Dance Moms Recap: Just Following Orders

Dance Moms girls

Well, the ALDC had a good run in Los Angeles, but it wasn’t good enough for Abby Lee Miller (what is ever good enough for her?). On last night’s Dance Moms, the team, the catty moms and the dance teacher from hell returned to Pennsylvania to continue their unique brand of drama. Holly is still fired up about Abby’s treatment of Nia in regard to Aubry O’Day and the Matty B video, and she’s upset with her fellow mothers for supporting Abby even when she was being completely unreasonable. Jill is on edge as well for being the only mom on Team Abby. Y’all know I’m not counting Melissa on that team as that’s just who she is. Back at the ALDC studio, the moms are tense as MacKenzie shares that she’ll be singing live in New York City. At least someone’s children are benefiting from Abby’s stellar management skills!

At pyramid, Abby berates her team for not being ready for L.A. She only coaches winners. Maddie is exempt from criticism because she wasn’t in the fray of insanity as she was busy guest starring on Disney’s Austin and Ally. Jill interrupts to remind Abby of her loyalty and hopes that everyone (read: Kendall) will now be in Abby’s good graces to reap the rewards in a quest for stardom. At first, I think Abby is going along with Jill’s flattery, but she quickly retorts that Maddie is the breakout because of Maddie’s talent (I’ll give Abby that for sure!), not because of Abby’s management. It must be hard for her not to take credit. Brynn is missing because her brother has serious diabetes and needs to be monitored. As Kira relays this news, Abby barks that they aren’t here to rip on Brynn. Um, Kira was simply stating that some things take precedent over dance, right? Kira can be a pot stirrer, but I don’t think that was her intention in this instance.


Maddie is on the bottom of the pyramid since she wasn’t present to compete, but Melissa looks like she’s been slapped. Get over it! Maddie understands…she’s on Disney, why should she care about Jeff Collins’ show-inspired hierarchy? JoJo is next, followed by Nia, both for lacking technical aspects of their dances. Kalani rounds out the bottom. Kendall is the third spot due to only competing in one routine, and MacKenzie is the highest of the second tier for excelling in multiple routines. Wait, we’ve gone through everyone present, so who could be at the top? It’s Maddie! She’s been representing the ALDC on the worldwide front. Kalani jokes that Maddie should just be the entire pyramid. Truth. This week’s competition is going to be hard according to Abby as anyone over the age of twelve are considered teens (isn’t that a given?). Abby doesn’t want to bother with teens, so Holly and Kira question the fate of their daughters. If Abby pulls one of the teens from the group number, their average age will allow them to compete in the junior division.

Dance Moms Melissa Kira

Kalani is granted a solo called Pretty Little Liars. Abby hopes she won’t follow in her mother’s secretive footsteps with her web of lies and exaggerations. Kendall will dancing a blues inspired number, and Nia will be dancing to Abby’s interpretation of the Golden Rule. She reminds Nia that loyalty and ethics are important because the people you step on on your way up will likely be the same people you see on your way back down. Abby is such a peach! The group number is entitled Dominoes because Abby is sick of the domino effect going on with the mothers. One has an issue and proceeds to knock down the others one by one. Is this woman for real?

In the viewing room, Melissa gushes that she could get used to these kind of pyramids. Holly disagrees as there were far too many digs and so much tension. Jill urges the other moms to support their dance teacher (are we really giving Matty B and his video this much air time?), and Holly and Jessalyn cite Abby as the manipulator who causes the domino effect. Abby is still livid that Holly has gone to her famous friends behind her back. If I recall correctly, Aubrey totally bad-mouthed Abby’s tactics to Holly and Nia. Jill reminds the other mothers that it’s better to stay quiet so their daughters avoid Abby’s wrath. As Abby works with Kalani, Abby glares remembering the scandals revealed about Kira by her nemesis moms. Kira doesn’t care if Abby is trying to use Kalani’s dance to humiliate her as long as the choreography is good…which it is. As Nia practices, Abby totally ignores her. Holly hates that Abby is using her daughter to get to her, and Jill tries to explain that she has Holly’s back. Holly totally disagrees. Jill defending her out of Abby’s earshot isn’t the same. She needs to take a breather.

Dance Moms Abby

Abby is now in Kendall’s corner since Jill is playing nice. Kira wants to know why Holly is so mad at Jill (this is the pot stirring to which I was referring). Jill wishes Holly would realize that she made a choice to defy Abby and Jill didn’t make that same choice. When Holly arrives, she explains to Jill that she just needs to change her expectations of her friendship with Jill. She accepts that Jill will only support her without standing up to Abby. Jill is offended, and as Jessalyn commentates their passive aggressive argument, she believes that Jill secretly feels guilty for not having Holly’s back. As Abby watches the group number practice, she decides that she is going to need to pull one of the older girls to move down the number’s age group. Abby tells Kira that Kalani will not be competing in the group number so she can focus on maybe winning for a change. Kira argues that this is Kalani’s favorite dance. Well, she’ll certainly enjoy viewing it from backstage retorts Abby. Now it’s Jessalyn’s turn to stir the pot, questioning why Kira didn’t stand up for her daughter. 

At the competition the girls arrive with their matching Louis Vuitton bags. Jill encourages Kira to fight for Kalani’s part in the group number and Jessalyn agrees. Really Jill? Talk about saying one thing and doing another! Jessalyn goes a step further, urging Kira not to follow in Jill’s footsteps. Jill doesn’t appreciate Holly and Jessalyn’s new alliance courtesy of Matty B. Kalani performs first, and she hopes to live up to Abby’s high expectations. She does. Kalani’s number is flawless, and even Abby agrees with me. However, she’s concerned that Kendall won’t step up to the plate. Jill’s loyalty means very little if Kendall can’t win. Kendall’s dance is fabulous as well, and Jill crows that when you cow tow to Abby, your daughter gets great choreography and extra attention. That knowledge isn’t lost on Nia who hopes to do well despite having to learn two routines with little guidance or support. I’m not in love with Nia’s choreography, but she does a wonderful job as Abby sits disinterested. In the dressing room, the girls rock out to the song that Nia recorded, and she’s thankful for her friends’ support.

Dance Moms girls 2

Abby apologizes to Kalani for pulling her from the group number, but she still wants Kalani to dress for the routine and watch from the wings. Jill chides Kalani that her mother should be fighting for her to compete in the routine. Kalani smiles politely but shares in her interview that she thinks some of the moms need to stop encouraging their counterparts to pick fights with Abby. Smart girl! I swear, the girls are the only redeeming part of this mess! The group number is amazing. It may be one of my favorites. At the awards ceremony, Kendall places fifth with her solo in the teen division. Jill declares it a victory because Kendall was so confident in her routine. I’m guessing Abby doesn’t feel the same. Kalani wins first with Nia not placing. Abby looks happier about Nia losing than Kalani winning. She’s horrible. Not surprisingly, the Domino number wins. Abby pats herself on the back for making sure her girls danced in the junior division. Holly gives Nia a pep talk, and I swear she may be the most mature thirteen year old ever. Abby pops backstage to say a quick congrats before high tailing it out of the competition. The moms chastise Kalani for going up with the group to accept their first place. Kira argues that Abby encouraged Kalani to go up with the group despite not allowing Nia or JoJo to revel in past group wins when they didn’t dance. Kira and her daughter were only following Abby’s orders. When Jill screams that Nia and JoJo didn’t receive that special treatment (see, Holly, Jill sticks up for you!), Kira fires back that Jill did the same thing by pulling Kendall from Matty B’s video…just following orders. Pot and kettle? Yup!


[Photo Credit: Lifetime]