Last night's Dance Moms had my waterworks in full effect as Abby Lee Miller struggled with her mother's failing health. It's heartbreaking. As the episode begins, Melissa starts the water works with Abby after sharing that she'd been visiting with Mrs. Miller in hospice. Abby knows that her mother wouldn't want her moping around the nursing home, so instead she heads to the studio. The pyramid isn't going to reveal itself!
Nia is on the bottom for not being on the group routine. That's fair. Holly is furious. Kendall follows for her second place finish, and she can't even look up from the floor. Kalani is third from the bottom for minor technical issues. Kira is confused. Her daughter was part of the highest scoring duet. Clearly the girls' performance in the competitions has nothing to do with their spot on the pyramid. MacKenzie is third overall for balancing dance and her budding musical career. Chloe is second for her winning duet with Kalani. Kira's point has just been proven. Maddie is on the top for shining regardless of dancing a solo. Abby proclaims her the star of the group dance that she wasn't present to see. Abby wants to dedicate this week's competition to her mother. Both Maddie and Chloe get solos. MacKenzie won't be in the group number since she needs to focus on her music video, but Nia will be dancing with her peers…maybe. Holly wonders if Abby is taking on too much in order to escape her feelings about her mom. Why yes. Yes she is.
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During the filming for Mac Z's Girl Party video, the moms are complaining about how arbitrary the pyramid is. Are they just now figuring this out? Melissa is on the defensive with the non-competition team moms who are in attendance because their daughters are dancing in the video. Seriously, it's ALDC 2.0 versus ALDC Windows 8. They are both terrible. When one mother constantly reminds Melissa that her daughter has beaten MacKenzie in competitions, Melissa starts screaming and kicks the woman and her young daughter out of her house. When they don't leave fast enough, Melissa calls 9-1-1…because this is clearly an emergency. Your tax dollars at work, folks!
At the studio, Melissa and Abby tear up when discussing the success of MacKenzie's slumber party music video. In the viewing area, Melissa updates the moms on her recent visit to see Mrs. Miller. Jill comments that Chloe must really know her solo since she wasn't part of the video, but Christi responds that Chloe's last three private lessons have been canceled. During the group routine rehearsal, all of the mothers are appalled at Abby's treatment of Nia. Abby has Nia summon Holly to the studio so that Holly can hear Abby's corrections for her daughter. The other mothers are impressed with Holly's resolve, and I have to admit that I am too. Melissa gets an Instagram message from a competing studio. The moms fear the Larkins dancers far more than the Candy Apples.
Abby is out of the studio for the day as Maddie works on her solo. Melissa reveals that Abby has been crying hysterically all day, but she's pleasantly pleased with all of the dances. Of course she is, Jill snarks. Abby isn't around to micro-manage the routines. Christi feels defeated. I usually can't stomach when Christi complains that Chloe's choreography doesn't measure up to Maddie's, but I am starting to agree. Holly feels for Chloe and Christi as Chloe has been excluded from the music video and stiffed from her lessons. Abby arrives as the girls are practicing their Amazing Grace dance. Christi hates that Abby had to walk in during this song as it has to even more emotional for her. I agree, as I'm tearing up over it. Damn you, Lifetime!
At the competition, the mothers are concerned about Studio Larkin. They will be competing with the routine which has beaten the ALDC in the past. Melissa feels horribly that Abby has the added stress of taking on a new team in addition to losing her mother. Jill can't believe it–Abby doesn't have to take on a new team, as this team has been undefeated for the last thirteen weeks. A distraught Christi reminds the crew that this isn't the winning team because Kelly, Brooke, and Paige are gone. She loses it and starts accusing Maddie and the other girls of purposefully hurting Chloe's feelings. Kira breaks in to say that Kalani loves Chloe, but Christi won't hear it. Kalani's secret duet solidified her as Maddie's BFF–as if the girls had a say in that duet. Okay, I know this woman is hurt because she thinks her daughter is suffering, but they are preteen girls. It's normal to be fickle. I think Chloe would be more upset to know her mother was alienating her from her pals. Christi is near tears, and Melissa promises to have a stern talking to with her daughter. I think Christi needs to take a chill pill and let the girls work through their own issues. Holly can relate, as sometimes Nia feels left out of the group. She compares her daughter to Tito in the Jackson 5. God I love Holly.
Maddie's solo is amazing. She is one talented little girl. Chloe looks phenomenal as well, although I am back to being irked at Christi whining about choreography (even though I still completely agree!). I hate how much pressure is put on these kids. Melissa calls Abby, and Abby tearfully wishes the girls well with some very un-Abby comments. "Don't worry about the judges, just entertain the audience!" Is she on something? While Abby didn't put any stress on winning, Gia reminds the girls that a new team is coming and they need to prove their worth. The Larkin group number is fabulous, but no more fabulous than the ALDC has ever danced. It reminds me too much of Black Swan and that movie scarred me for life. I get misty again during the girls' Amazing Grace number. It's chilling. They'd better win. Chloe's solo garners fifth place with Maddie winning first. The group number places second to Larkins. Of course. Everyone is extremely disappointing, and the girls are terrified for Abby to hear the news. Instead of chastising her dancers, Abby reminds the girls that this week wasn't about winning. She's proud of her dancers for paying tribute to her mother. I literally have a tear rolling down my cheek as I type and see that the show is dedicated in memory of Abby's mother. Losing a parent–or any loved one–is so hard.
TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE? SHOULD THE ALDC HAVE WON?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]