Abby Lee Miller makes me want to break my television set. You mess with Nia, you mess with me! Last night’s Dance Moms was just more of Abby’s downward spiral into mean madness and delusion…and to be honest, I didn’t think she had much farther she could go! Boy, was I wrong!
After the ALDC’s first competition in Los Angeles where Abby was missing in action most of the time, she is back and more hateful than ever. I wanted to spit nails just watching her. When the group gets to a new studio, the moms and dancers wonder if Abby will even arrive at rehearsal. Holly has reached out to Aubrey O’Day (formerly of Danity Kane) to see if she would be interested in working with Nia. Abby beckons her students in with the shrieks of a banshee, yelling that the girls first attempt to compete in LA was “FAILURE!” Holly and Jill speak up to remind Abby that she was absent all last week so it’s not fair to blame the girls. Abby refuses to tell the mothers where she was the previous week, and Holly continues to ask her whereabouts. Holly then cites Abby’s unprofessional behavior during Nia’s casting call, and she screams that Abby is a shallow, nasty woman. She’s not Kelly or Christi and she accuses the other mothers of being cowards for not supporting her and standing up to Abby. Holly is sobbing and poor Nia is in limbo as Abby smirks.
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Abby then calls Aubrey O’Day to share Holly’s “frightening” behavior. She warns Aubrey that Holly plans to lie and use her to further Nia’s career. Abby is appalled that Holly would go behind her back. In the pyramid, JoJo is on the bottom, but Abby reminds her she’s not really on the team so she rips down her picture. Nia’s next, then Kendall (got a problem with that?), followed by MacKenzie (whatever) and Kalani (not much to judge from last week), with the top spot going to Maddie (woohoo, congrats, sure). Abby rambles through rudely before passing out solos to Kendall and JoJo…not that it matters because the girls are sure to humiliate her again this week. Breaking down, Abby cries that she can’t believe how Holly treated her before leaving practice…yet again. Gotta love a perpetual victim!
The moms miss Holly, but they believe the team needs Nia. Jessalyn is fine with the pair’s absence so long as it furthers JoJo’s place on the team. The group number is called Collateral Damage, and she hopes that it will redeem her position in LA’s dance world. As the mothers step out, Abby warns that they’d better not be mean, ugly or talk about Abby behind her back. Sixth grade, much? Meanwhile, Nia is in the studio with Aubrey O’Day who doesn’t seem concerned about Abby’s phone call. She encourages Nia to try to put aside Abby’s drama and seize every potential opportunity. Well, listen to that! Nia’s got a great voice! Not that I’m not surprised, of course.
Kendall’s solo is inspired by Bollywood, and she’s spot on with her rehearsal. Jessalyn taunts Jill, questioning whether she’s worried that JoJo will beat Kendall. Jill is hoping that Kendall can stay focused given that one of her best friends may be off the team. JoJo’s solo is a contemporary piece based on the horror movie Carrie. When rehearsal is over, Abby leaves the ALDC with the warning that bad things happen to people who go behind her back. While the girls are never to blame for their mothers’ behavior, they are sure to feel the consequences. Seriously, is she for real?
The following day, the mothers are curious as to whether Holly and Nia will reemerge. Melissa tells the girls that if Nia returns, they will have to do a wonderful job teaching her the dance. Kendall and Maddie agree, but they are concerned given the difficulty of the choreography. On cue, an excited Nia enters, and she’s swarmed by her teammates for hugs. I do love these girls. JoJo and Jessalyn are also absent, and Nia asks if JoJo is in the group dance. Maddie responds that JoJo had Nia’s spot…until now. Also missing is Abby as she is scared to face Holly who is regaling her friends of Nia’s studio time with Aubrey O’Day. She’s interrupted when Jessalyn calls to say the JoJo is being treated for lice that she clearly contracted from the one of the other girls. Melissa rolls her eyes and tells Jessalyn that they no longer need JoJo in the group number as they now have Nia. She is also thrilled to have Holly back in place of Jessalyn’s rudeness.
As Nia practices with the group, Abby calls Gia who relays that Nia is present by JoJo is not. Abby reminds Gia that Holly had plenty of time to apologize and absolve her sins to Abby (wait, is she like Jesus now?), but since she didn’t Nia is forbidden from participating in the group number. A forlorn Gia (how does she always get the short stick?) then shares the news with Holly. What are the moms to do? Drink! Over wine, the mothers gossip about Jessalyn until she busts in on the happy hour. Jessalyn wonders if Nia and JoJo need to battle it out, and Jill shares that JoJo will be dancing. Holly doesn’t appreciate Jessalyn saying that she brought all of Abby’s wrath on herself. Jessalyn antagonizes Holly who calls her a horrible person before storming off near tears. Holly, girl, you need to get it together.
Before the competition, Holly gives Nia some very sage advice about the Abby’s of the world and she encourages Nia to be strong and true to herself as she supports her team. Abby arrives, gifting Nia with a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “Stay Strong.” No present is going to win Holly over at this point. Jessalyn compliments Abby because she’s wearing make-up and found her hairspray. Abby reams JoJo for not watching Carrie…her performance isn’t psycho enough. When it’s Kendall’s turn to practice, Abby is criticizing her facial expressions. She bursts into tears, saying her costume is too tight. Jessalyn is grinning like the Cheshire cat over Kendall’s turmoil. I may start calling her Abby 2.0.
Taking the stage, Kendall is the consummate professional. She performs as if she wasn’t just in tears. Her music cuts off unexpectedly, but is Kendall phased? Nope. As the audience claps along to the beat, Kendall finishes with confidence. As much as I dislike Jessalyn, I can’t snark on kids, and JoJo is pretty freaking frightening in her solo. It’s pretty impressive, but Abby thinks her performance is sub par since she failed to watch the movie. Nia supports her teammates in the wings during the group routine. Is it just me, or were the group numbers far more exciting before the team headed to LA? Nia is sad after the routine, and JoJo (who needs to learn to filter) retorts that now Nia knows how she’s felt the last three weeks. Um, Nia’s been on this team since she was three, and says as much. Kalani interrupts to educate JoJo on the fact that Nia is on the team and she is not. Love.
At the awards ceremony, JoJo lands in fifth place for her solo. Kendall takes second. I am so proud of her. Thankfully, the group number wins first place. In the dressing room, everyone is celebrating, but Jill wishes that Nia had gotten to dance with her team. I really enjoy the moms when they are getting along! The mothers all back Jill’s assertion, but Holly knows it will only last until Holly enters the room. Jessalyn fights back saying that JoJo won the group dance for the ALDC in Nia’s absence. Melissa is appalled. Does Jessalyn really think JoJo was that instrumental in the win? Holly is still wary of her friends’ support, and Jill wishes that there wasn’t a divide among the mothers. I, for one, am happy for an episode that doesn’t end in a screaming match.
P.S. Did y’all catch Maddie on the Grammys? That girl is a talent with a capital T!
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S DANCE MOMS? IS HOLLY JUSTIFIED IN FEELING UNSUPPORTED?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]