Dance Moms Recap: Eight Mile

dance moms hobos

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.


The competition is in Detroit so Abby wants the group dance to show the downfall of the automotive industry called Riches to Rags. It seems a bit insulting to liken the citizens of the city where they are competing to dirty hobos. Holly isn't on board with mocking the hardships of Detroit. Both Maddie and Kendall get solos, and Kira wonders when Kalani will get the chance to go up against Maddie. Abby screams that Kalani was brought to the ALDS to dance with Maddie not against her. Abby coddles Maddie, sharing that she's timeless and classic and beautiful and will never go out of style. Jill wonders if Melissa would have an issue with Maddie going head-to-head with Kalani, and Melissa stutters and stammers that it wouldn't be a big deal as it will never happen.

The moms come to support Holly at her book-signing (how adorable is Holly's husband?) before Abby arrives to make a scene. Holly handles Abby's outburst with patience and grace. Must Abby always be the center of attention? She's like a spoiled six-year-old. Back at the studio, Abby prepares her students for her absence the following day. There will be no mothers running music, changing choreography, messing with costumes, and no Kalani dancing a solo. Are we all clear?  Abby and her sidekick are working with Kendall on her solo where she is holding a pair a point shoes while dancing. It's hard to balance the shoes around her neck, and both Abby and the instructor are yelling at Kendall that they never have these issues when working with Kendall. Kendall fights back the tears and asks to be excused. Abby yells that Kendall isn't allowed to go boo-hooing in the bathroom. Jill interrupts to stop the adults from ganging up on her poor daughter, and Kendall leaves sobbing that she doesn't want to do the solo. In her talking head, Abby shares that Jill is learning that her daughter can't keep up, and Maddie is the only predictable dancer she has. She knows Maddie will always be in the top five.  Top five? Not number one? Is someone already backtracking? Poor Kendall goes into the dressing room and whispers "I hate this" as she's comforted by her mother. It's heartbreaking.

In the most scripted part of the episode, Maddie, Kendall, and Kalani are goofing off in the costume room. Kendall stammers over her line that she's happy to have Kalani on the team to inspire the others to be better dancers. Cue Maddie's side-eye. Kalani has rehearsed her lines a little more, saying that she loves the girls of the ALDC, but she's probably going to be hightailing out of there soon if she doesn't get a solo. More Maddie side-eye. In the viewing room, Holly thanks the other moms for coming to support her at her book signing, but she reveals she texted Kelly to tell her that she missed her presence. Melissa is summoned to video Maddie's rehearsal, and she recognizes that her daughter is under a lot of pressure to stay Abby's favorite. Those are her exact words. What lofty aspirations she has for Maddie–to be the most liked by a monster! As Kendall rehearses without Abby, Abby's minion teacher is still passive aggressive as Kendall drills her steps. Christi tells Jill to let Kendall know the moms are all rooting for her.

In Detroit, Abby is walking around like royalty while being stalked by dance moms who have attended her various open calls. Abby reminds Maddie that Kendall was amazing at Nationals last year, and she could be competition for Maddie had Jill not taken her on vacation causing her to forget everything she'd ever learned as a dancer. Maddie nods like a robot while Kendall just keeps running through her dance. She dances first, and she does an amazing job. In between bouts of playing on her phone, Abby comments that her performance is sloppy. How would she know? Is she even watching? Kendall's facial expressions are amazing at least compared to Maddie the One-Faced Wonder who dances left. Her routine is flawless, but she looks like she's in pain the entire time.

In the hallway, Kira questions whether her daughter should do a solo, and Jill goes running to Abby to tattle. When Abby questions the situation, Kalani explains that her mom wants he to dance a solo, but she's not going to since Abby is against the idea. Smart girl. Abby yells that Kalani fits in with the team, but she's worried that Kira may be another Christi or Kelly. The hobo dance is actually really cute, and I am pretty sure that the city of Detroit had no clue it was supposed to be a representation. After they finish the routine, one of the open call moms comes in with her daughter to congratulate the girls. She tells her daughter that she thinks Maddie may have out-danced her, but she's clearly got Kendall beat. How humiliating. Kendall's face just falls, and Abby should stick up for her dancer. Of course, she doesn't. When Jill chastises the mother and tells her to leave she receives a half-hearted apology before Kira jumps up to have Jill's back. She's hurling insults left and right, and the new mom retaliates. Unfortunately, all of the insults have to do with their daughters' performances…and their daughters are standing right there.

In order to let Kira prove her point, Abby instructs Kalani to beat the crap out of the new girl in the improv competition. Nia, Kendall, and MacKenzie are out in round one.  A surprised Maddie is eliminated round two, as is the girl from the open auditions. Melissa is shocked. There must be some kind of mistake!  Chloe and Kalani make it to the top three (which is incredibly impressive) only to be beaten by a girl who looks to be sixteen years old. At the awards ceremony, Kendall places ninth and Abby has her smug "not surprised" face. Maddie and the hobo dance both place first. Back in the dressing room Kalani is chastised for losing the improv while Abby shares Chloe's slew of turning mistakes. Christi makes a face and Abby starts screaming about her horrible attitude. Much like with Kelly, Abby is the instigator and keeps getting closer and closer into Christi's personal space as Christi is backed into a wall. However, instead of pulling Abby's bump-it, she simply blows air into Abby's face and keeps repeating to Abby that she isn't afraid of her. This show has just gotten so, so dark.


[Photo Credit: Lifetime]