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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. 


Kendall and Nia will be dancing solos, and Chloe seems almost as excited as her friend at the news. She's also thrilled to learn she'll be dancing a duet with Kalani. As the girls rehearse their Bollywood inspired group number, the mothers revel in the fact that Abby is actually showing some shred of human emotion that doesn't involve screaming insults at their daughters. All of the women support Abby's decision to spend more time with her mom than with the dancers this week. Of course, that kindness is short lived when Kalani's mom wonders why Abby is trying to mix things up with a new team. The moms quickly begin talking smack about this mystery team until a phone call from a sobbing Abby to Melissa brings them back to reality. 

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Holly is worried that Nia's confidence during solos is going to continue to plummet. She knows her daughter feels comfortable in the group number, but Nia rarely gets to perform solo routines. Jill secretly hopes that Kendall will beat Nia, but aloud she wonders if Kendall is even having fun dancing anymore. The next day, Abby and MacKenzie's alter ego "Mack Z" are auditioning dancers for her music video. MacKenzie toys with her sister, teasing that she thinks that Maddie would be better suited for the job of production assistant rather than back-up dancer. Just kidding, Maddie-face! 

Abby calls the team together to share that there aren't enough costumes to go around in the group number. She makes the executive decision to pull Nia from group routine so that Nia can spend more time focusing on her solo. After all, she's yet to place in any solos this season. Holly is miffed, but the always classy Holly just rolls her eyes and heads out of the studio. Take note, ladies! Melissa then goes to visit Abby and her mother in the nursing home. I hate seeing anyone cry…including Abby. She hates seeing her mother suffer, and she's at peace with the idea of her passing. 

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Back at the studio, the moms rally around Holly. They all realize that any of their girls could have been pulled from the number. When Melissa arrives and shares Mrs. Miller's condition, the mothers are heartbroken for Abby. Christi admits that there is no love lost between her and Abby (you don't say!), but she hates that Abby is going through such an agonizing time. As Chloe and Kalani rehearse their duet, a giant cork board plastered with  of rival dancers is distracting the team. The following day, the ALDC heads to the competition sans Abby. On the bus, Holly leads the girls in sharing memories of Mrs. Miller before leading them in a moment of silence. Could Chloe be any sweeter? Poor Maddie and Chloe are once again sobbing. 

The girls are going for their thirteenth consecutive win. Gia calls Abby, and of course, Melissa has to steal the phone away to profess her love. The mothers know that Abby's absence makes life easier on them, but the girls like to be able to prove themselves to their leader. Gia wants the girls to perform as if there is no need for Abby to bring in a new group. She reminds the girls that she will be videotaping the routines for Abby. Chloe and Kalani's duet is flawless. They dance beautifully together. Watching Kendall's solo makes me realize that I often underestimate her talent. She's amazing. Chloe gives Nia the sweetest pep talk backstage, and I am concerned to see Nia wearing a headpiece. We all know what could potentially happen here! 

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Forget Maddie-face! Maddie has nothing on Nia's expressions! Her choreography isn't great, but she does an amazing job with what she was given. Chloe tackles her with a hug post performance. Everyone touts it as her best dance in ages. I so hope she places because she is so down about not being in the group number. Holly says a prayer for Mrs. Miller and the group before the girls perform their Bollywood number. I loved it! It was three times longer than their normal routines, and I hated that Nia had to cheer on her teammates from the audience, but I absolutely loved it! During the awards ceremony, Nia scores the third place spot in the Junior Solo Division with Kendall placing second. I am beyond happy for Nia. Chloe and Kalani's duet comes in first place, as does the Bollywood group dance. Lucky number thirteen! The moms are so proud of their daughters for honoring Mrs. Miller.


[Photo Credit: Lifetime]

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