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Am I ready for this? That’s my first thought as I settled in last night for the fifth season premiere of Dance Moms. Immediately, I am distracted by Abby Lee Miller’s new hairdo. She looks like my middle school gym teacher circa 1988. She greets her favorites Maddie and Mack Z…oh, and Kendall and Nia as the ALDC pile in and shower her with gifts. I’ll give Abby a little bit of credit because she has lost a lot of weight. Of course, I am anticipating that Lifetime will let me down sooner rather than later. With Chloe missing from practice, Maddie reveals that she and Kendall have both attempted to text and Facetime their friend to no avail. Jill has her fingers crossed that Christi and Chloe will walk in the door. Holly senses a hole in their team, but she hopes the girls can overcome her absence.

In the pyramid, Abby congratulates the ALDC on their fourth Nationals win. Abby screams that Chloe was invited back, but her evil mother is keeping her from being part of the group. Off with her head! Who needs Chloe when you have ALDC: LA? Abby has determined that her troupe will no longer be just dancers. Each week they will focus on singing and acting as well. She will produce triple threats. Is it possible that my ears are already bleeding from her shrillness? The pyramid is more of a square this go-round, but there is a mystery fifth spot on the top. Kendall is on the bottom for coming in ninth overall. Jill is cut off before she can begin to defend her daughter. Oh, wait, Chloe is still on the pyramid, one up from Kendall. Nia is in third, followed by McKenzie. Surprise, Maddie is on the top!

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This week, the girls are traveling to Niagra Falls for the competition. Nia, Kendall, and Chloe get solos. Oh, but wait! Horribly awful Christi is keeping Chloe from this wonderful opportunity. Sad. Abby rails on and on to her dancers about how their friend is letting them down. How can you have a group number with four people? Abby specifically designed this creepy Freak Show routine for five dancers. She is baffled as to why Christi and Chloe didn’t come…even though no one has spoken to either of them in months. In the viewing room, Jill tries to call Christi but is sent to voice mail. The mothers feel the loss for their team…and for their friend. No worries, though, as Abby has a surprise up her sleeve! Kalani is returning! I hope Kira has given up on her dreams of her daughter going head to head with Maddie. 

This group number makes me wish that I wasn’t such a chicken and could watch American Horror Story. As the girls rehearse, the moms start to question Christi’s decision to ditch the group without so much as a phone call. They understand why she did what she did, but a courtesy call would’ve been nice. On cue, Kalani and Kira arrive, and Jill is worried that they have rejoined the group just to leave again. Kira admits that Abby didn’t mention a word about Christi and Chloe leaving. Abby then bestows Chloe’s solo on Kalani…let’s hope the costume fits!

dance moms jill

The girls discuss Chloe’s absence, and Kendall believes that her friend probably wants to respond to the calls and texts, but her mom has asked her not to have contact with the ALDC. Maddie feels like she’s lost a friend since they have been dancing together since age four. It really is so sad. When Kendall’s choreography proves to be difficult, Jill comes to her daughter’s defense. Abby threatens to make her the next Christi. In the viewing room, the moms feel betrayed by Christi’s mean tweets against Abby. They believe her smear campaign against Abby will ultimately hurt their girls. I can’t be sure, but I think they are referring to Chloe’s self-esteem promo video, so…not sure what they’re thinking. They know Abby. Abby often puts down their daughters. I doubt she’s worried about a few mean tweets…Lifetime certainly isn’t!

The morning of the competition, a devastated Melissa is all flustered over the news that Paige is now suing Abby. Holly and Jill warn that her anxiety needs to be put in check because Abby is going to be agitated enough on her own…without Melissa’s angst ridden contribution. Jill believes that now a line has been drawn between the former and current ALDC, and they must all support Abby. On the bus, Abby laments that some people are grateful for her amazing teaching, but others are just bitter and jealous. Yeah, that’s it. Thankfully, the crowd at the fake competition cheers deafeningly for the crew as they exit the bus. 

dance moms kendall

Kendall performs first, and is it just me, or did the girls grow from kids to young ladies since last season? I don’t love Kendall’s choreography, but she nails her performance. Nia’s jazz routine is inspired by her breakout freestyle routine from last season. Nia totally rocks her solo, but I can’t enjoy it because I’m so worried that her wig is going to fall off her head. Thankfully, she finishes with a bang…and her wig still intact. Kalani channels her inner Bond girl for her solo, and Maddie better pray that Abby sticks to her guns and won’t let them compete against the other. 

As the girls prepare for their group routine–their costumes and make-up are amazing!–Abby breaks down in tears when she receives a text that the news is at her house thanks to Paige’s law suit. The mother’s can’t believe that their former friends and the mothers of their daughters’ teammates are intentionally trying to ruin the the woman who still teaches their daughters. Abby puts on a brave face and urges her dancers to go out for the win. I’m going to say, this group number may be my all-time favorite. The dancing, the music, the costumes. It was phenomenal. At the awards ceremony, Kendall wins her division, and Kalani comes in second in the next age division. Not surprisingly, Freak Show takes the top prize. Well, what do you know! The director and emcee of the competition publicly offers his support to Abby and invites her to come up on stage to give a speech. Abby concludes the episode with a very kind, sweet, and un-Abbylike pep talk. 

TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? DID YOU LOVE FREAK SHOW AS MUCH AS I DID? 

[Photo Credit: Lifetime]

 

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