her dues at the studio. He sashays away leaving Debi fuming. I already like this show so much better than the original! When Susan questions Debi about the altercation, she curtly replies she doesn’t want to talk about it.
We learn that Jessi is uber-competitive and wants to win at all costs. We also learn that Jessi’s grandmother was a ballerina in Colombia. A bit more history? Her mother Susan didn’t quite make it as far in the dance world as she would have liked. Shocking…her mother’s a famous dancer, and now her daughter lives to dance, admittedly to please Susan. Lifetime, you also may have a movie of the week with this one.
Last night’s season finale for Project Runway All Stars went about how I expected. A winner was crowned, the losers flew first class to Paris and everyone else flocked to Neiman Marcus online to start procuring some goods!
The designers arrived at the Gotham Center for the finale show where they each had their own special dressing area, complete with their customized Neiman Marcus accessory walls. Austin still isn’t finished with his evening gown and is rushing around doing last-minute construction. Michael realizes that although he thought he had everything finished, he’s having a ton of last-minute fit issues. Mondo doesn’t seem to be experiencing any trauma–for once–and is confident going into the final show. There’s some last-minute preparations and drama, but nobody really cares about that! Let’s get to the final show.
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Last night’s episode of Project Runway All Stars was a prequel to the finale, which is a two-parter. There was no runway show and therefore no looks to critique. Since there’s no dresses to discuss, I can recap Mondo‘ s incessant whining and pouting instead! Which, is pretty much all that happened last night.
Things start out with Angela meeting the final three on the runway. The final three consisted of the ever-hopeful and slightly delusional Michael (who for some unbeknownst reason I have a soft spot for), the ebullient and fantastical Austin Scarlett, and the now surly, sullen, and depleted (once quirky and thoughtful) Mondo. Angela explains that for the final challenge they will need to create a five-look mini collection for an esteemed audience of Muppets and B-List celebrities. They have four days and $3000 to spend on materials. The runway show will be held at a secret location.
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Last night on Project Runway All Stars the three finalist were revealed after the designers had to create a ready-to-wear look for designer, Nanette Lepore.
The designers meet Nanette in her garment district store and we learn commercialization combined with rising rents are forcing many factories and designers out of the infamous district. Nanette is very involved in a charity to revitalize the area (as is Isaac Mizrahi). The designers are to sketch one ready-to-wear piece and then go over the analytics with Nanette and her “coster.” The coster basically tells them how much the garment would sell for vs. how much it would cost to produce and make a profit. The difference is how much they can spend on fabrics to construct the piece.
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On last night’s Project Runway All Stars challenge, the designers experienced a PR first! The designers had to make an avant-garde look using LED lights for the first ever blacklight runway show!
Immediately, when Angela explained the challenge Austin lit up (haha) but everyone else dimmed considerably. The nervous energy in the room was palpable. The designers received $300 to buying LED lighting and accessories, and then went to Mood to procure some blacklight worthy fabrics.
Almost everyone was over-whelmed by the idea of incorporating the lights into their garment on top of being forced to make an avant-garde look – which I guarantee most of these designers didn’t even know what that meant conceptually. Throwing every detail and weird idea at a dress and stapling some odd wings on doesn’t make it avant-garde – it makes it weird. Nevertheless, that’s the standard way to approach a PR avant-garde challenge and it happens every time the have one. Basically, a designer that isn’t avant-garde and doesn’t embrace that as their medium, isn’t going to excel in that style, so we always end up with a hot mess of weird, crazy, and ugly.
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