Dance Moms Recap: Judgment Day

Dance Moms girls

Is there an end in sight to this season of Dance Moms? I don’t know about y’all, but I’m Abby Lee Millered out! After a victory over the Candy Apples, the girls are actually looking forward to pyramid. Holly stills feels tension with the other friends, and JoJo laughs that Kathy exceeded her expectations when it came to crazy antics. The team is excited to have scored a win with a tried-and-true lyrical number, but Holly wants Abby to push the girls like she was doing before they went to Los Angeles. Lyrical is easy for them. Not for Nia, Abby snaps. Holly, I’m with you on how unfair all of this is, but it’s not going to change, and you’re just making it worse by expressing your opinion. It’s tragic all around. Jill speaks up to back Holly by saying that the girls are up to the task to do more challenging numbers. Well, Jill, those dances don’t win, and what’s more important in competition than winning?

Abby has come up with a great project for the girls. She’s asked all of the dancers to make a pros and cons list as to whether JoJo should be allowed a permanent spot on the team. Hearing it from her peers will make it more real for her. According to MacKenzie, JoJo is loud and crazy, but kind and hard-working. Jessalyn looks on proudly at her daughter’s resolve, but I think we’re one teammate down and JoJo’s already about to burst into tears. Maddie cites her ability to take direction but notes her timing issues. Nia claims she takes opportunities away from other girls who have been with the ALDC longer, and Kendall calls her respectful. Everyone says she’s either too loud or two crazy. Poor JoJo stares stone-faced only moving to wipe the tears before they can roll down her cheeks. Holly is proud of how JoJo is handling herself. In the end, JoJo earns an ALDC jacket and a spot on the team. Because the group routine was so strong, all of the girls are on the same pyramid level…except Maddie. She’s on top for her highest scoring solo. Maddie looks slightly uncomfortable for being singled out from the team, but Melissa beams. 


This week, the girls are competing in Philadelphia, and at this competition, the judges will critique the dancers on stage after their performances. The group routine is a musical theater piece called Decadent Darlings, and Maddie, Kendall, and Nia are granted solos. Nia is warned that if her solo doesn’t place, she won’t be dancing one again. Talk about pressure! During rehearsal, the moms are watching the group routine, grateful it isn’t another lyrical. As Melissa and Jill are summoned to help with props, Holly, Jessalyn, and Kira complain about how Abby is treating Nia and JoJo. Kira recognizes that Kalani gets special treatment, but she recognizes that it totally sucks for the other girls. It saddens Holly that her long time friends can’t be as supportive as the new moms. 

dance moms judges

Maddie’s mannequin solo is going to be amazing. Abby is pushing her to become a better performer, but the moms are getting sick of Melissa’s bragging. Kendall isn’t garnering the same positive feedback from her teacher. Abby is hoping that the public critiques at competition will make Kendall realize she needs to step up her game. Nia has yet to start on her solo, and Holly wishes Jill and Melissa could see the injustice. When Jill and Melissa return to the viewing room, Holly sighs, sharing that she’s so surprised that she’s forged a friendship with Jessalyn. Jill interrupts to say that Jessalyn will be a fair weather friend, and Holly needs to remember who her real friends are. Jessalyn reveals that she, Holly, and Kira have formed a pact to have each other’s backs when Abby treats their girls unfairly. Melissa can barely mutter “good luck with that” before going to tattle to Abby. Just kidding, Jill’s going to beat her to that announcement in a bit!

Dance Moms nia

Nia is finally getting some personal attention from Abby, but its not necessarily the kind of attention one would want for their child. As Abby criticizes Nia, Jessalyn and Kira praise Holly for her daughter’s strength. Jill wonders how long the moms are going to be kissing up to Holly. Abby continues to harp on Nia about her mom’s behavior in Los Angeles and how sneaky they acted to get Nia into the recording studio. Nia politely asks Abby if she can focus on her dancing and leave all her additional activities out of their rehearsal. She’s very poised and respectful. Abby questions that if Nia was a murderer, should she just put that aside when she’s in the dance studio? Yes, that’s totally the same. Nia manages to keep her composure until she finishes practice, but she’s clearly so exhausted by the stress. 

At the competition, Nia is feeling the pressure, but she really wants to prove herself to Abby. Her dance is graceful and well-executed, and her expressions fit the mood of the number. The judges encourage her to continue to tell her stories through her beautiful eyes, and as the judges pile on the praise, Abby rolls her eyes. Maddie’s dance is exquisite and clearly inspired by her turn on Chandelier. When she faces the judges, they comment on her bent knees and the need to relax her face. If looks could kill, Abby would the murderer she was comparing Nia to before the competition. Watch out judges! Kendall’s dance is adorable, and the judges love her turns but needed her to connect more with the audience. Backstage, Jill and Holly are still arguing like broken records. The group routine can’t come fast enough! The costumes and hair are fantastic, and the outcome is fabulous. However, it seems to be four times longer than any other group numbers they’ve done. Regardless, the judges gush over the ALDC’s performance. 

Dance Moms Abby

At the awards ceremony, dancers are placing in solos left and right, but no ALDC names are called. I am worried sick for poor Nia. Maddie has the overall high scoring solo. The group number places third. Abby is livid, but I think she’s secretly thrilled to get to say “I told you so” to the moms regarding lyrical numbers. Jill wonders Holly’s defiance caused the girls not to dance as well due to the rift in the studio. Jill shares her thoughts with Abby when calling out Jessalyn, Kira, and Holly’s pact. I believe they just promised to be supportive of one another…they aren’t forming a Survivor-type alliance. Jill smiles as innocently as she questions the intentions of the pact and drives the bus over the friend she just threw under it. When Holly revisits Abby’s murderer analogy with Nia, Abby laughs that she just makes ridiculously ludicrous comparisons. Melissa concurs, and Holly leaves the dressing room. She’s tired of people kissing up to Abby even when she doesn’t need supporters. Jill chases after her friend, but Holly just seems defeated. 


[Photo Credit: Lifetime]